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Head of Department

Qualifications: PhD (Unisa)
Position: Departmental Chair and Professor


Prof Rabe is a Professor of Sociology. She mainly does qualitative research on family issues relating to gender and intergenerational relationships, especially fatherhood studies. Recently, she has published on how family policies can be more inclusive in South Africa, especially as this relates to caregiving.

Her most recent research focused on how the state, families and the non-profit sector, including faith-based organisations, are linked to issues of care.

She is a former Vice-President of the South African Sociological Association and a former co-editor of the journals South African Review of Sociology and currently an associate editor of Journal of Family Issues.

Prof Rabe invite students interested in researching the following themes: Intergenerational studies in general and fatherhood studies in particular, family studies in general and family policy and caregiving in particular, topics related to the Sociology of crime, the role of the non-profit sector in South Africa.

Follow Prof Rabe's scholarship on the following platforms:
Google Scholar:

Selected publications

  • Swart, I.; Vähäkangas, A.; Rabe, M. & Leis-Peters, A. (eds.) 2022. Stuck in the margins? Young people and faith-based organisations in South African and Nordic localities. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (open access:
  • Rabe, M.; Agboola, C.; Kumswa, S.; Linonge-Fontebo, H. & Mathe, L. 2021. ‘Like a bridge over troubled landscapes: African pathways to doctorateness.’ Teaching in Higher Education, 6(3): 306-320 (electronic link:
  • Rabe, M. 2021. ‘The male breadwinner myth: The South African case’ in Social Policy in the African Context, edited by Adesina, J.O. Dakar: CODESRIA, 241-257.
  • Rabe, M. 2018. ‘An historical overview of fatherhood in South Africa’ in State of South African Fathers’ report, edited by Van den Berg, W. & Makusha, T., Sonke Gender Justice and Human Sciences Research Council, 13-26 (open access:
  • Rabe, M. 2017. ‘Care, family policy and social citizenship in South Africa.’ Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 48(3): 327-338.

Academic Staff

Qualifications: MSocSc (UKZN), PhD (SU)
Position: Associate Professor and Masters & PhD Coordinator 


Prof Emmanuel Mayeza, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of the Western Cape. He is a C2 NRF-rated researcher. He is currently interested in qualitative research with young people, specifically focusing on the constructions of gender identities and sexualities from early years. He is also doing research on gender violence and interventions against it in and around educational spaces in South Africa. 

Prof Mayeza invites students interested in researching the following themes: Gender identities, sexualities, gender violence among children and young people, schooling, qualitative research. 

Follow Prof Mayeza's scholarship on the following platform:

Selected publications

  • Ngidi, N.D., & Mayeza, E. (2023). Adultification, neglect, and sexual abuse at home: Selected narratives of orphaned girls in KwaMashu, South Africa. Children & Society. Link:
  • Mayeza, E. (2022). Rape culture: Sexual intimidation and partner rape among youth in sexually diverse relationships. Sexualities. Link:
  • Mayeza, E. (2022). LGBTPQ youth negotiating access to sexual health education and resources in a rural South African university. Journal of Homosexuality, 69(8): 1449-1465.  Link: 
  • Mayeza, E., Bhana, D., & Mulqueeny, D. (2022). Normalising violence? Girls and sexuality in a South African high school. Journal of Gender Studies, 31(2):165-177. Link: 
  • Mayeza, E. (2021). South African LGBTPQ youth: The perceptions and realities of coming out and parental reactions. Journal of GLBT Family Studies. 17(3): 292-303. Link: 

Qualifications: MA, PhD (UWC)
Position: Senior Lecturer 


Dr Thaver is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. He is a longstanding member of the Sociology department whose teaching specialisation is in Contemporary Sociological Theory with a particular focus on African Philosophy, and Epistemology and its bearing on the decolonisation and Africanization of the discipline.

In addition he specialises in the Sociology of Technology which covers broad theoretical frameworks probing the relationship between society and technology, the history of technology and specific technologies such as the Internet and Social Network Sites and its bearing on Social Movements, the Digital Divide and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

At the postgraduate level Dr Thaver focuses on Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Technology and the Sociology of Higher Education and has published and conducted research in the aforementioned fields of study. 

Position: Lecturer 


Dr Susan Holland-Muter is a lecturer in the Department of Sociology. She has a PhD in Humanities from the Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her doctoral thesis focused on exploring counter narratives of lesbian queer world-making in Cape Town. She completed a post doc with the Family and Society Research Unit (FASRU) based at UCT where she explored lesbian motherhood and intergenerational negotiations around sexuality and gender normativities and practice in the family.

She has been active in the politics of gender and sexuality in Colombia and South Africa for the last three decades. She has worked in the women’s (notably the GBV and HIV/AIDS) sectors and within LGBTI communities in a range of capacities, notably as an academic, researcher, trainer, social movement activist and policy advocate. Her areas of expertise include the politics of gender and sexuality; sexuality and spatialities; queer theories in Africa; intersectional feminisms; women’s and LGBTI movements; the politics of women’s sexual pleasure; LGBTIQ families; queer and gender-non binary adolescents; lesbian motherhood and queer kinship.

