Public Lecture: The State of Democracy in South Africa

The School of Economic and Management Sciences invites you to a public lecture titled “The State of Democracy in South Africa” with guest speakers, Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller, HSRC Group Executive: Shared Services & Divisional Executive at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and Professor Sipho Seepe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Institutional Support at the University of Zululand

This lecture aims to discuss the current state of democracy in South Africa in light of the recent political events.

Event details: 

Date: Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Time: 12:00 – 14:45

Venue: MS Teams (link –

Programme: Click here to download the programme

About the Guest Speakers:

Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller is the Divisional Executive of the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) programme at the HSRC, as well as an adjunct professor of law at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Law at the University of Fort Hare and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender and African Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State. She is an admitted advocate of the High Court of the Republic of South Africa.

With a career that spans over 25 years, she has made significant strides in research and academia. Her research interests include international and constitutional law, gender, human rights, democracy, governance, and social justice. She has authored and co-authored over 150 academic publications. Prof Bohler-Muller has presented and chaired numerous conferences around the world both in her professional capacity and as a representative for the South African government. In 2019, she was appointed by the Minister of Health as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on National Health Insurance (MAC NHI) after her contributions as the legal and constitutional advisor to the Department of Health and served as a member of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Section 11 Committee on Water and Sanitation.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Prof Bohler-Muller has contributed to national research efforts to support evidence-based decision-making. She is the co-Principal Investigator of the joint University of Johannesburg and HSRC COVID-19 democracy survey that tests the public’s perceptions on various aspects of the lockdown experience. She is also a member of the team writing chapters 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 Country Report coordinated by DPME in the Presidency.

Professor Sipho Seepe is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Institutional Support at the University of Zululand. Professor Seepe is a physicist by profession. He holds two masters, one in Physics (Wits) and the other in Technology in Education, from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also obtained a PhD from the University of North West. He is a recipient of several scholarships, the most prestigious being the Harvard Fellowship and the Senior Research Fulbright Fellowship. Before returning to the academy, he served as a Special Advisor in a number of Ministries; Public Service and Administration, Human Settlement, Communications, and Defense and Military Veterans.

He has written extensively on matters of public interest. His scholastic contribution includes the following publications.

  • Seepe S (ed), 1998 Black perspective (s) on tertiary institutional transformation, Vivlia Publishers Johannesburg
  • Seepe S., 2004 Speaking Truth to Power: Reflections on post 1994 South Africa, Vista University and Skotaville Media, Pretoria.
  • Seepe S (ed) 2020, Tertiary Institutional Transformation in South Africa Revisited, Africa Century Editions Press, Cape Town

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