Meet the ASRI Team



Muhammad Cajee is the Executive Director of ASRI. He is an industrial psychologist by profession with a Masters of Arts in Industrial Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Muhammad has previously served in several strategy roles in Qatar and the United States within the Al Jazeera Network, including as the Project Launch Manager of Al Jazeera Plus in San Francisco, USA; Interim Bureau of Chief of Al Jazeera International USA Inc. in Washington DC; Manager of the AJE Renewal Project in Doha, Qatar; as well as the Head of Change Communications in the Office of the DG, also in Doha. Muhammad’s Masters thesis was on applying attribution theory to understanding maintenance errors at South African Airways Technical, while his Honours research looked at using integrity testing psychometric tools for the selection of trainee Metro Police officers in Johannesburg.


Awarded the Ruth First Fellowship for 2014 at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg – Ebrahim Fakir until recently headed the Political Parties and Parliamentary Programme at EISA [2010-2016]. He was formerly Senior Researcher and Analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg (2003-2009), he worked at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) [1998-2003] at both IDASA’s Pretoria and Cape Town offices and he also worked at the first democratic Parliament of the Republic of South Africa (1996-1998) in the Legilsation amd Oversight Division. Before that, he was junior lecturer in English Literature at the then University of Durban-Westville (1994-1996) and continues to teach as a sessional lecturer in contemporary political economy at the Sustainability Institute at Stellenbosch University. He writes in the popular press as well as academic and policy journals on politics, development, and the state. He is used as a commentator and facilitator by the domestic and international media, business and other organisations. He read for a degree in English Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand; Johannesburg where he was elected on to the Students Representative Council. He was visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex (2005/2006) and was a Draper Hills Summer Fellow at the Centre for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, for 2011.


Angelo Fick has joined ASRI as the Director of Research. Before joining
ASRI, he spent nearly half a decade as a resident current affairs and news analyst at eNCA, a 24 hours news broadcaster in South Africa. For two decades he taught across a variety of disciplines in the Humanities and Applied Sciences in universities in South Africa and Europe. His research is informed by critical ‘race’ theory, feminism, and post-structuralism. He has written widely on post-millennial post-apartheid South Africa’s political economy, and remains interested in broader issues of justice and equality. Most recently he taught courses on colonial discourse theory and postcolonial culture in the Department of Visual Culture at the University of Pretoria. He has also supervised graduate work on the representation of women politicians in South African media, the figuration of subjectivity in contemporary critical theory, and most recently, an analysis of the relationship between national sovereignty and supra-national organisations in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.


Waleed is ASRI’s Media and Communications Coordinator. At the age of 15 after a falling out with his school principal over being forced to take basic Maths Literacy instead of more advanced Mathematics, Waleed walked out of Highschool. He followed his dream and become a very successful and popular voice artist, so far releasing two albums and three singles, as well as doing promos and voice overs for radio ads. Managing his own productions forced Waleed to teach himself audio editing, video editing, podcasting, social media strategies, and project and events management. In April 2015 at the age of 19, Waleed joined ASRI as a member of the ASRI Conference Organising Team. Post conference Waleed stayed on as ASRI’s Communications Coordinator and currently handles the ASRI website, social media accounts, graphic design and audio/visual work.


Imraan Buccus is a Senior Research Associate at ASRI. Over the next year he will be writing a series of opinion pieces that will appear fortnightly in the national media; with the intent of compiling his contributions into a book at year-end. Imraan is the academic director of a university study abroad program on political transformation and concurrently a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at UKZN. Imraan is also editor of Al Qalam. He is a newspaper columnist and is often called upon by television and radio stations to offer political analysis. Imraan is widely published, in academic journals and book chapters, in the area of participatory democracy, poverty and civil society. Buccus is the former editor of Critical Dialogue, a journal of Public Participation in review. He has presented extensively at academic conferences around the world. His last paper entitled, ‘ Democratic transitions and liberation movements in power: a closer look at the ANC’ was presented at the African Studies conference in San Diego, California in December. Buccus was a Ford Foundation PhD Research Fellow at the Centre for International Development Issues, at Radboud University, Nijmegen in The Netherlands. He was Open Society Foundation Media Fellow twice in recent years, and in 2009 he appeared on the prestigious Mail & Guardian list of South Africa’s 200 Leading Young South Africans. Imraan has experience in the civil society sector, having served in research and policy NGOs for many years. During this time, he was involved in a number of international research projects and co-authored the National Framework on Public Participation for the South African government. During his time at the Centre for Public Participation, he led an initiative to bring policy making spaces closer to ordinary people and also led a project to assess the state of participatory democracy in Namibia. He has wide ranging experience working with various donor agencies including the Ford Foundation, NiZA, EU, Kellogg Foundation and the Open Society Foundation. In the early 2000’s Buccus worked as academic coordinator of the Workers College, a progressive experiential education college for workers from the trade union movement, where he developed a passion for experiential education and its personal and academic developmental potential.