She forms part of a trans-national researchers network focusing on Brazil, South Africa and Mozambique.

Selected publications 

  • Holland-Muter, Susan (2019) Making place, making home: lesbian queer world-making in Cape Town in Journal of Feminist Studies (Revista Estudios Feministas), Vol 27, No 3, Brazil: Florianópolis.
  • Holland-Muter, Susan (2018) Lesbians Making Home in Cape Town: the politics of lesbian queer world making. Ferreira, Eduarda; Lenzi, María Helena & Moreira, Luciana (eds) in Special Issue on Lesbian Spatialities for the Latin American Journal of Geography and Gender (RLAGG - La Revista Latinoamericana de Geografía y Género).
  • Holland-Muter, Susan (2013) Outside the Safety Zone: An agenda for research on violence against lesbian and gender non-conforming women in South Africa. Johannesburg: Ma-Thoko’s Books (246 pages).
  • Holland-Muter, Susan (2019) The politics of safety talk and practises: Lesbians constructing belonging and queer world-making in Cape Town. In (Eds) Matebeni, Zethu & Camminga, B. Beyond the Mountain: Queer Life in ‘Africa’s Gay Capital’. Pretoria: UNISA

Qualifications: BSW (Social Work), MPhil (UCT)
Position: Lecturer and First Year Coordinator


Trevor Makhetha is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and an MPhil (specialising in Criminal Justice) obtained from the University of Cape Town. He is currently finalising his PhD in Sociology at Stellenbosch University with a focus on Social Inequalities in/and Education.

Makhetha's research interests include: (i) The Sociology of Education (with a focus on Schooling Communities; Schooling inequalities in South Africa; Early Childhood Learning; and Social Justice/ Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies), (ii) The Construction and Performance of Social Identities (with a focus on how race, masculinities, sexuality, and age intersect), (iii) The Practise of Social Research (with a focus on de/anti-colonial research methodologies, research ethics with vulnerable and 'at risk' populations such as children and youth).

Makhetha invites students interested in researching any of the above mentioned themes. 
Follow his scholarship on the following platform: ORCID ID -

Selected publications 

Qualifications: BA (Lagos State University), MA, PhD (UWC)
Position: Lecturer and Honours Coordinator


Dr Obuaku-Igwe is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. She teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, anchoring the department’s Health teaching, at undergraduate level. Other courses in her teaching portfolio include, Crime & Deviance, Research methods, and Advanced Social theory.

She is the current President of the South African Sociological Association (SASA), and editor at the First Thinking Review. As a sociologist, her overarching research interest is in the field of sociology of health and development with focus on Health Services Research, Policy and Health Systems,. She has published on access to quality and affordable essential medicines in Nigeria and inequalities in healthcare in South Africa.

She is also a series/content creator for IndimaYethu mentoring, editor for Wakapost and co-founder of ExtraOrdinarily alive podcast series. A vocal advocate for diversity, inclusion, equity, access to healthcare, mental health and public scholarship in Africa, Dr Igwe has a personal blog and has blogged for many outlets.

In 2016 and 2017, Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE) honoured her with an award for her advocacy and contribution to renewable energy and climate action in Nigeria.

Selected publications 

  • Obuaku-Igwe, C. & Zethu Matebeni (2021). The Writer’s Café: Foregrounding Ubuntu, decolonisation and deconstruction. Journal of Decolonising Disciplines. Volume 3, Issue 2. DOI:
  • Obuaku-Igwe, C. (2021). Digitization of healthcare post COVID-19: Reimagining the role of health education and promotion. Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies, Volume 13, Number 2, pp. 303-310(8). DOI:
  • Obuaku-Igwe, C. (2021). Teaching and Re-Imagining the Role of Medical Sociology in South Africa During COVID-19: A Reflection. In J. Herron, & T. Douglas (Eds.), Strategies for Student Support During a Global Crisis (pp. 175-194). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-7000-5.ch011
  • Obuaku-Igwe, C. (2021). Medical Sociology and Storytelling in a Decolonial Context: Exploring Photovoice as a Critical Pedagogical Tool. In L. Mihăeş, R. Andreescu, & A. Dimitriu (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Contemporary Storytelling Methods Across New Media and Disciplines (pp. 342-363). IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-6605-3.ch018
  • Obuaku-Igwe, C. C. (2020). “ ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ (A person is a person because of other people): Reflections on student’s experiences of social isolation and the impact of a peer to peer mental health support group during covid-19 lockdown in South Africa” , Youth Voice Journal, ISBN (ONLINE):978-1-911634-23-2.

Dr Spicer

Administrative Staff

Qualifications: BA (UWC), BTech (CPUT)
Position: Administrator