The Holy Father has appointed the distinguished Professor Mpilenhe Pearl Sithole, lecturer at the University of the Free State Qwaqwa Campus in Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa, as ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Professor Mpilenhe Pearl Sithole was born on 6 December 1972 in South Africa. She graduated from the University of Durban-Westville, and was awarded a master’s degree and a doctorate, specialising in social anthropology, from the University of Cambridge, Great Britain. Returning to South Africa, she worked on rural development and policy management at the Human Sciences Research Council, and taught anthropology at the University of Durban-Westville and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Since 2019, she has been a lecturer at the University of the Free State Qwaqwa Campus.
In 2011, she was awarded the Women in Science Award by the South African Department of Science and Technology, for her work as a social scientist.