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The Second World War Research Group, Southern Africa is an organisation that brings together those scholars across Southern Africa who are researching aspects of the broad period of the Second World War.

The regional group aims to promote innovative research, serve to connect scholars, as well as provide a central point of contact for research on the Second World War.

As part of its mission, the Second World War Research Group, Southern Africa will act as a regional forum for:

  • Bringing together new perspectives on the conflict;

  • Publicising recent and current research into the conflict and its global impact;

  • Encouraging collaboration in research across the scholarly community and academic disciplines;

  • Providing an organisational hub for conferences, seminars and other events relating to the conflict; and

  • Supporting members by serving as the first point of contact for key stakeholders and audiences interested in research and expertise on the Second World War.

Dr Ian van der Waag


Ian is Professor of Military History and chair of the School for Security and Africa Studies in the Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of African Military History, as general editor of the African Military Studies Series (SUN Press), and is founder-director of the War and Society in Africa conference series. His Military History of Modern South Africa was published in 2015, and a revised, northern hemisphere edition was published in 2018.

Dr Fankie Monama

Deputy Director

Fankie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Military History, School for Security and Africa Studies, and also Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning & Research in the Faculty of Military Science. Currently, he is teaching Military History, under- and post-graduate focusing South Africa and the Two World Wars. His research focus is mainly on war and propaganda, civil defence, Espionage, Subversion and Counter-Subversion, as well as Economic Intelligence and Propaganda during the Second World War.

Dr Evert Kleynhans

Assistant Director

Evert is a lecturer in the Department of Military History at the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University. His research interests include the South African participation in both world wars, counterinsurgency warfare in Africa, as well as the wider historical impact of geography on warfare. The focus of his doctorate was on the Axis and Allied maritime operations off the southern African coast during the Second World War.

Dr Suryakanthie Chetty

Assistant Director

Suryakanthie was awarded her MA and PhD in History from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. Her postgraduate research was on the Second World War with a particular focus on race and gender in the Union Defence Force. She is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of History, UNISA.

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