Ntombovuyo is an ASRI Research Associate. She was previously a Research Assistant at the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as a Project Analyst at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies. She has published various papers relating to issues in Sub Saharan Africa viz, “Crisis States in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe”, “The Place and Potential of the Youth in Governance”, “Governance within Higher Education”, “The Nature of the South African Immigration System”.
Ntombovuyo was a fellow of the ASRI Future Leaders 2017 cohort, and she’s completing her Masters in Political Science at the University of Witwatersrand. She obtained her BA Honors in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg and a BA Public Administration and Political Science degree at the Nelson Mandela University.


Mafule is an ASRI Research Associate. He is currently researching the impact of Municipal, Non-Profit and School food gardens on reducing hunger and improving food security. The project will produce a guidebook to establishing sustainable foodgardens at schools and in
communities; and lobby the City of Joburg to fund school food garden programmes in poor communities across the city. Mafule has completed his BSc Honours in Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand as well as BSc double major in
Archaeology and Geography from the same institution. Mafule is an Author of two books: “A learner’s Guide To Academic Success” and “Katrina and Other Untold Stories.” He is the Executive Chairperson of Faculty of Best Advisory-FBA, a non-profit organisation. The organisation aims to facilitate access of matric learners from rural and township schools to institutions of higher learning and offers them mentorship support throughout their academic career as a retention and completion strategy. Mafule was a fellow of the ASRI Future Leaders 2016 cohort and is currently a fellow of the Mandela Washington fellowship. He’s reading for his Masters in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Witwatersrand.


Jamie is currently completing her Masters Degree in Research Psychology at North-West University, Potchefstroom. Having completed her course work in 2017, her dissertation is focused on positive psychology interventions in schools. She holds an Honours Degree in Applied Psychology with cum laude from UNISA, which she completed whilst teaching English in South Korea. Her undergrad at Rhodes University majored in Psychology and Journalism. Having recently joined ASRI as a Research Intern, Jamie is a behaviour and experiences and curious individual intrigued by human behaviour and experiences and the complex interrelated demographic, social, economic, psychological and biological factors that contribute towards it. Jamie aspires to assist in the creation of change through skilled knowledge and knowledge through skilled research. Her biggest dream is to contribute to the improvement of South Africa’s education system. Being actively involved with individuals, communities and organisations, she aspires to work towards identifying challenges and striving towards a solution-based society by co-developing and co-implementing culturally and linguistically nuanced and informed interventions and programs. Aware of the unique issues we are faced with in South Africa, Jamie strives for continuous personal and career development because knowledge is the justice of our people and the freedom of tomorrow.


Lebogang Tiego Legodi is a Master of Arts in International Politics Candidate at the University of Limpopo. As an Afrocentric scholar, her study explores China’s foreign policy towards Sudan. In 2015, Lebogang obtained her Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science and International Politics at the North- West University, and in 2016, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Honours at the University of Limpopo. Lebogang was honoured with the Golden Key Membership in 2014 as part of the top 15% of top performing student in field of study based on academic achievements. In 2017, Lebogang was invited to participate as a panelist in a FrankTalk Dialogue by the Steve Biko Foundation. Lebogang is a member of the South African Association of Political Sciece (SAAPS) and university of Limpopo Women’s Academic Solidarity Association (ULWASA).


