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Steering Committee

A/Prof Lillian Artz

Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit

Prior to establishing the Gender Health & Justice Research Unit in 2004, Lillian spent 10 years as a chief researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Criminology (Faculty of Law, UCT). Lillian has published widely on domestic violence, sexual offences, sex work and women’s rights to freedom and security. She has also worked intensively on criminal justice and health care reform in South Africa and other African countries over the past 15 years. This includes partnering with local and regional NGO’s to improve research, documentation and advocacy strategies to effect policy change, legal reform and access to justice.

Her current project work includes monitoring the implementation of South Africa’s Sexual Offences Act as well as conducting research on female offenders, domestic homicide, the medico-legal management of domestic violence and sexual offences, and the attrition of domestic violence cases in the criminal justice system. She is also co-directing a project on torture on ill treatment in six post-conflict African countries, including South Africa, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique and Uganda.

As a British Council Fellow and Wingate Scholar, she completed her doctoral work at the Faculty of Law (Criminology & Criminal Justice) at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is co-editor of “Should we Consent: Rape Law Reform in South Africa” and of “Hard Time(s): Women’s Pathways to Crime and Incarceration” (forthcoming). Her book “Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?” will be published in 2012.

Dr Leon Holtzhausen
Department of Social Development

Leon Holtzhausen holds a MSW degree (Specialization in Community Development) and a PhD (Specialisation in Criminal Justice Social Work). After graduating, Holtzhausen practised clinical social work in a Super Maximum Prison and specialised in offender profiling, assessment and mental health treatment of male adult and juvenile offenders and their families. Holtzhausen was later promoted by the National Department of Correctional Services to the position of Deputy Director Research where he was responsible for national oversight of research in the Department. As an expert in programme design and development, Holtzhausen also filled the position of Deputy Director Correctional Programmes Department of Correctional Services from 2002 onwards where he was responsible for the design and development of national offender  treatment and rehabilitation programmes. In 2004, Holtzhausen left South Africa and took up an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Social Work, United Arab Emirates University in the UAE. Here he expanded his research interest to transnational social work, migrant workers and human trafficking. In 2010, Holtzhausen returned to South Africa where he now teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate social development students at the University of Cape Town. He is a member of various organisations for example the National and Provincial Accreditation Committee of the Department of Social Development, the Child Justice Alliance, the South African Violence and Safety Initiative, the Social Services Profession Advocacy Network and various other professional bodies. Holtzhausen is also a Committee Member of the All-Africa Criminal Justice Society (AACJS) in Portfolio: Prisons, and serves on the Editorial Committee of the Journal on Criminal Justice in Africa (JUST). His latest books; “Criminal Justice Social Work - A South African Practice Framework”  and “Competencies for Correctional Social Work – Knowledge and Skills for Effective Practice” were both published in 2012.

Dr Guy Lamb
SaVI Director

Guy Lamb is the Director of Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He also convenes postgraduate courses in the Department of Political Studies and the Department of Public Law at UCT. Guy is currently a member of technical advisory committee of the Western Cape Government’s Community Safety Improvement Partnership. He also serves on the governing board of the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District. Prior to joining SaVI this he was a Senior Research Fellow and Programme Head of the Arms Management Programme at the Institute for Security Studies. He has undertaken research and published on arms control, violence reduction, conflict management and peace building issues in Africa for more than 15 years. He has served on the UN Security Council Panel of Experts on Liberia and was a member of the UN’s small arms control standards expert reference group. He has worked extensively with a number of African governments to strengthen firearms control processes in Southern Africa.

A/Prof Andrew Nicol
Department of Surgery

Andrew Nicol is a trauma surgeon and has been the Director of the Trauma Centre at Groote Schuur Hospital for the past 14 years.  The Groote Schuur Trauma Centre is recognized both nationally and internationally as a centre for excellence in training and research. This is reflected by the large number of students, surgeons and emergency medicine physicians from all over the world who compete to visit the centre in order to gain trauma expertise. He also serves as the Associate Professor of Surgery at UCT. Andrew holds an MBChB from UCT and an FCS (SA) from the College of Medicine of South Africa. He completed his PhD at UCT in 2012 on the “Current management of penetrating cardiac trauma.” Andrew is the Editor of the Oxford University Press Handbook of Trauma 1st and 2nd editions, has published 10 chapters in books and has 68 peer review publications.

Prof Jeremy Seekings
Centre for Social Science Research
Department of Sociology

Jeremy Seekings is the Director of the Centre for Social Science Research and has been at UCT since 1992. He has regularly been a Visiting Professor at Yale (for a total of seven semesters since 1999), as well as spending one semester each at Oxford and Princeton. He has an undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford, an Honours degree in African Politics from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a D.Phil in Politics from Oxford. His doctorate was a study of political mobilization and organization in South African townships between 1978 and 1984.

His current research includes: Politics and economics of distribution and redistribution in post-apartheid South Africa; welfare state building in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa; race and class in comparative perspective; political change in the Western Cape; household dynamics and HIV-AIDS; everyday violence in South Africa.

