Stellenbosch University | Political Science

The Department in the Media


Prof. Nicola de Jager

In 20th century Soviet Union, a plant-breeder, Trofim Denisovich Lysenko observed that his pea seeds germinated faster under low temperatures. Erroneously, he concluded that the low temperatures had caused ‘revolutionary leaps’ in species formation. Lysenko’s ‘theory’ resonated with the ideology of the communist regime, which was eager for a quick solution to its current famine.


Liesl Pretorius and Nicola de Jager

The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (Bela Bill) proposes centralising many of the powers currently held by school governing bodies under the control of the provincial head of education. This creates the potential for an abuse of power and the country’s reversion to the levels of centralised control of the apartheid era.

by Guy Lamb


With declining trust and public confidence in the South African Police Service, it is imperative that the current leadership and governance crises within the police is resolved as a matter of priority, writes Guy Lamb.


Guy Lamb is a criminologist in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University. 

by Guy Lamb


The looting of businesses, shopping centres and warehouses in South Africa over the past week, particularly in the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, has taken place at an unprecedented scale. It has affected both poor and middle-class areas. Private as well as government property has been damaged and destroyed. People have been injured and lives have been lost.


Guy Lamb is a criminologist in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University. 

by Guy Lamb

A proposed amendment to the Firearms Control Act has some gun owners hot under the collar. But a balanced conversation about the benefits and hazards of gun ownership for all South Africans is required in the absence of conclusive and authoritative studies on whether guns ensure their owners’ safety.


Guy Lamb is a criminologist in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University. He previously directed the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

In order to determine if alcohol plays a role in crime spikes, it needs to be determined where violent crime is concentrated, as well as consider other possible factors that my have contributed to such variations in crime in these precincts, writes Guy Lamb


In July 2020, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele released the quarterly crime statistics for the period 1 April – 30 June 2020 which corresponded with much of the “hard” Covid-19 lockdown phase in South Africa.

The shooting of alleged Durban drug lord Yaganathan “Teddy Mafia” Pillay led to an unimaginably barbaric scene when gangsterism and mob justice collided in a community beset by poverty and drug addiction. The people of Shallcross have been caught in a violent drug turf war that’s claimed seven lives in drive-by shootings in just 13 months. In a community where drug lords are said to enjoy the protection of the community and alleged crooked cops, Carte Blanche explores the driving forces that ended in blood on the streets as police appeared ineffective.

Given government’s slow response to rolling out a Covid vaccine response, it appears that 2021 will be similar to 2020, with police officials having to continue to enforce various forms of lockdown regulations in response to successive waves of heightened Covid-19 infections, writes Guy Lamb.

Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear’s murder has re-emphasised the problem of SAPS corruption, especially in realation to firearms. writes Guy Lamb.

International oil and gas companies face increased political risk because of cyber-attacks and they will need to change the way they approach risk management to minimize the impact of cyber-threats.

The political elite are happy to access power through democratic elections, but are averse to institutional checks once in power.

As Covid-19 continues to reshape our world, including global political and economic dynamics, what tensions and contradictions are likely to appear over the next five to 10 years at the national level in South Africa?

According to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released by ShanghaiRanking, the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University is the top ranked in South Africa.