Centre for Rehabilitation Studies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​Centre for Disability & Rehabilitation Studies




Professor Gubela Mji (Head of the Department)

Email: gumji@su.ac.za
Tel: 021 938 9528

Prof Gubela Mji has a PhD in Family Medicine: Indigenous health knowledge, Stellenbosch University, 2013; MSc Physiotherapy: Disability and homelessness, University of Cape Town, 2001; BSc Physiotherapy: Medical University of Southern Africa, 1992; Postgraduate Dip. (HED): University of South Africa (UNISA), 1989; Dip. Physiotherapy: Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA) 1982.

Prof Gubela Mji is the director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies at Stellenbosch University where she directs a vibrant Division which aims to improve the quality of life and level of community integration of persons with disabilities.  She is engaged in various collaborative disability research projects and networks at both African and international levels for realization of the rights of people with disabilities. Some of her work involves issues of development of models of best practice for rehabilitation, transformation, development and indigenous knowledge systems.

Prof Gubela Mji is the current chairperson and visionary behind the African Network for Evidence-to-Action in Disability (AfriNEAD) (www.sun.ac.za/AfriNEAD). 


Dr Martha Geiger (Senior Lecturer)

Email: mgeiger@sun.ac.za

Tel: 021 938 9936

Dr Martha Geiger is a registered speech therapist with a passion for increasing the communicative participation of children with severe disabilities in under-resourced communities. Her work at the CRS includes teaching (a masters module on Applied Research Methods and a postgraduate diploma module on Ethics and Community Constructs); supervising student research in diverse aspects of disability and rehabilitation and a social impact project, the Chaeli Campaign Journal Club and Writing Project​



Dr Surona Visagie (Post-Doctoral fellow)

Email: surona@telkomsa.net

Surona qualified in 1986 as a physiotherapist and subsequently completed her masters and PhD degrees in health sciences (Disability and Rehabilitation) at Stellenbosch University.  She has been involved in various research projects of the CRS, including, "Health Care Access for Vulnerable groups in Africa".  She focusses on the supervision of master's students and has to date successfully supervised 19 master's students.  Her interests focus on physical rehabilitation, disability, community integration and assistive devices.


Dr Callista Kahonde (Post-Doctoral fellow)

​Dr Callista Kahonde is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies. She completed a PhD in Disability Studies from the University of Cape Town, a Master's Degree in Physiotherapy from the University of the Western Cape and a BSc Hons Physiotherapy Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. Her research interests are on issues of community life and family living for people with disabilities, especially those with intellectual disabilities. She is a passionate disability activist and advocate and is involved in training workshops for service providers and families of children and young adults with intellectual disabilities under the auspices of the Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disabilities. Callista currently holds the NRF Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship and her research project is exploring feasibility of development of cell phone technology to promote knowledge of sexuality and prevention and reporting of sexual abuse and risk by persons with intellectual disabilities in the Western Cape Province. 

Dr Lieketseng Ned (Senior lecturer)​

Email: lieketseng@sun.ac.za  
Tel: 021 938 9615
Fax to email: 086 733 8864

Dr Lieketseng Ned is an Occupational Therapist (BSc OT, UWC) by profession with an MPhil in Disability Studies (UCT) and a PhD in Health Sciences Rehabilitation (SU). She is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Disability & Rehabilitation Studies within the Department of Global Health at Stellenbosch University. Dr Ned convenes the Post Graduate Diploma in Disability and Rehabilitation Studies and teaches one of its modules (Community integration of disabled people), co-convenes a semester module of the Masters programme in Human Rehabilitation. She also leads the short course portfolio and supervises various Masters and PhD students. Her research interests include: critical disability studies, community-based rehabilitation, Indigenous knowledges/ methodologies and decolonial health and education. She is a 2019 top 200 Mail & Guardian young South African future leader awardee and the country representative for CBR Africa Network for SOUTH AFRICA.


Mrs Maria Van Zyl (Lecturer)

Email: mvanzyl@sun.ac.za
Tel: 021 938 9180

​Mrs Maria van Zyl studied Occupational Therapy at the University of Stellenbosch. After graduating in 2002, and completing her year of community service in the North West Province, Maria spent some time in England working for Social Services and the NHS. When she returned to South Africa, she started working in a private paediatric practice. Maria has been working at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies since 2008. She is primarily involved in the MBChB curriculum offering lectures and practical experience in disability and rehabilitation in the Health in Context, Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Dr as Change Agent in Communities and Primary Health Care clinical modules. She is actively involved in the MBChB curriculum renewal process at Stellenbosch University and has a passion to assist in the development of future change agents who are respectful team players and see the patient and his/ her family as the central, most important member of the team.


Dr Chioma Ohajunwa (Postdoc fellow)​

​Dr Chioma Ohajunwa has an MPhil in Disability Studies, and a PhD in Health Sciences Rehabilitation. She is a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies at Stellenbosch University. Her research interests are in the areas of, wellbeing and Spirituality, Policy development and Indigenous Knowledge systems, disability education, transformation and transculturality. Dr Ohajunwa currently coordinates the PHD community of practice group and convenes the post-graduate, and masters course on disability policy analysis. Chioma is the Vice president, Bhabhisana NGO Board, Chair - Advancing Disability Research in Africa (ADRA) Working Group PhD Programme and a board member of African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD).



 Mrs Hillary Lane (AfriNEAD Coordinator)

Tel: 021 938 9936/ 0609743043

Once a week I participate at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies to Co-ordinate the activities of AfriNEAD- the African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability. As a person with a disability – Cerebral Palsy - I enjoy working for the benefit of other people with disabilities.



Ms Anita Palmer (Secretary)
Email: apalmer@sun.ac.za
Tel: 021 938 9090
Fax: 021 938 9740​