Jeremy currently teaches courses on: race and class; the sociology of work; social theory; the analysis of household survey research; and the comparative politics of social policy. He has also taught on contemporary South African politics and society, democratic theory, and comparative politics broadly. Within the Centre for Social Science Research, he directs two linked survey projects in Cape Town: the Cape Area Study (focused on adults) and the Cape Area Panel Study (focused on adolescents). Both of these projects have qualitative research components alongside the quantitative data.

Prof Sebastian van As
Department of Paediatric Surgery
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
Department of Surgery

Prof Sebastian van As (MBChB, MMed, FC(SA), MBA, PhD) is head of the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, the only dedicated trauma unit for children in Africa. He also chairs Childsafe South Africa as well as the Global Road Safety Partnership in South Africa. He has over 200 publications and is editor of a text book on paediatric trauma. He has been active in a wide range of research projects, educational initiatives and advocacy roles and international conferences on child safety initiatives. He is presently involved in a number  of  international academic collaborations; all in the field of child trauma and safety: Global Susy Safe Project, Global Road Safety Partnership, Safekids Worldwide, World Health Organization and UNICEF.

Prof Elrena van der Spuy
Centre for Criminology

Elrena van der Spuy is a Professor in the Department of Public Law, a member of the Centre of Criminology, and Deputy Dean of Post-Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. She has a PhD from the University of Cape Town, a Masters degree in Sociology from University of Stellenbosch and has taught Sociology and Criminology at a number of Institutions. Elrena has published on crime and policing in South Africa, Africa and internationally. More recently she has begun to explore the role of police in peacekeeping on the one hand, and the role of the South African police in the border conflict of the post-1976 period of South African history on the other.

Recent projects include:
– Police in the context of Peacekeeping – an exploration of the way in which the transnational space of peace missions places new demands on pockets of national police.
– Policing conflict – an investigation into the politics and logistics of policing conflict through the examination of national and regional case studies.
– Social history of criminal justice reform – exploring through a series of case studies the social histories of South African criminal justice reform through oral histories involving elites situated in policy networks, bureaucratic institutions and/or civil society structures.

A/Prof Catherine L. Ward
Department of Psychology

Catherine L. Ward is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  She holds a PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina, USA.  Her research interests are in violence prevention from the perspective of children’s development, and particularly in public health approaches to this – in developing evidence-based approaches to violence prevention that have a wide reach and are effective in improving children’s development and reducing their likelihood of becoming aggressive.  Much of her current work is focused on preventing child maltreatment, and on understanding the epidemiology of risk factors faced by South African children.

 Recently, she and her colleagues Amelia van der Merwe and Andrew Dawes produced the edited volume Youth violence: Sources and solutions in South Africa.  The book reviews the current state of the science in understanding how to prevent children from becoming aggressive, and how to adapt the evidence-base for use in low- and middle-income countries.  It is available here:

With Peter Donnelly from St Andrews University, she has edited the forthcoming Oxford Textbook of Violence Prevention: Epidemiology, Evidence and Policy, published by Oxford University Press in 2015.  This book presents the current state of the science in violence prevention, and is the first of its kind.

In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health and the Steering Committee of the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town; and on the Editorial Boards of the journals South African Crime Quarterly, Psychosocial Interventions, and Child Abuse and Neglect.

A/Prof Rajen Govender
Centre for Social Science Research
Department of Sociology

Rajen Govender graduated with a MA from New York University (NYU) and a MA and PhD from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), specialising in Political Psychology, Survey Research Methodology and Advanced Quantitative Methods. His graduate work focused on relative deprivation and alienation as explanations for political protest. His present research focuses on social cohesion and reconciliation in transitional societies, HIV and AIDS in the construction industry, reducing child vulnerability to injury and mortality in poor communities, and promoting community development through engaged local agency and peace initiatives. He has published over 25 articles in peer reviewed journals, and co-edited the volume Rethinking Reconciliation: Evidence from South Africa. He currently teaches graduate research and quantitative methods for Sociology, Political Science and Development Policy and Practice. A/Prof Govender is also Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) at UCT.

Prof Shanaaz Mathews
Children's Institute

Shanaaz Mathews is the director of the Children’s Institute and is a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town. She has a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has 30 years’ experience in the women’s and children’s sectors and has worked within civil society organisations as an academic and technical advisor to government programs specializing in violence against women and children.  She currently serves as an International Advisory Board member for the UNICEF Innocenti Research Office Florence, on the Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence and is amanaging committee member for theDST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research interests include violence against women and children, as well as pathways to violent masculinities using both qualitative and quantitative approaches.She has led the seminal research into child homicide in South Africa. Her current research is focused on understanding gaps in the child protection system with a focus on alternative models of treating trauma in low-resourced settings. She has led the determinants of violence against women and children study for the South African Inter-ministerial parliamentary committee and has served as a technical advisor on South Africa’s diagnostic review of government programs to address violence against women and children.

Dr Sianne Alves
Office for Inclusivity & Change

Sianne Alves is the Director of the Office for Inclusivity & Change at UCT. She has multi-sectoral expertise across international and national government, corporate and civil society contexts. She is an alumni of the University of Cape Town, University of Free State and the University of Stellenbosch. She has experience of multiple higher education contexts in South Africa which assists in keeping abreast of, and in some instances pioneering, systemic change within UCT.