Deputy dean at Tuks credits school teachers
Pretoria - At just 32, Professor Charles Maimela has become the youngest and first black deputy dean of the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Law.
Maimela said he felt humbled by his new role and hoped to show previously disadvantaged students that with dedication they could aspire to attain anything they wanted.
He has extensive experience serving on a range of committees, in particular the Teaching and Learning Committees of Unisa, University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Pretoria.
He also has experience on the Faculty Research Committee and the Transformation Committee at University of Pretoria.
“My strategy is going back to catering to the needs of staff and students, to ensure that we have a productive environment where effective learning will take place for all our students, irrespective of their backgrounds.
“However, now we want to ensure that we get the faculty to move swiftly with regards to online teaching and learning, and to ensure that we complete the academic year despite the challenges of Covid-19,” said Maimela.
Among challenges he faced during the course of his academic career was dealing with a lack of resources and long distance learning.
And what motivated him was seeing how many people were seeking education, which then proved to him that dedication could play a role in changing an individual as well as society and one's socio-economic position.
He said his heroes were his teachers and principal at Jafta Mahlangu Secondary School in Mamelodi, who all played an important role in shaping him.
Maimela said he also looked up to female academics such as UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng.
“I had people who mentored me, people like Magda Slabbert and others who had a pivotal role in shaping how I think. I also give credit to my former line manager, Professor Steve Cornelius, who was also very instrumental in recruiting me into the faculty of law as well as guiding me and providing me with the necessary support.
He co-ordinates the BA Law programme and is the editor in chief of De Jure - a general law journal accredited by the Department Higher Education, Science and Technology, which publishes research concerned with the development and dissemination of cutting-edge legal research, both national and international.
He encouraged law students to spend a lot of time in their studies to become successful in the demanding field.
“We are learning how to integrate all these online learning systems with them and what they go through, but surely we will provide them with the necessary support as well as resources in the process,” he said.