UCT Research Assistants

Current UCT Research Assistants

  • Rorisang Lekalake is a second-year MA candidate in Political Science at UCT and a Research Assistant in DARU, working on ALP Module 2. Her thesis is on intergenerational value change and citizenship values in Botswana.

  • Moletsane Monyake is a political science Masters degree candidate and research associate with DARU. His current research interests lie in political behaviour and political methodology with special emphasis on measurement validation.

  • Tiffany Mugo is an International Relations Masters student working for ALP, DARU. Her Honours and Masters level research is based primarily around the protection of human rights. Her Master’s dissertation research seeks to explore the protection of women’s rights in Africa by women’s rights advocates through the utilisation of international law.

  • Carlos Shenga is a Ph.D Candidate in Political Science and a Research Assistant for ALP (African Legislatures Project) in the Democracy in Africa Research Unit.
    Thesis title: Legislative Recruitment and Institutionalization, Committee Performance
    and Public Support for Legislature in Mozambique: A Comparative Case Study over Three First Multiparty Legislatures.

  • Dadisai Taderera’s research investigates the extent to which citizens in the new South Africa extend legitimacy to the state. Under apartheid, the state governed [mainly] by coercion rather than widely shared state legitimacy. When citizens regard the state as legitimate it increases their compliance with laws and overall stability. This allows the state to concentrate on delivering governance and services. Using mass public opinion survey data by Afrobarometer from 1999 to 2008, this study examines trends in public perceptions of state legitimacy over time and across racial/ethnic groups. Preliminary analyses suggest that South African institutions may be declining in legitimacy with the biggest declines being found among black South Africans.
    Thesis topic – Assessing state legitimacy in South Africa post 1994

Past UCT Research Assistants

  • Dustin Kramer’s research interests lie both in political theory and comparative politics. At DARU, he has been working as a research assistant on the African Legislatures Project. He is currently completing an MPhil in Comparative Government at the University of Oxford, focusing on the political consequences of socio-economic rights within constitutions, and the courts as a site of political participation.

  • Nasiphi Moya’s research sought to identify the centralization in South Africa by testing indicators such as legal (constitutional), financial autonomy, human resource, public participation and functional areas of local government. Literature suggests that local government is getting weak in these areas.
    Thesis topic – Towards centralization: an overview of South African Local Government

  • Glen Mpani holds both Honours and Masters Degrees in Democratic Governance from the University of Cape Town. He is currently working as the Programme Director of Human Rights and Governance at the Open Society Foundation South Africa, a grant making foundation. He has previously worked for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation as a Regional Co-ordinator on the African Transitional Justice Research Network and as Programme Officer with the Public Affairs and Parliamentary Support Trust based in Zimbabwe. At a regional level he participated in the Fredskorpset/ IDASA governance Research Fellowship based at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa in Cape Town.

  • Dangalira Mughogho completed a Masters degree in Democratic Governance at University of Cape Town in 2011. His thesis topic was: The role of public opinion in Africa’s third term bids. Danga has worked as a research assistant on various DARU projects.

  • Erica Penfold completed a Masters degree in Political Science at the University of Cape Town in 2010 and was awarded a distinction for her thesis. The thesis topic was: “The role of political actors in determining ethnicity in Rwanda”. In the first half of 2011 she worked for the Democracy in Africa Research Unit as a Research Assistant on the African Legislatures Project and other projects. In July 2011 Erica took up the post of Project Manager at Global Integrity, based in Cape Town.

  • Michelle Romo received an MA in Political Science in June 2011 and was awarded her degree and thesis with distinction. By using systematic analysis of Afrobarometer survey data, her thesis, National Identity in Post Apartheid South Africa, explored to what extent ANC nation building discourse of inclusive citizenship was relevant to South African national identity. She is currently assisting Professor Mattes with his forthcoming book.

  • Alexandra Searle completed a Masters in International Relations in 2010 with a specific focus on African Legislative activity around HIV/AIDS. She is an independent research consultant, and junior research associate for the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town.

  • Leah Shearman completed her Masters in Democratic Governance in June 2010. As a research assistant with ALP between 2008 -2009, Leah worked on a number of Modules, including Module 1 (collecting data about national backgrounds and national political institutions), Module 3 (individual attributes of MPs) and Module 5 (civil society’s perception of Parliament and legislators in South Africa and Namibia).  Leah also utilized data from Module 3 in her thesis which focused on quality of political representation in five Southern African countries by examining electoral competition and levels of reported constituency service.