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Vice-Chancellor's Team

Members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, together with the five Executive Faculty Deans are responsible for managing the University on a daily basis. The Vice-Chancellor’s team comprises the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, the Vice-Principal, two Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Registrar and the Chief Financial Officer.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Professor Zeblon Vilakazi

Prof. Zeblon Zenzele Vilakazi was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal on 1 January 2021. He held the position of Vice-Principal and Vice-Chancellor designate from 1 April 2020. He has brought a wealth of experience, insight and knowledge to Wits and the Executive Team, and is committed to increasing Wits' quantitative and qualitative research output over the next few years in line with Wits' strategic research plan.

Dr Vilakazi was appointed Group Executive for Research and Development at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) in 2011, while also serving as the director of iThemba LABS – a position he has held since January 2007. He also holds an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Physics at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

He obtained his PhD from Wits in 1998 under the supervision of the late Professor J Sellschop, who also served as DVC: Research at Wits. The title of his doctoral thesis is The Investigation of coherent correlated effects due to incidence of ultra-relativistic leptons on oriented crystalline matter. This was followed by a National Research Foundation post-doctoral fellowship at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

He took up an academic post at UCT in 1999 where he was instrumental in establishing South Africa's first experimental high-energy physics research group focusing on development of the High-level Trigger for the CERN-ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. He also served as a visiting scientist at the Atomic Energy Commission and Alternative Energy in Saclay, France.

Vilakazi also served as a chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Standing Advisory Committee on Nuclear Applications from 2009 to 2011. He is a member of the Programme Advisory Committee for Nuclear Physics at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia and a member of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Working Group for Nuclear Physics. In 2010 he was nominated by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and is a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa. Vilakazi's research interests include heavy-ion collisions at ultra-relativistic energies and computational physics – in relation to GRID computing. He has more than 80 refereed articles in Nuclear and High Energy Physics and is a regular invitee for talks and presentations at conference and seminars.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation

Professor Lynn Morris


Professor Morris is an A-rated, internationally recognised scientist with demonstrable experience in research management and leadership. She has just completed her three year term as the Executive Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), and has led the NICD through two major health crises, namely the listeria outbreak of 2017/8 and the current COVID-19 pandemic. She has actively promoted a research agenda which has led to an improvement in the number of publication outputs as well as the number of NRF-rated scientists at the Institute.

A full Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Morris (BSc Wits, DPhil Oxford) is a hands-on academic and researcher who has supervised numerous postgraduate and postdoctoral students. She has published 270 journal articles, 11 book chapters and has registered five patents and 11 scientific opinions. She has consistently been included in the Web of Science list of the most highly cited researchers in the world for her work in the area of HIV and Aids.

Read more about her research.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic

Professor Ruksana Osman

Ruksana Osman   

Professor Ruksana Osman was appointed to the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic on 1 April 2020, and previously occupied the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Advancement, Transformation and Human Resources since 1 August 2019. 

Professor Osman previously served as the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities for five years and as a Professor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand. Prior to her appointment as Dean she served as the Head of the School of Education.

She also serves as the Convenor of the UNESCO Research Chair in Teacher Education for Diversity and Development. Professor Osman has extensive teaching and research experience in the field of teacher education and higher education. She is an elected member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa.

Her particular experience and expertise is in policy, pedagogy and students lived experiences of equity and access to higher education.

Professor Osman is widely published in the academic and popular press and has written, edited or co-edited several books and journal articles.

Chief Operating Officer

Mr Fana Sibanyoni

Fana SibanyoniFana Sibanyoni joined Wits in November 2016 to take up the newly established position of Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The position was created to both consolidate and expand the role and activities of the University.

The COO provides strategic leadership and direction for the following portfolios: Computer and Network Services; Business Intelligence Services; Property and Infrastructure Management and Development; Campus Planning and Development; and Campus Security (also known as Campus Control). Additionally, the COO is responsible for relationship development and broad implementation of business plans and related projects within the divisions.

