David Maimela

David Maimela

His academic and training has earned him a career in Public Policy/Political Analysis, International Relations and Foreign Policy.  He is writer, researcher, facilitator, public speaker, manager and strategist whose experience straddles the academic, research, civil society, government and private sectors.
He currently holds positions and roles in some of the preeminent institutions in South Africa such as serving as Non-Executive Director of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Trustee of the SABC Medical Aid Scheme, Council Member of the University of Limpopo (UL) and MISTRA Research Fellow and Member of the Mapungubwe Society of Researchers (MMSR).
He has served in full-time senior executive and leadership roles in the Competition Commission of South Africa (CCSA), Gauteng Department of Health (GDOH), Researcher: Political Economy at MISTRA, the erstwhile Gauteng Youth Commission, and as President of the South African Students’ Congress (SASCO), among others.
He holds an MA in Politics, specializing in International Relations (Cum Laude) (UJ), BA (Honours) and B.PolSci both from the University of Pretoria, majoring in International Relations. He is also an alumnus of the highly recommended African Programme on Rethinking Economic Development (APORDE).
Over the past 20 years, David has been an activist and leader in the progressive movement in South Africa. Throughout this period, he has associated with the National Liberation Movement and numerous other progressive non-governmental organisations. As an activist he has championed, lobbied and facilitated many national policies and programmes that bring about justice, equity and better quality of life. He as an abiding commitment to peace, development and prosperity of South Africa and Africa.
David often writes for popular mediums and gives commentary on various television and radio platforms in South Africa. His research interests are on international relations and foreign policy, Africa politics, political economy, development, national security, education and the youth.
Peer-reviewed Books/Research Reports

  • Changing economic balances and Integration in ‘Africa Rising’. 2017. Johannesburg. Real African Publishers – David Maimela (Ed). MISTRA Research Report.
  • Essays on the Evolution of the Post-Apartheid State – Legacies, reforms and prospects. 2013. Johannesburg. Real African Publishers – Mcebisi Ndletyana & David Maimela (Eds). MISTRA Research Report.
  • Research Coordinator & Project Manager for The Art, Science and Philosophy of Football in South Africa. 2012. Johannesburg. Real African Publishers. MISTRA Research Report.
  • Masters Dissertation (R): South Africa’s National Interests in Africa During the Mbeki Years, 1999-2008, University of Johannesburg, 2019.


  • Resurgent Resource Nationalism? A study into the global phenomenon. 2016. Johannesburg. Real African Publishers – Mcebisi Ndletyana & David Maimela (Eds). MISTRA Research Report.

Peer-reviewed book Chapters

  • Revisiting the role of the student movement in the making of democratic South Africa – Chapter in the book ‘The Future We Chose: Emerging perspectives on the centenary of the ANC’, Busani Ngcaweni (Ed), 2013.
  • The meaning of freedom – Of doubt, achievement and hope?Chapter in the book ‘Liberation Diaries – Reflections on 20 Years of Democracy’, Busani Ngcaweni (Ed), .
  • The meaning and interpretation of the #FeesMustFall Movement: Draft Thesis – Chapter in the book ‘We are no longer at ease’, Wandile Ngcaweni & Busani Ngcaweni (Eds), 2018.
  • Pan-African Unity: An Analysis of continuing and emerging Issues and Trends – Chapter in the book ‘Changing economic balances and integration in ‘Africa Rising’, MISTRA Research Report, 2017.
  • Biographical interview reflecting on the State of Higher Education in South Africa – Chapter 6 titled David Maimela published in the book ‘Reflections of Student Leaders – 1994 – 2017’, Thierry M Luescher, Denyse Webbstock & Ntokozo Bhengu (Eds), 2020.

Non-Academic Journals

  • Pan-Africanism of the 21st Century –Challenges and Prospects, p34-39. FOCUS Issue 71, November 2013, The Journal of the Helen Suzman Foundation.
  • Build a new university, build a new student, p51-53. New Agenda, South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy. Issue 50, Second Quarter 2013.
  • The student movement and society. Political Journal of the African National Congress. Number. 36, Second Quarter, June 2011.
  • The AU after a Decade: The Diaspora Initiative – ‘A silver lining?’ p50-51. The Thinker. Vol 43. September 2012.
  • African Youth and the African Union after 10 Years—Long Live! Newsletter of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation – Celebrating 10th Anniversary of the African Union, Vol 2. May 2012.

Conference Papers

  • The Concept and Policy practice of ‘Youth Development’ in Africa – presented at AISA Young Graduates & Scholars Conference 2012, 21-23 March. University of Venda. Limpopo, RSA.
  • An elusive rules-based multilateral global system of governance – Equal human beings, unequal powers – AISA Discussion Panel on Democratisation – Critical Thinking Forum under the theme: “Regime Change in Libya and Recognition of the National Transitional Council:  Assessing the West and AU Perspectives.” 5 October 2011.
  • South African Higher Education Transformation: What is to be done? A Working Paper on key policy issues – October 2015. Submitted to the 2nd Higher Education Summit, Durban.