Mathematics education expert Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng is a Mafikeng Campus alumna.

President bestows Order of the Baobab on maths expert

Since writing about Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng (formerly Setati) in the NWU & U in 2012, this mathematics education expert has received an award from President Jacob Zuma and became part of the management team of the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Earlier this year, at the 2016 National Orders event in Pretoria, Mamokgethi was among several South Africans who were acknowledged for the outstanding contributions they have made to South Africa since 1994.


She received the Order of the Baobab (silver) for her contribution in the field of science and for representing South Africa internationally through her research. Soon after that, on 1 July 2016, she became the deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation at UCT.

Mamokgethi boasts a B2 rating from the National Research Foundation.


She obtained a BSc degree from the former obtained a BSc degree from the former University of North-West in 1987, where she was the only female student in her final-year mathematics class.


In June 2002, Mamokgethi, then a mathematics education lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, became the first black South African woman to obtain a PhD in mathematics education.


Six years later, this mother of five was the first female and first black African to be appointed executive dean of Unisa’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology.


Before joining UCT, Mamokgethi was the vice-principal for research and innovation at Unisa.



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