Sibanyoni’s experience places him in good stead to navigate this vast portfolio. He has more than 20 years of experience straddling engineering and facilities management.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the former University of Natal, an MBA from the University of Cape Town, and completed the highly challenging International Executive Development Programme at the Wits Business School.

Prior to joining Wits he was the National Head of Facilities Management at Growth Point Properties and has held executive positions at Absa, Telkom and Airports Company South Africa. He held various engineering roles at Tongaat- Hullet Sugar Limited, Dow Agroscience, Sentram and Sasol.

Sibanyoni is a member of several industry bodies including the Institute of Directors Southern Africa, the South African Facilities Management Association, the South African Property Owners Association and the Black Management Forum.

University Registrar

Ms Carol Crosley

Carol Crosley has been the Registrar of Wits University since June 2014.

Since starting at Wits in 1998, Crosley has held various positions. She is the former Deputy Registrar: Enrolment at the University, a position she held from May 2013. Before that, from 2001, she was the Deputy Registrar and Head of the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC), which she played a pivotal role in establishing.

As the Deputy Registrar and Head of SEnC she was responsible for all matters related to admission and enrolment at the University, including the overall management of SEnC, the Schools Liaison Office and the International Students Office. During this time she played an active role in championing the implementation of two student management systems.

Her prior positions at Wits include Faculty Assistant Registrar in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management (1991-2001). She also managed the public relations portfolio in the Vice-Chancellor's Office (1998-1999).

Crosley's passion has always been education – she was a high school teacher for 10 years: first at King Edward V11 School from 1983 to 1987; and then at Sandown High School from 1992 to 1997. Maintaining close contact with her colleagues in secondary education has proved to be advantageous to Wits as she has built up a strong network in both the private and public schooling arena as well as with other higher education institutions over the years. She completed her Masters degree in Education in 2013, with her research dissertation focussing on how students can bring about change in their school environment.

Chief Financial Officer

Mr Prakash Desai

Prakash DesaiPrakash Desai joined Wits as Chief Financial Officer in January 2017. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds BCom and BCom Honours in Accounting Science degrees. Desai has filled various leadership and strategic roles over a long career. He held executive positions at both local and global multinationals. 

Prior to joining Wits, Desai worked in the financial sector as Chief Executive Officer of the Afrifocus Securities (Pty) Limited group. Before that he served as Group Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Group Financial Director at Times Media, Johncom and Avusa Limited respectively, and at the unlisted international Philips Group of Companies. Philips covered the technology, retail, marketing and manufacturing sectors.

Desai has also filled non-executive posts in the public and private sectors. He served on the Board of Caxton Publishers and Printers Ltd, a public listed company, from September 2000 to April 2007 and on its audit committee from February 2006 to April 2007. From June 2003 to November 2007 he served on the Board of M-Net/SuperSport and on its audit committee from June 2003 to November 2007. He is presently non-executive Chairman of Afrifocus Securities (Pty) Ltd.

In the university sector Desai has served as a member of the Board of the University of Witwatersrand Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd since May 2003. He chairs the audit and risk committee and the strategy and investment committee. He is a member of the remuneration and transformation committee, the sustainability committee, and the directors’ affairs committee. He served as a Board member of the University of Venda Foundation from 2005 to 2009.

Desai has also served on industry bodies including as a Board member of the World Association of Newspapers and Newspaper Publishers, from 2008 to 2012. He served two terms from August 2008 to July 2011 as President of Print Media South Africa, which represents over 700 newspaper and magazine titles in South Africa. He was also Chairman of the Board of the Newspaper Association of South Africa from August 2008 to July 2011.

In terms of charities, Desai was a trustee of the Argus Voting Trust from 2002 to 2012 and treasurer of the Kwaito Relief Fund from 2003 to 2005.

In these various roles Desai has focused on contributing to strategy, change and adding value. He brings these same objectives to Wits.

Dean of Students

Mr Jerome September 

Jerome September Wits Dean of StudentsJerome September was appointed as Dean of Student Affairs at Wits in May 2018 after joining the University as Deputy Dean of Student Affairs in February.

