Start main page content

News about Witsies


Dip in for news, radio interviews, video clips and inspiration!

  • The Mail & Guardian’s list of 200 exceptional young South Africans includes artists, entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers and … a chess-playing philosopher. Connect with their inspiring stories here.
  • Learn more about the Witsies who feature in the book Legends of South African Science, available online.
  • Johnny Clegg plans to put on a concert at Wits in 2018.
  • Meet three outstanding Witsies in financial services: Elash Mistry, Adrian Gore and Andy Kuper.
  • Alumna Professor Daynia Ballot is the new Head of the School of Clinical Medicine.
  • Mining company Gold Fields continues to support Wits as a producer of the skills needed by industry in the future. Wits alumnus Nick Holland recently handed over a R6-million sponsorship to the University.
  • Gold mining company Sibanye is investing R15-million in the School of Mining Engineering to enable strategic research into the mine of the future. “We need to create the platform for greater innovation through expanded research and education by leading institutions such as Wits,” said Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman (BSc Eng 1981).
  • Dean of Science and Wits alumnus Professor Ebrahim Momoniat has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.
  • Seven Wits scholars were inaugurated into the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2017.
  • Alumni Professors Lynn Morris and Lee Berger are among the world’s most highly cited researchers. Read more about work on HIV vaccines by Prof Morris, alumna Prof Penelope Moore and others.
  • The National Research Foundation announced that Professor Lyn Wadley (PhD 1987), a joint Honorary Professor of Archaeology at Wits, has been awarded an A1-rating. This means she is recognised as a leading scholar in her field internationally for the high quality and wide impact of her recent research outputs. Her speciality is the African Stone Age.
  • The NRF’s 2017 Women in Science awards recognised two young Witsies: Dr Tiisetso Lephoto (Distinguished Young Woman Researcher: Research and Innovation) and Palesa Mgaga (DST Fellowship: Master’s Degree). Dr Lephoto has a PhD in molecular and cell biology and has also recently received the National Research Foundation’s award for Excellence in Science Engagement.  Mgaga’s research is on forestry education.
  • Sports injury researcher  Dr Benita Olivier (MSc 2008, PhD 2013) has been elected to the SA Young Academy of Science.
  • A new laboratory at Wits honours the late Professor Peter King (BSc Eng 1958, MSc Eng 1962), admired for his rapport with students and for pioneering work in metallurgical engineering.
  • Dr Ethel Andrews (MSc Nursing 2004, PhD 2015) is the first non-surgeon to be elected President of the South African Burn Society. Did you know that you can donate your skin to help burn patients?
  • Dr Mehnaaz Ally (MBBCh 2005) is doing great work in paediatric palliative care at Lambano Sanctuary. Read more
  • Funeka Montjane (BCom 1999, BCom Acc 2000), CE of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank, is the recipient of two prestigious business awards. She was named 2016 Business Woman of the Year in the Corporate Category by the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, and 2016 Private Sector CEO of the Year by the African Woman Chartered Accountants.  Read more about her personality and her personal journey from poverty to professional success. In this Destiny article she talks about teaching your daughter financial independence.
  • Author Fiona Melrose (BA 1996, BA Hons 1997, MA 2000) speaks on BBC’s Radio 4 about her new novel, Johannesburg.
  • Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe (MBBCh 1987) talks about her purpose in life, her inner circle, philanthropy and how women are making headway.
  • Rainn Vlietman (BA P&VA 2016) won a Mercedes Benz Bokeh Fashion Film Festival challenge and was featured on the TV show Top Billing. 
  • Engineers Oskar Steffen, Andy Robertson and Hendrik Kirsten founded a firm which has endured and grown for 40 years: SRK Consulting.
  • Cardiologist Dr Peter Landless (MBBCh 1974) was elected Director of the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s Health Ministries department. 
  • Architect Clive Chipkin (BArch 1955) donated the archives of his work to the School of Architecture and Planning in the name of his late wife, Valerie Chipkin.
  • Itumeleng Molefi (BSc 2012, BSc Hons 2014) teaches physical science at the high school in the small Karoo town of Carnarvon. The town is as close as a town can get to the Square Kilometre Array, which provided him with a bursary.
  • Kenny Fihla (MBA 2005) became chief executive of Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking in May. 
  • Nozipho Sithole (BCom 1987, LLB 1989) has been appointed Transnet Port Terminals CEO.
  • Advocate Mohamed Shafie Ameermia received the 2017 Robert G Storey International Award for Leadership from the Center for American and International Law.
  • Dr Gloria Gearing (BSc 1945, BSc Hons 1946, MBBCH 1949), Jungian analyst and obstetrician at St Mary’s Hospital in Marianhill, passed away in July, in her 92nd year.
  • Did you know? Swaziland’s Chief Justice is a Witsie: Bheki Maphalala (BProc 1989, LLB 1991). South Africa’s Chief Justice from 2001 to 2005, the late Arthur Chaskalson (BCom 1952, LLB 1954, honorary LLD 1990), was also a Witsie. Anthony Gubbay (BA 1953, honorary LLD 2005) was Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice from 1990 to 2001.
  • Gary Buchman (BCom 1975, LLB 1977) is again on the list of Best Lawyers in America, a peer review publication highlighting the top 5% of practising attorneys in the United States.
  • Technology boffin Arthur Goldstuck (BA 1984) talks about his background, his career and his attitude to money.
  • BCom graduate Morati Kemokotlile talks about her job as procurement officer on a solar power construction project in the Northern Cape.
  • Linguist and Lithops expert Professor Desmond Cole (BA 1949, BA Hons 1950, MA 1952, hon LLD 1988) is the same age as Wits – 94 – and still takes a keen interest in the University.
  • Daniel Janks (BADA 2000) plays George Bizos (BA 1951, LLB 1954, hon LLD 1999) in the movie An Act of Defiance, about Bram Fischer. Advocate Bizos turned 90 in 2017.
  • Valerie Thomas (BSc OT 1974) and her team won the MTN Award for Best Agricultural App for their tree identification app.
  • Keitumetse-Kabelo Murray (BA 2016, BA Hons 2017) and his team won the 2017 Geneva Challenge for their Umvuzo job-seekers app.  
  • Dr Lynne Opperman (BSc 1979, BSc Hons 1980, PhD 1985) is the new department head of biomedical sciences at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.



Giving to Wits

School of Public Health Building

Whether you invest in a promising young student, or contribute towards vital research or new buildings and facilities – giving to Wits brings great personal satisfaction and lasting results you can be proud of for years to come.

Give to Wits