Centre for Rehabilitation Studies
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​Centre for Rehabilitation Studies



Associate 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 part-time work at the CRS includes teaching and supervising student research in diverse aspects of disability and rehabilitation, and applied research.



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 completed  a PhD in Disability Studies from the University of Cape Town in 2017, a Master's Degree in Physiotherapy from the University of the Western Cape; 2010 and a BSc Hons Physiotherapy Degree from the University of Zimbabwe; 2004. Her research interests are on issues of community life and family living for people with disabilities, especially those with reduced capacity to self-advocate and identifying avenues through which research can influence policy and practice on programmes to support people with disabilities and their families. She is also a passionate disability activist and advocate and is involved with 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. At the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, Callista is a postdoctoral fellow whose main role is to coordinate the scientific activities of the African Network for Evidence to Action in Disability (AfriNEAD).


 Ms Lieketseng Ned (Lecturer)

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

Lieketseng Ned graduated as an Occupational Therapist (BSc OT, UWC) in 2009 and completed her MPhil in Disability Studies at the University of Cape Town in 2013 focusing on livelihoods of disabled youth in rural areas.  Her passions are rural community development, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Rehabilitation in under-resourced areas. She is a Lecturer at the CRS and is currently busy with her PHD focusing on the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge within the current education system as a catalyst for rural development. She is also currently leading a community interaction project in Worcester focusing on a coordinated collaborative response to rehabilitation needs of persons with disabilities.


Mrs Maria Van Zyl (Lecturer)

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

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. She is now appointed at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies as a part time undergraduate coordinator for the MBChB rehabilitation module and has been involved with this program and facilitation of medical students. She works closely with the division of Interprofessional Education and Practice in the Centre for Health Professions Education 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


Ms Chioma Ohajunwa (Lecturer)

Chioma Ohajunwa is a lecturer and researcher at the Centre. She holds a B.Ed Honours in Special Education, MPhil in Disability Studies and is currently doing her PhD on Spirituality and Wellbeing. She works part-time at the coordinating the portfolio on Assistive Technology, teaching and student supervision. Her research interests are in the areas of inclusive education, curriculum development, health and spirituality, Indigenous Knowledge systems.



 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​