September was previously Head of Student Affairs at Sol Plaatje University, Northern Cape, where he was responsible for strategic and operational leadership of the Student Affairs Division. He brings a wealth of experience in this area to Wits, after having served for more than a decade at his alma mater, the University of Cape Town (UCT).

At UCT, September was manager for Student Governance and Leadership in the Student Affairs Department from 2005 to 2012. He was responsible, inter alia, for facilitating dialogue between student leaders and University authorities, managing and co-ordinating various leadership development initiatives, and co-ordinating the student leader awards programmes.

In 2012, September became Youth Development Connector at Citizens Movement in Cape Town. He returned to UCT in 2014 and worked as Special Projects Advisor to the Director of the International Academic Programmes Office until 2015.

During his student days, September was President of the Student Representative Council and served on UCT’s Council and Senate. He was co-chair of the first Institutional forum at UCT and was actively involved in the transformation process at the institution.

September holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Studies and a Master of Philosophy degree in human rights from UCT. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration at the University of Bath in the UK, focusing on creating an inclusive University.

Management Contact Information


Office-Bearers, Senior Executives and Administrators
Chancellor: Dr Judy Dlamini  
Chair of Council: Mr Isaac Shongwe  
Vice-Chancellor and Principal: Professor Zeblon Vilakazi
Management Committee (ManCo)
Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Zeblon Vilakazi 27 (0) 11 717 1152
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation Prof. Lynn Morris 27 (0) 11 386 6362
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic  Prof. Ruksana Osman 27 (0) 11 717 1142
Chief Operating Officer Fana Sibanyoni 27 (0) 11 717 1108/9 
University Registrar Carol Crosley 27 (0) 11 717 1201/2
Dean: Student Affairs Mr Jerome September 27 (0) 11 717 9102
Chief Financial Officer Prakash Desai 27 (0) 11 717 1501
Senior Management
Head: Academic Information and Systems Unit Maggie Maseka 27 (0) 11 717 1211
Director: Campus Protection Services Gary Kruser 27 (0) 11 717 1852
Chief Information Officer Dr Stanley Mpofu 27 (0) 11 717 1662
Deputy Registrar Nicoleen Potgieter 27 (0) 11 717 1208
Head: Student Enrolment Centre Sarona Makwana 27 (0) 11 717 1041
Director: Property and Infrastructure Management
Sifiso Nkosi
27 (0) 11 717 9014
Director: Services Israel Mogomotsi 27 (0) 11 717 1701
Manager: Procurement Zarina Hassim 27 (0) 11 717 9050
Director: Employee Relations Betina Fleming 27 (0) 11 717 1513
Manager: International Students Office Gita Patel 27 (0) 11 717 1057
Head: Strategic Partnerships Office Dr Mahomed Moolla 27 (0) 11 717 9731/2
Director: Centre for Learning and Teaching Development  Dr Rita Kizito 27 (0) 11 717 1481
Director: Legal Office    
University Librarian Paiki Muswazi 27 (0) 11 717 1901/3
Senior Director: Academic Affairs Prof. Diane Grayson  27 (0) 11 717 1181
Head: Communications Shirona Patel 27 (0) 11 717 1019
Head: Marketing Ferna Clarkson 27 (0) 11 717 1027
Human Resources: Senior Director Dr Kgomotso Kasonkola 27 (0) 11 717 1401
Human Resources: Remuneration Sudesh Harduth 27 (0) 11 717 1454
Director: Alumni Relations Peter Maher 27 (0) 11 717 1091
Director: Transformation & Employment Equity Bernadette Johnson 27 (0) 11 717 1461
Director: Wits Development Office Peter Bezuidenhoudt

27 (0) 11 717 9701

Director: Gender Equity Office Charlene Beukes

27 (0) 11 717 9792

Faculty Deans
Commerce, Law & Management Prof. Imraan Valodia 27 (0) 11 717 8011
Engineering and Built Environment  Prof. Ian Jandrell 27 (0) 11 717 7012
Health Sciences Prof. Shabir Madhi 27 (0) 11 717 2099
Humanities Prof. Garth Stevens 27 (0) 11 717 4012
27 (0) 11 717 6012