Centre for Medical Ethics and Law​


The Centre for Medical Ethics & Law is directed by Prof Keymanthri Moodley with secretarial support from Mrs Kelsey Engelbrecht ​


Prof Keymanthri Moodley completed her undergraduate medical training in 1988 at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and spent 3 years in Internal Medicine at King Edward VIII and RK Khan Hospitals. This was followed by postgraduate training in Family Medicine at Stellenbosch University. She was appointed as a Family Physician in 1997 after obtaining her Masters in Family Medicine, cum laude. She was awarded the Claude Leon Harris medal by the Colleges of Medicine in SA for outstanding performance in the FCFP exam. In 1999, Keymanthri obtained her Masters in Philosophy (Applied Ethics), cum laude. She taught medical under- and postgraduates in Family Medicine and Bioethics until 2003.  In 2004 she completed her doctorate in Bioethics and was appointed as Associate Professor in 2005. In 2015 she was promoted to full professor. She currently heads the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Department of Medicine, Stellenbosch University.
In her capacity as Director of the Centre, Keymanthri co-ordinates its functions with the assistance of three administrative assistants, a research assistant and 33 part-time lecturers. She manages three international grants which total 22 million rand. Under her leadership the Centre has grown expansively over the past 12 years and is one of the leading Centres in Medical Ethics in South Africa. The Centre was recently designated as a Collaborating Centre in Bioethics by the World Health Organisation, one of seven in the world and the first on the African continent.

Keymanthri was rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) as an established researcher in 2013 and has numerous national and international publications. She has presented at national and international conferences, mostly as an invited speaker. In addition, she has worked as principal investigator on clinical trials since 1999, and served on the University Research Ethics Committee for more than a decade. She has provided Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training at the faculty for the past 12 years. In 2011 she re-established the Clinical Ethics Committee at Tygerberg Hospital on which she currently serves. She has also served on the Ethics Advisory Board of the Netcare group of private hospitals. In 2010 she was appointed to the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC) and the Board of the Medical Research Council (MRC) by the Ministry of Health. In 2013, she was re-appointed to the Board of the MRC to serve a second term of office.

Internationally, Keymanthri has served on the SAGE working group researching Immunisation during Humanitarian Crises for the World Health Organization (WHO). At the invitation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States she has served on the HIV Preventive Research Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and on the NIH African DSMB.  In 2011, together with 10 other ethics experts in South Africa, she edited a new book on medical ethics, law and human rights with an online CPD program attached to the book. Since 2011, she has co-hosted an NIH Fogarty program to develop capacity in Health Research Ethics in Africa in collaboration with the Bioethics Center, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA. The program has graduated 30 postgraduate scholars from Africa over the past 3 years. In 2013 she was awarded a second NIH grant to examine the ethical and social issues associated with HIV Cure research. She is a consultant on an H3 Africa Biobanking project at Tygerberg Hospital. In 2013 Keymanthri registered for an Executive MBA at the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. She graduates in June 2015. Her dissertation focuses on the role of governance in building trust in biobanking in South Africa.

She was recently appointed to the International AIDS Society (IAS) HIV Cure International Scientific Working Group, the IAS Towards an HIV Cure Initiative and the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group on Ebola Vaccines and Vaccinations by the World Health Organisation (WHO).​


Anita 20171206_084615-1_cropped.jpg Anita Kleinsmidt BA (UWC) LLB LLM (Wits) PGDip Applied Ethics (Stell) is an attorney of the High Court of South Africa. She completed her articles at law firms in Johannesburg before being admitted as an attorney and practising there for a number of years. At the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Wits Law Faculty, she conducted litigation for people living with HIV/AIDS and for doctors who had been unfairly dismissed for prescribing antiretroviral medication. She lectured medical ethics and medical law at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at Wits Medical School until 2007, when she moved to Cape Town and became a legal publisher in Juta's division publishing law texts for attorneys. She is currently employed as a senior lecturer at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at Stellenbosch University.




We have a number of part time lecturers:


  • Prof MR Moosa
  • Prof W Pienaar
  • Prof AA Van Niekerk
  • Prof S Kling
  • Prof D Sidler
  • Ms Melany Hendricks
  • Dr T Behrman
  • Prof U Chikte
  • Prof D Hall
  • Dr C Verster
  • Prof M Kruger  
  • Prof L London
  • Prof M De Klerk
  • Prof B Warren
  • Dr M Navsa
  • N Caine

  • K Zybrands


We have 1 administrative assistant:

  • Kelsey Engelbrecht


Part time lecturers:​


 Prof MR Moosa- MBChB, FCP, MD. Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine since 2006. Completed doctorate in 2002 on malignancies in renal transplantation.  Specialist nephrologist who in 2010 drafted new guidelines for the assessment of patients requiring renal replacement therapy. These have become Western Cape Government Policy now. Was President of the South African Renal Society and also past president of the SA Transplant Society. Currently serving board member of international society (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes – KDIGO).


