Nominated for contributing positively to research

"As an emerging researcher, being nominated alongside such great researchers is an honour and privilege," says Unisa’s Dr Mahlogonolo Thobane. This is after the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and Universities South Africa (USAf) recently announced the nominees for the 2020 Medal in Social Sciences and Humanities. Thobane, recently elected as the first black president of the Criminological Society of South Africa (CRIMSA), is a senior lecturer in the Department of Criminology and Security Science under the College of Law (CLAW).

Thobane is one of the five Unisans nominated under the Emerging Researcher category. She says: "As an emerging researcher, being nominated alongside such great researchers is an honour and privilege." This is something she does not underestimate.

Dr Mahlogonolo Thobane (Senior Lecturer: Department of Criminology and Security Science, Unisa) has been nominated as an Emerging Researcher for the HSRC-USAf 2020 Medal in Social Sciences and Humanities.

Among others, the awards recognise individual established and emerging scholars, researchers and academics. The medal is awarded annually to scholars who have made outstanding contributions through their research in the social sciences and humanities. The actual awards will be held virtually on 18 March 2021.

Thobane was nominated by a fellow colleague. She explains: "I believe that I was nominated because, though emerging in the academe, I have through my research shown ongoing initiative." She adds: "I use my research to attempt to solve social problems and show the potential of becoming an international leader in my field of research."

Her current research interests are on cash-in-transit robberies and gender-based violence. Her master’s research, entitled The criminal career of armed robbers with specific reference to cash-in-transit robberies, is one of the only two South African scientific research studies conducted on this topic and one that very few women have explored. With the 2018 spike in cash-in transit heists in South Africa, Thobane has been consulted as an expert by the media and different sectors.

"In 2018, I was one of the two CLAW employees who were awarded the Unisa Vision Keepers (VKP) research award (2018-2020) for the research project entitled The detraditionalisation of social gender norms as a preventative measure for violence against women in South Africa, under the mentorship of the Director of the University of Cape Town’s Gender, Health and Justice Unit (GHJRU)," said Thobane.

In July 2019, the GHJRU awarded her a research award for a five-year (2018-2023) project on Local responses to improve gender-based violence (GBV) response in three provinces: Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, and six sites, led by the Centre for Communication Impact (CCI) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Thobane concludes: "The nomination means that the work we do as Unisa researchers is recognised as playing a pivotal role in providing answers to real and social life problems."

Read more about the five nominated emerging researchers, three of whom are from Unisa, here.

* By Nancy Legodi, Acting Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Unisan elected as first black president of CRIMSA

Publish date: 2021/03/17