​​​Centre for Medical Ethics and Law​


The Centre for Medical Ethics & Law is directed by Prof Keymanthri Moodley with secretarial support from Mrs. Meagan Leukes. ​


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 in Durban, South Africa. This was followed by postgraduate training in Family Medicine at Stellenbosch University. In 1996 she was awarded the Claude Leon Harris medal by the Colleges of Medicine in SA for outstanding performance in the FCFP exam. The following year she was appointed as a specialist Family Physician after obtaining her Masters in Family Medicine, cum laude. Her career in bioethics started officially in 1999 when she obtained her Masters in Philosophy (Applied Ethics), cum laude. She taught medical under- and postgraduates in Family Medicine and Bioethics until 2003 when she established the first Bioethics Unit at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and focussed her efforts on Bioethics teaching and research. In 2004 she completed her doctorate in Bioethics and was appointed as Associate Professor in 2005. Under her leadership, the Bioethics Unit grew significantly and was converted to the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law in 2011. In 2014 she was promoted to full professor effective January 2015. She currently heads the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Department of Medicine, Stellenbosch University.

In her capacity as Director of the Bioethics Unit (and subsequently the Centre), over the past 15 years, Keymanthri has co-ordinated its functions with the assistance of one administrative assistant initially and subsequently, with the support of three administrative assistants, a research assistant, and 33 part-time lecturers. She manages four international grants which total approximately 42 million rands. The Centre has grown expansively over the past 15 years and is one of the leading Centres in Medical Ethics in South Africa. As director she is also a member of the Management Committee and reports to a Governing Board. She serves on the Management Committee of the Department of Medicine. The Centre has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre in Bioethics (the first in Africa) and is now part of the global network comprising 9 other centres located at the universities of Columbia, Miami, Toronto, Zurich, Singapore, Pakistan, Chile, Brazil and Monash.

Keymanthri was rated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) as an established researcher in 2013. She has 80 national and international publications to date. 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 and developed an online GCP Refresher program (ERECCA) with EDCTP funding 9 years ago. 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. As a member of the Audit, Risk and IT Committee she gained significant experience in the financial management and audit functions of this national research organisation over a 4 year period.

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. She has served on a Scientific Review Committee of the EDCTP.  

In 2011, together with 10 other ethics experts in South Africa, she edited a book on medical ethics, law and human rights with an online CPD program attached to the book. A second edition of the book incorporating African Philosophy and updates on new medical technologies was published in 2017. 

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 40 postgraduate scholars from Africa over the past 4 years. In 2013 she was awarded a second NIH grant to examine the ethical and social issues associated with HIV Cure research. She has served as a consultant on an H3 Africa Biobanking project at Tygerberg Hospital. In 2015 Keymanthri completed an Executive MBA at the Graduate School of Business (GSB), University of Cape Town (UCT). Her dissertation focused on the role of governance in building trust in biobanking in South Africa. Since then, she has been invited to teach on the EMBA program at the GSB, UCT annually.

In 2014, Keymanthri was 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). In 2015 she was awarded her third NIH grant to explore ethical, legal and social issues related to genomic biobanking. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Women’s Forum at Stellenbosch University. Keymanthri was appointed as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in 2015. She has served as Chair of the SAMRC Research Ethics Committee from November 2016 to February 2018. 

In her private capacity, Keymanthri qualified as an Associate Coach in 2016 with the Centre for Coaching at the UCT Graduate School of Business which is affiliated to New West Ventures in San Francisco, USA and accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). As Managing Member of her private consulting company, Transcendence, she offers coaching, provides medico-legal consultation and site-specific research and GCP training. This represents 20% of her time for private work granted by Stellenbosch University.


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 practicing 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 AA Van Niekerk
  • Associate Prof S Kling
  • Prof D Sidler
  • Ms Melany Hendricks
  • Dr T Behrman
  • Prof D Hall
  • Dr C Verster
  • Prof M Kruger  
  • Prof L London
  • Prof M De Klerk
  • Prof B Warren
  • Dr M Navsa
  • Dr W Ganya
  • Prof I Vlok
  • Dianna Pfaff
  • Dr Ryan Davids


We have 1 administrative assistant:

  • Sheena Steenkamp

We have 1 Research Fellow:

  • ​Prof Theresa Rossouw


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  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 committees 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.


Sharon Kling (2).jpgAssociate Prof Sharon Kling- MBChB, DCH(SA), FCPaed, MMed, MPhil (Applied Ethics) is a consultant paediatrician at Tygerberg hospital and part-time lecturer at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, 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. Associate Prof Kling is completing her doctorate in bioethics, which critically examines the work of clinical ethics committees in South Africa.



Daniel Sidler.JPG
Prof Daniel Sidler- MD, MPhil (Applied Ethics), FCS (SA) was a consultant paediatric surgeon at the Tygerberg Children's Hospital for over 19 years, after specializing and working as a con​sultant paediatric surgeon at Red Cross Children's War Memorial Hospital in Cape Town. During this time, he was also a part-time lecturer at the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, University of Stellenbosch. He has served on the institutional research ethics committee and the Tygerberg Hospital clinical ethics committee. He recently transitioned to private practice in Paediatric Surgery in Cape Town. As a paediatric surgeon, his main interest is neonatal and endoscopic surgery. He maintains a keen interest in ethical issues applying to paediatric surgery.



 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 an MPhil degree specializing in Bio-Ethics. Melany has an 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 the 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.


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 practiced 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 Brian Warren.JPGProf Brian Warren



 ProfVlok_web.jpgProf Ian Vlok

Verster.jpgDr Chris Verster

5458e57cf12d46ca9a0a72330c5e598b_edited.jpgDr Wandile Ganya

Research Fellow

Theresa Rossouw 2.jpegTheresa Rossouw is Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests encompass a wide spectrum of HIV-related work, spanning from the basic sciences where she predominantly focuses on HIV-associated drug resistance and systemic immune activation, to the clinical and social sciences, where she has been involved in exploring the socio-ethical aspects of HIV/AIDS for more than a decade. Her research and clinical work have culminated in membership of the Southern African Treatment and Resistance Network (SATuRN), the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society’s (SAHIVCS) Guideline Committee, the SAHIVCS Northern Gauteng HIV Resistance Group and an international working group on the Social and Ethical Consequences of HIV Cure Research. She is also a member of the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences Research Committee, one of the deputy chairpersons of the Research Ethics Committee of this Faculty and the chairperson of the Research Ethics Committee of the Human Sciences Research Council.