South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Faculty and Staff

Stewart Chirova, Academic Director

Stewart Chirova, Academic Director  
Stewart Chirova, a Zimbabwe national, received a BS in agriculture from the University of Zimbabwe, an MS and MPS in horticulture and environmental management from Cornell University, and a graduate diploma in business administration at De Mont Fort University in the UK. He has worked as a research associate at the University of Zimbabwe and at Cornell University. His research efforts were focused on sustainable agriculture, integrated pest management, watershed management, and geographic information systems. He has also taught courses for the Ministry of Education in Zimbabwe and served as a coordinator in the International Students and Scholars program office at Cornell University. Stewart served as the academic director of SIT’s program in Botswana from fall 2001 through spring 2010. Stewart has directed the South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights program since fall 2010. In addition to his role as academic director, he served as a member and later chair of the Program Affairs Committee on the SIT Study Abroad Governance Council (2007 until 2009).

Maggie Carpenter, Office Manager

Additional administrative and support staff include:

Maggie Carpenter, Office Manager
Maggie has worked with the SIT South Africa program for more than four years. In her current role as office manager, she helps ensure the smooth flow of program logistics. Her primary focus is on student accommodations and managing the program’s finances. She also provides important support to the students as they adapt to their new environment upon arrival.

Tabisa Dyonase

Tabisa Dyonase, Program Assistant
Tabisa has been with SIT since the spring of 2007. She chiefly focuses on helping students adapt to the program by addressing students’ day-to-day concerns, facilitating communication between the students and in-country staff, and assisting with administrative aspects of the program. She is also in charge of homestay coordination. Tabisa obtained a BA in psychology, education, and isiXhosa from the University of Port Elizabeth; a postgraduate diploma in communication and computing from London Centre College for Business Studies; and a postgraduate degree in public relations management from UNISA (University of South Africa).

Lecturers for this program typically include:

Richard Calland, LLM
Richard Calland is an associate professor in the University of Cape Town’s Public Law Department. He teaches constitutional and human rights law as well as some administrative law. He specializes in the law and practice of the right to access information and whistle-blowing protections; in administrative justice; in public ethics; and in constitutional design, largely shaped by his work as program manager at the Political Information and Monitoring Service at Idasa, the leading democracy think tank in Africa, which he led from its inception in 1995 until 2003. He continues to play a role at Idasa as acting manager of the center’s economic governance program, which was initiated in January 2007.

In 2000, Calland founded the Open Democracy Advice Centre, a law center based in Cape Town, which promotes the "right to know", advises whistleblowers, advocates legal reform, and takes test case litigation on access to information. He is currently serving as the center’s part-time executive director. Additionally, he is a member of the transparency task team at the Institute for Public Dialogue at Columbia University led by Professor Joseph Stiglitz. In recent years, Professor Calland served as an expert consultant to the Carter Center, advising on various transparency projects in Bolivia, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru, and Mali. He writes a fortnightly political column for the Mail and Guardian newspaper and Contretemps and is a regular commentator in the media. In 2005, he spent two terms as a visiting scholar at Cambridge University’s Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. In 2006, he spent a month as a visiting lecturer in constitutional law at the law department of Meiji University, Tokyo. Before coming to South Africa in 1994, he practiced law at the London Bar. He holds an LLM from the University of Cape Town, a diploma in world politics from the London School of Economics, and a BA (Hons) in law from the University of Durham.

Selected Publications

  • Anatomy of South Africa: Who Holds the Power? Zebra Press. October 2006.
  • Prizing Open the Profit Making World in Florini A. (ed). The Right to Know: Transparency for an Open World. Columbia University Press: 2007.
  • Democracy in the Time of Mbeki: Idasa's Democracy Index. Co-editor (with Paul Graham). IDASA. April 2005.
  • Whistleblowing Around the World: Law, Culture & Practice. Co-editor (with Guy Dehn). Open Democracy Advice Centre & Public Concern at Work. April 2004.
  • The Right to Know, The Right to Live: Access to Information & Socio-economic Justice. Co-editor (with Alison Tilley). Open Democracy Advice Centre. October 2002.
  • Thabo Mbeki's World: The Politics & Ideology of the South African President. Joint Co-editor (with Sean Jacobs). University of Natal Press/Zed Books. September 2002.
  • Real Politics: The Wicked Issues with Sean Jacobs and Greg Power. British Council: December 2001.
  • The First Five Years: A Review of South Africa's First Democratic Parliament. Editor. IDASA: September 1999.
  • The Democracy Index with Robert Mattes in In the Balance? Debating the State of Democracy in South Africa. Paul Graham & Alice Coetze (eds). IDASA. May 2002
  • Democratic Government: South African Style, 1994-99 in Election \'99, Edited by Andrew Reynolds, David Phillips/James Currey, Cape Town/London: August 1999
  • State Ethics and Executive Accountability in Pulse: Passages in Democracy-Building: Assessing South Africa's Transition IDASA, August 1998.
  • Tough on Crime and Strong on Human Rights: The Challenge for all of us. With Thabani Masuku. Law, Democracy & Development; UWC. June 2001.
  • Parliament and the socio-economic imperative – what is the role of the national legislature with Mandy Taylor, Law, Democracy & Development, vol. 1, Nov. 1997, Butterworths in association with the Social Law Project & Community Law Centre at the University of Western Cape.
  • “All Dressed up with no-where to go? The Rapid Transformation of the South African Parliamentary Committee System” in The Changing Role of Parliamentary Committees. Longley, L. & Agh, A. (eds). Wisconsin: Lawrence University. Research Committee of Legislative Specialists, International Political Science Association, and Governance in Southern Africa, occasional paper No. 5, 1997, School of Government, University of Western Cape.