Prof Willie Pienaar- MBChB, MPhil (Applied Ethics), FCFP (psych) is associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, and head of clinical services at Stikland Hospital, Western Cape. He has a special interest in bioethics in medical and psychiatric care. Prof. Pienaar has been involved in bioethics teaching at the Faculty of Health Sciences for the past fiveteen years and is a part- time lecturer in the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law

Prof  Anton van Niekerk- BTh, DPhil is a professor of philosophy and director of the Centre for Applied Ethics​ on the main campus, Stellenbosch University. He is respected both internationally and nationally for his expertise in bioethics. In South Africa one of his most noteworthy achievements has been the development of the Master's programme in philosophy (applied ethics). Many of his graduates are involved in bioethics teaching throughout South Africa and internationally. Prof van Niekerk has served on the research ethics committess of Stellenbosch University and the Medical Research Council (MRC. He has published widely in the field of bioethics and contributes to the undergraduate teaching of medical ethics in the Faculty of Health Sciences.



PSKling.jpgrof Sharon Kling- MBChB, DCH(SA), FCPaed, MMed, MPhil (Applied Ethics) is a consultant paediatrician at Tygerberg hospital and part- time lecturer at the Bioethics Unit, University of Stellenbosch. She has served on the institutional research ethics committee for a decade. She is a member of the Tygerberg Hospital clinical ethics committee. As a paediatrician she has a keen sense of the ethical issues involved in paediatrics. Dr Kling is completing her doctorate in bioethics, which critically examines the work of clinical ethics committees in South Africa.


Prof Daniel Sidler- MD, MPhil (Applied Ethics), FCS (SA) is a consultant paediatric surgeon at the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital and a part time lecturer at the Bioethics Unit, University of Stellenbosch. He has served on the institutional research ethics committee and is a member of the Tygerberg Hospital clinical ethics committee. As a paediatric surgeon his main interest is neonatal and endoscopic surgery. He has a keen interest in ethical issues applying to paediatric surgery, surgical innovation, end of life decision making and the integral philosophy popularised mainly by Ken Wilber.




 MHendriks.jpgMs Melany Hendricks- Melany is the Principal Clinical Psychologist at Stikland Hospital. She is a senior lecturer and serves on the management committee of the Department of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. Melany also serves on the Health Research Ethics Committee and holds a MPhil degree specializing in Bio-Ethics. Melany has a LLB degree and is actively involved in the labour relations management caucus of the Stikland Hospital and in the Presiding/ Investigator Officer forum of the Department of Health. Melany is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in law.



MKruger.jpg Prof Mariana Kruger- MBChB, MMed Paed, MPhil(Applied Ethics), PhD (Leuven) is executive head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. She has a special interest in paediatric oncology and ethical aspects of research on children. She is a member of the research ethics committee at Stellenbosch University.






Prof Leslie London- MBChB, MD (Public Health), DOH, M Med (Community Health), BSc Hons (epid) is a Senior Specialist in Public Health at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is Director of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine and Head of its Health and Human Rights programme. He has served on the South African National Health Research Ethics Council, the Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Ethics and Professional Practice for the Health Professions Council of South Africa and on Boards and Committees of health and human rights non-governmental organisations. His research includes work on the right to health, dual loyalties and human rights, and environmental justice, as well as health hazards related to pesticide exposures in rural communities. He teaches under- and postgraduates in human rights and public health at UCT and other higher education institutions in the country.


Prof A Levin.jpgProf Andrew Levin






Prof Brian Warren.JPGProf Brian Warren






D Pfaff.jpeg Advocate Dianna Pfaff qualified with the degrees BA LLB from the University of Cape Town in 1989 and was admitted as an attorney in 1992. She practised in the fields of human rights, personal injury and insurance law, at partnership level from 1995, until joining MacRobert in 1999. Di was a director of MacRobert from 2000 until 2008, jointly heading the Cape Town medical section for some two years, and is now a consultant. Di's areas of expertise include all aspects of medical law, especially those relating to the Health Professions Council of South Africa, inquests, civil litigation and criminal proceedings. She has presented on these topics at conferences and also lectured law graduates in personal injury law for several years.

Prof Chikte.jpegProf Usuf Chikte

 ProfVlok_web.jpgProf Ian Vlok

Verster.jpgDr Chris Verster

Prof Barday.jpegProf Abdul Barday

5458e57cf12d46ca9a0a72330c5e598b_edited.jpgDr Wandile Ganya

Administrative Assistants:​

Kelsey Engelbrecht

Kelsey is the administrative assistant at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law. She is responsible for the financial management and  general day to day administration within the Centre. She also completed her National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting in 2016.