Upcoming inaugural lectures for May 2024

25 April 2024 | Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy

Dear colleagues and students

I have the pleasure of inviting you to four upcoming inaugural lectures to be held in May 2024 as part of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Inaugural Lecture series.

Professors Mohamed Paleker, Lisa Seymour, Lesley Green and Horman Chitonge will present the lectures on 7, 9, 14 and 22 May 2024, respectively. These lectures serve to recognise and celebrate the promotions of UCT academics to full professorships, and to provide a platform for them to share their scholarship with members of the wider university community and the general public in an accessible way.

Professor Mohamed Paleker (Faculty of Law)

Professor Paleker’s lecture will take place on Tuesday, 7 May 2024 at 17:30 SAST, in the Oliver Tambo Moot Court, Level 5, Kramer Law Building on middle campus. It will address the topic “The ‘One-Shotter’–‘Repeat-Player’ dichotomy in the South African civil justice system: Transformative steps to bridge the gap”.

The differentiation between one-shotters (OSs) and repeat players (RPs) in litigation is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to identify the individuals or entities who approach courts and their motives for doing so. Secondly, it sheds light on the power imbalance between different litigants in litigation. Categorising litigants into OSs and RPs helps understand the reasons behind this disparity. This knowledge can aid in critically analysing the litigation system to ascertain its fairness. Thirdly, the OS-RP differentiation can help law reformers determine whether certain cases require specialised procedures or interventions to make litigation less complex and improve access to justice. In summary, this distinction provides a fresh perspective for evaluating South African civil procedure, its strengths, and weaknesses.

Professor Paleker holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, and PhD degree. Paleker worked as a researcher for the Constitutional Assembly before being admitted to the attorneys’ profession in 1997. He has been teaching at the UCT Faculty of Law since 2000 and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the teaching of law. He was appointed to the Small Claims Courts Task Team in 2005 and helped create over 200 small claims courts. He also served on the Rules Board for Courts of Law, where he introduced several amendments to improve access to justice.

He has authored 25 publications and has participated in numerous international conferences. In 2020, he was invited by the Max Planck Institute to be a scholar for three years to complete a global project on civil procedure. During his time at UCT, he primarily taught the law of succession and civil procedure but has taught virtually every aspect of South African private law in some way or other.

Date: Tuesday, 7 May 2024
Venue: Oliver Tambo Moot Court, Level 5, Kramer Law Building
Time: 17:30 SAST

Professor Lisa Seymour (Faculty of Commerce)

On Thursday, 9 May 2024 at 17:30 SAST, Professor Seymour will deliver her lecture titled “Calling for a systems approach to technology in organisations”. The lecture will be held in the Seminar Room, Level 4, School of Economics Building, on middle campus.

Information systems research suffers from a lack of systems thinking. A core focus has been on how users and organisations adopt software and what variables improve this. This doesn’t explain why some software is successful or unsuccessful or what should be done about it. These are messy problems which systems thinking is good for.

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Seymour will show how systems thinking can explain challenges experienced when organisations implement enterprise software. Systems thinking can also help explain the associated coping mechanisms. She will also map a vision of how university courses can better prepare business analysts to help solve these challenges.

Professor Seymour, who is based in the Department of Information Systems at UCT, researches and teaches in the areas of business processes, enterprise systems and information systems education, with particular emphasis on regional development in Southern Africa. Her area includes studying how organisations, particularly within the small and medium enterprises (SME) and public sector in Africa, can derive benefit from their business processes and enterprise systems. She is also interested in solving educational challenges in this space and in working collaboratively on these challenges.

Her roles include serving as director of the Centre for IT and National Development in Africa, member of the executive of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists, principal researcher for Enterprise Systems Education for Africa and chair of the SAP African Academic Board.

Date: Thursday, 9 May 2024
Venue: Seminar Room, Level 4, School of Economics Building
Time: 17:30 SAST

Professor Lesley Green (Faculty of Humanities)

Professor Green will present her lecture on Tuesday, 14 May 2024 at 18:00 SAST in Mafeje Room, Bremner Building on lower campus. The lecture is titled “From Homo Economicus to Homo Sedimenta: Learning from the Failed Impact Assessments for Cabo Delgado’s Offshore Gas Projects, Mozambique”.

In 2011, offshore gas was found in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Multiple violent events followed as the construction site progressed. The project was halted in 2022 when TotalEnergies declared force majeure. In a study of almost 5 000 pages of environmental and social impact assessment documents, Professor Green asks why the conflict was unforeseeable and makes the case that those in the environmental sector are relying on 21st century technologies to answer questions posed in 18th century disciplines. In the UN Decade of Sciences for Sustainable Development, 2024 to 2033, universities have the opportunity to build a peer-reviewable, accountable Big Picture Scholarship: a “meta-disciplinary” approach that builds habitability. In this lecture, Professor Green will look at how we might respond to this.

Professor Green is professor of Earth Politics and director of Environmental Humanities South (EHS) at UCT. Now in its 10th year, EHS has hosted students from 19 African countries and supports the emergence of an African ecopolitics. She is a former Fulbright scholar at the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California at Santa Cruz; Mandela Fellow at Harvard; Rockefeller Humanities Fellow at the Smithsonian, and Cheney Fellow at the Leeds Global Food and Environment Institute. Her research focuses on justice-based environmental governance sciences in Southern Africa. She was recently awarded a US 4.4 million grant by Science For Africa, for a five-country project along Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, to develop an African critical zone social science scholarship, in partnership with five African universities and the Human Sciences Research Council.

Date: Tuesday, 14 May 2024
Time: 18:00 SAST
Venue: Mafeje Room, Bremner Building

Professor Horman Chitonge (Faculty of Humanities)

On Wednesday, 22 May 2024 at 17:30 SAST, Professor Chitonge will deliver his lecture titled “Reclaiming economic sovereignty in Africa”. The lecture will be held in Mafeje Room, Bremner Building, on lower campus.

In this lecture, Professor Chitonge will reflect on the challenges associated with the high dependence on primary commodity export, which is dominant in most African economies and has been the major factor in the now widespread phenomenon of “commodity taps” on the continent. The lecture will also share insights on how reducing commodity dependence can contribute to reclaiming the continent’s economic sovereignty. Professor Chitonge will illustrate how increasing high value-added activities can strengthen economic sovereignty, engender positive structural transformation and create inclusive and sustainable economics.

Professor Chitonge is a professor of African Studies, widely recognised for his work on alternative strategies for economic transformation and development in Africa. His work focuses on strategies which strengthen sectoral linkages within and between African economies as a way to decentre and transform the colonial economy on the continent. He is a published scholar with 12 monographs and edited volumes on issues relating to structural economic transformation in Africa. In his work, he has been advocating for policy measure which contribute to building capabilities for high value adding activities in African economies.

Date: Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Venue: Mafeje Room, Bremner Building
Time: 17:30 SAST

We look forward to having you at these inaugural lectures.


Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy
Vice-Chancellor interim

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