Centre for Rehabilitation Studies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Disability & ​Rehabilitation Studies




Prof Lieketseng Ned (Head of Division: Disability and Rehabilitation Studies​)​

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

Prof 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 the Head of the Department 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.

Prof Martha Geiger (Senior Lecturer)

Email: mgeiger@sun.ac.za

Tel: 021 938 9936

Prof 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​ 

Prof Brian Watermeyer

Senior lecturer
Email: bwatermeyer@sun.ac.za

Prof Brian Watermeyer trained as a clinical psychologist (M.A. {Clin. Psych.}) at UCT, before completing a doctorate in psychology (D. Phil), focusing on disability studies, at Stellenbosch University. He was first editor of South Africa's first major text in disability studies, entitled Disability and Social Change: A South African Agenda, published in 2006 (HSRC Press). His second book, Towards a Contextual Psychology of Disablism, was published internationally by Routledge in 2013. His most recent book is The Palgrave Handbook of Disability and Citizenship in the Global South (New York: Palgrave), edited by B. Watermeyer, J. McKenzie and L. Swartz (2019). Prof Watermeyer has an extensive list of international journal publications, book chapters, and media appearances as a disability scholar and activist. He has taught on a host of postgraduate programmes at Stellenbosch University, UCT and UWC, in disability studies, clinical psychology, general psychology, medicine and rehabilitation science.   ​


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 Surona Visagie (Post-Doctoral fellow)

Email: suronav@sun.ac.za

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 (Senior Lecturer)

​Dr Callista Kahonde is a Senior Lecturer 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 Michelle Botha

Post-doctoral fellow
Email: mrbotha@sun.ac.za 

Dr Michelle Botha's research interests are closely connected to her experience as a disabled woman, as well as her ongoing involvement in activism and the Non-profit disability service sector in South Africa. Being visually impaired herself, she is particularly interested in questions concerning blindness, identity and discourse. Her doctoral work focused on visual impairment rehabilitation, considering the meanings about blindness and blind persons that are produced in this sphere, and how these meanings impact the lives of persons with visual impairments. 

She completed her PhD in Disability Studies at the University of Cape Town. She also holds a M.Soc.sci in Gender Studies from the University of Cape Town where her work focused on the complex lived experiences of visually impaired women in South Africa. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Stellenbosch University on a project entitled 'Visual Impairment, Discourse and Critique in South Africa: Breaking Silence and Disrupting Inequality'. Her work has been published in several international journals including Disability and Society, Medical Humanities and the International Journal of Disability, Education and Development. 

She also has experience working in the disability non-profit service sector in the area of career development for youth with disabilities where she engaged with government and the corporate sector around their disability employment challenges, and provided work readiness training, mentorship and other support to job-seekers with disabilities. Currently, she serves on the board of the Western Cape Network on Disability and was elected Vice Chairperson in 2019. In this capacity she has been involved in projects to promote equal access to education and skills development for persons with disabilities, and has been instrumental in piloting a legal advice help desk for persons with disabilities in the province.


 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.

Mrs Adele Kruger ​(Secretary)
Email: adele2@sun.ac.za
Tel: 021 938 9090