Zeblon Vilakazi (Prof)

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Wits University

Professor Zeblon Zenzele Vilakazi was appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University in January 2021. Previously holding the position of Vice-Principal and DVC Research, he brings a wealth of experience, insight and knowledge to the University and the Executive Team. Prof. Vilakazi is committed to making a positive impact on society through creating and advancing global knowledge; and fostering graduates to be leaders with integrity.

Prof. Vilakazi was appointed Group Executive for Research and Development at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) in 2011, while also serving as the director of iThemba LABS – a position he held from January 2007.

He obtained his PhD from Wits in 1998 under the supervision of the late Professor J Sellschop. This was followed by a National Research Foundation post-doctoral fellowship at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Taking up an academic post at UCT in 1999, he was instrumental in establishing South Africa’s first experimental high-energy physics research group focusing on development of the High-level Trigger for the CERN-ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron