Law is Neo’s passion


Neo, who is an advocate of the High Court, has been acting as executive dean of the Faculty of Law since March this year, following the passing away of the former executive dean of Law, Prof Stephen de la Harpe in February as a result of Covid-19-related complications.


Neo started her academic career at the NWU as a junior lecturer in the Faculty of Law and continued to serve our university in various capacities.


She served as lecturer, senior lecturer, head of the Department of Private and Customary Law and director of the School for Undergraduate Studies and, since March 2018, was deputy dean for quality assurance and stakeholder relations.


Top line-up of new leaders take their places

Three senior positions have recently been filled at the NWU, further strengthening our leadership corps.

Prof Maphahlaganye Jeffrey Mphahlele will join the NWU family as deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation on 1 July 2021, while two executive deans have also been appointed.


The deans are Prof Dumisane (Dumi) Moyo who was appointed executive dean of the Faculty of Humanities, and Dr Neo Morei who is the new executive dean of the Faculty of Law. Dumi has been heading Humanities since 1 May 2021, and Neo will officially take the helm of Law on 1 June.


Expert in the scientific medical field


Maphahlaganye currently serves as vice-president for research at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) – a position he has held since October 2014.


His resume is testimony to his excellent work in the field of research and his contributions specifically in the scientific medical field.He has served on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19 vaccines in the Ministry of Health since 2020.


He is also vice-chairperson of the Association Board of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and vice-chairperson of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness, among other international leadership positions.


He has published in various research publications on crucial topics such as strengthening immunisation services and policies and the vaccination control of infectious diseases.


For more information about Maphahlaganye’s career highlights, click here.


Communication is close to Dumi’s heart


Before joining the NWU, Dumi was an associate professor and vice-dean in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg.


Prior to that, he worked as regional programme manager for media and access to information at the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, and as Africa regional manager for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers' Strengthening Media and Society Project.


His research interests include media policy and regulation, as well as media, politics, culture and technology in Africa.


Gaining knowledge to empower others


All three newly appointed NWU leaders boast impressive qualifications.


  • Prof Maphahlaganye Mphahlele holds a BSc degree from Wits (1992), and the following degrees from Medunsa: a medical BScHons in microbiology (1993), a master’s of medical science in microbiology (virology) (1995) and a PhD in Medical Virology (1999).


  • Dr Neo Morei obtained her first law degree (B Juris) at the former University of Bophuthatswana (now the NWU) in 1992. This was followed by an LLB degree at the former University of the North West (now the NWU) in 1994 and an LLM in 1997. She graduated with an LLD degree from the NWU in 2010.


  • Prof Dumi Moyo completed a BAHons in English (1991), and a postgraduate diploma in media and communication studies (1995) at the University of Zimbabwe. After completing an MPhil degree at the same university in 1998, he obtained a doctoral degree in media and communication studies from the University of Oslo in 2006.




The NWU & U


Please send us your comments, suggestions and any other contributions you would like to make, for instance photographs or news snippets.


We value your opinions and input – after all, the NWU & U belongs to us all.




Next Article

previous article



more info




“The Council has full confidence that newly appointed deputy vice-chancellor Prof Maphahlaganye Mphahlele will take research and innovation at the NWU to greater heights.


“His verve, commitment to research excellence and renowned expertise will make him a welcome – and integral – part of the NWU, where he will lead the university’s team of researchers, innovators and academics.”


-  Dr Bismark Tyobeka, Council chairperson




NWU & U  |

NWU & U  |