Lerato Mahwai joins ASRI’s as a Research Associate through the DSD-NRF internship programme. She holds a MA degree in psychology (Research Psychology Programme) from the University of the Witwatersrand and a BPsych degree obtained at Midrand Graduate Institute (Now known as Pearson Graduate Institute. Prior to ASRI, Lerato worked at a consultancy basis for Social Surveys Africa (SSA), as a Field Researcher and a Research Intern. She also worked part-time at UNISA Institute for Social and Health Sciences as a data capturer. Lerato started out as a counselor and assisted many troubled children and women from various backgrounds including in schools and Ngo’s, before she branched out into Research. She is determined to develop into a renowned Local Researcher. Her research interests are in Human Development, specifically child development and Education.


Sakhiwe currently works on her PhD proposal. She obtained a Master of Philosophy in Public Policy and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Pretoria. She proceeded to complete postgraduate short courses, namely; Transdisciplinary Research from Stellenbosch University and Understanding and Engage with Poverty and Inequality in South Africa with the University of Cape Town. She contributed a book chapter titled “To be young and hopeful in a democratic society” in a book titled “Liberation Diaries: Reflections on 20 years of Democracy” and research contribution in urban planning with the Centre for Development and Enterprise. To contribute to human and state development, she uses journalism and research. She enjoys Social Science research and believes it is through the output of reliable research that the problems facing the current state of South Africa can be solved. With her capabilities in Social Science research, she assisted in The Presidency, New Partnership for Africa’s Development and Human Science Research Council.




Ntembeko is the Coordinator of the Social Franchising Programme at ASRI, and a lecturer in employee wellbeing at the Witsplus School for part-time studies. He read for his postgraduate BA Hons and MA in Industrial and Organisational psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, which further developed his grass roots interests in labour and developmental economics. For both his Honours and Masters research, Ntembeko focused on the link between socio-economic status and strike activities, through examining the impact of the 2012 Marikana industrial unrest on labour and industrial relations in South Africa. Ntembeko’s undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Commerce in industrial and organisational psychology with the University of South Africa.



Salma is the Coordinator of the ASRI Programme in Public Policy Research. Prior to joining ASRI, she worked as a research assistant and peer tutor in the Department of International Relations and Anthropology, at the University of the Witwatersrand. She completed her Masters Degree as an NRF (National Research Foundation) and SARChi and (South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning) fellow, at the African Centre for Migration and Society, at the University of the Witwatersrand. She also holds a BA Honours Degree in International Relations and a BA Degree in International Relations and Anthropology both from the University of the Witwatersrand. Salma’s research interests include state, security and governance in Africa and the Middle East; post conflict rebuilding and natural resources in Africa; conflict prevention; and humanitarian, migration and urban policy issues.


Tiisang Kanyane is currently pursuing her Masters in Communication Management from the University of Pretoria. She is passionate at about South Africa and its people, she seeks to contribute to civil society using her love for media and communication. She interned as a digital Marketer at the South African Qualifications Authority, she later joined a function venue in the North-west province. She joins ASRI as the program assistant of the ASRI Future Leaders Programme.


Tamsyn Hudson is an Intern Industrial Psychologist at ASRI. She did her Master’s at the University of Cape Town, exploring the relationship between breastfeeding at work and positive organisational outcomes in South Africa. Tamsyn has an interest in career counselling among the youth and the health and wellness of employees.


Thulani Mpangane is a young, ambitious, social entrepeneur, activist, innovator and academic with a passion for socio-economic justice . He enjoys swimming, football, music and chess. He believes that Orlando Pirates FC and FC Barcelona are two of the greatest football clubs on earth. Moreover, in 2013 Thulani became the co-founder of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) Howard College campus chess club. He was one of the students who participated in the Durban march against Xenophobia in 2015. He is a former student employee of Blue Collar Occupational health. In 2014 Thulani was crowned as one of the top 21 future leaders of the country due to his innovative ideas on water sustainability and children’s hygiene. Thulani obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology at UKZN in 2014, he furthered his studies at the institution by completing his honours degree in Industrial psychology and he is currently in the process of completing his Masters degree in Industrial psychology. His biggest motivation is making his parents and family proud.