Professor Pierre de Vos
Professor Pierre de Vos is the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance and teaches in the area of constitutional law at the University of Cape Town. He has a BComm (Law), LLB, and LLM (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, an LLM from Columbia University, and an LLD from the University of Western Cape. He taught at the University of Western Cape from 1993 until June 2009 and has held a professorship at that institution since 2001. Professor de Vos is the chairperson of the board of the AIDSLegal Network and is also a board member of Triangle Project. He writes a widely read and quoted blog on social and political issues from a constitutional law perspective. His recent articles include the following:

  • "Grootboom, the right of access to housing and substantive equality as contextual fairness" SAJHR vol. 17 (2001) 258.
  • "South Africa's Constitutional Court: starry-eyed in the face of History" Vermont Law Review vol. 26 (2002) 837-864.
  • "Transformative Justice: Social and Economic Rights in South Africa's Constitution" 243-262 Peter van der Auweraert, Tom de Pelsmaker, Jeremy Sarkin, Johan van de Lanotte Social, Economic and Cultural Rights: and appraisal of current European and International Developments (2002) Maku Publishers, Belgium.
  • "So much to do, so little done" the right of access to anti-retroviral drugs post Grootboom vol. 7 (2003) Law, Democracy and Development 83.
  • "Gay and lesbian legal theory" 328-353 in Roeder C & Moelendorf (eds.) Jurisprudence (2004) Juta publishers.
  • "Same-sex sexual desire and the re-imagining of the South African family" South African Journal on Human Rights vol. 20 (2004) 179.
  • "Critical reflections on South Africa's Civil Union Saga" (co-authored with Jaco Barnard-Naude)(2007) part IV South African Law Journal 795-826.
  • "The 'inevitability' of same-sex marriage in democratic South Africa" vol. 23 (2007) South African Journal on Human Rights 432-465.
  • "From heteronormativity to full sexual citizenship?: Equality and sexual freedom in Laurie Ackerman's constitutional jurisprudence" in J Barnard-Naude, D Cornell & F Du Bois (eds) Dignity, Freedom and the Post-Apartheid Legal Order (2008)
  • "Experience of Human Rights in Africa: Challenges of Implementing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights" in Chris Maina Peter (ed.) The Protectors: Human Rights Commissions and Accountability in East Africa (2008) 1-28.

Professor Amanda Gouws, PhD
Amanda Gouws is a professor of political science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 2007 she was the Edith Keeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in South African politics, gender politics, and political behavior. 

She has published widely on issues related to South African politics, including the electoral system, women's representation and the National Gender Machinery for Women, and sexual harassment. She co-authored Overcoming Intolerance in South Africa: Experiments in Democratic Persuasion with James Gibson from Washington University in St. Louis (Cambridge University Press 2003), which received the Alexander George Book Award for best book in political psychology in 2003. She edited (Un)Thinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa (UK: Ashgate and Cape Town: Juta, 2005), which looks closely at the conditions of citizenship for women in South Africa. It was selected book of the month for February 2007 by Constitutional Hill, the seat of South Africa’s Constitutional Court.  Her recent articles in academic peer-reviewed journals have appeared in Signs, African and Asian Studies, Journal of International Women's Studies, Feminist Africa, Politikon, American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, and the South African Journal of Higher Education.

In 2004, she received the Rector's Award for Excellence in Research. She conducted a major research project on conditions of care in communities in South Africa with a high HIV/AIDS prevalence from the perspective of the feminist ethics of care. She is also doing research on the South African Women's Movement and its trajectory in post-apartheid South Africa.

She is a board member of the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town.

Sekibakiba Peter Lokgoathi, PhD
Sekibakiba Legkoathi is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at Wits University. He specializes in the teaching of African and American history. As a member of the Wits History Workshop he has worked with schoolteachers on the new South African history curriculum. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are: Ndebele ethnicity; anthropology, fieldwork, and African research assistants; vernacular radio and listenership – past and present; Radio Freedom and listenership at home. Oral history constitutes a major component of his research endeavours.

Professor Steven Robins
Steven Robins is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch. He has published on a wide range of topics, including the politics of land; "development" and identity in Zimbabwe and South Africa; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; urban studies; and, most recently, citizenship and governance. His book From Revolution to Rights in South Africa: Social Movements and Popular Politics (2008) focuses on globally connected social movements, NGOs, and CBOs that are involved in democratic struggles over access to AIDS treatment, land, and housing. He edited Limits to Liberation After Apartheid: Citizenship, Governance and Culture (David Philip, James Currey, and Ohio University Press, 2005). He also edited a volume with Nick Shepherd, New South African Keywords (Jacana and Ohio University Press, 2008).

Professor Kees van der Waal
Kees van der Waal has conducted ethnographic research in poor rural areas in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, where he has investigated the role of crafts in the informal sector; social relationships (residential instability, gender violence); and the impact of development interventions. His interest in the anthropology of development is reflected in a recent study he completed of the complexity of local development in the Dwars River Valley near Stellenbosch. Another area of interest is Afrikaner identity politics as a basis for the polarisation between volkekunde and social anthropology, and for recent ethno-cultural manifestations, such as the Afrikaans language debate and popular music. He is also interested in the role of ethnographic fieldwork in research methodology.

Kees van der Waal is the vice president of Anthropology Southern Africa and serves on the editorial boards of the association's journal Anthropology Southern Africa, as well as the SAVUSA (South Africa - VU University Amsterdam - Strategic Alliances) publication program.


Costs Dates



Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Cape Town

Language Study: Afrikaans,  isiXhosa

Prerequisites: None

South Africa

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)


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