Professor Johan Fagan
The Senate of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) has elected Professor Johan Fagan as its President for the May 2022-2025 triennium.
Prof Zach Koto
Professor Zach Koto is Professor of Surgery and department chairman at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.
Prof Johnny Mahlangu
Professor Johnny Mahlangu is a Full Professor of Haematology in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of the Witwatersrand
Prof Flavia Senkubuge
Professor Flavia Senkubuge, a global health advocate, is the 20th President of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.

Professor Johan Fagan


The Senate of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) has elected Professor Johan Fagan as its President for the May 2022-2025 triennium. He has served for six years as Senior Vice President.

After completing otolaryngology (ENT) training at the University of Cape Town UCT) and fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh, Johan Fagan was appointed the Leon Goldman Chair of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Cape Town in 2002. He has authored more than 250 articles and book chapters and delivered more than 200 lectures internationally. Johan was admitted to the College of Fellows of UCT in 2020 in recognition of his academic contributions.

Prof Fagan has focused much of his career on advancing otolaryngology in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In addition to training South African ENT surgeons, he has trained more than 20 ENT surgeons from other African countries. He established the 1st African fellowships for training in Head and Neck Surgery, Rhinology, Paediatric ENT, and Otology, and has personally trained 16 of the 21 head and neck surgeons in Sub-Saharan Africa. He founded the African Head and Neck Society (AfHNS), designed the AfHNS Head and Neck Fellowship programme that is being rolled out in 7 countries, and spearheads the novel AfHNS Clinical Practice Guidelines for Head & Neck Cancers that ensure optimal cancer care in resource constrained settings.

To address the unaffordability of medical textbooks for trainees and surgeons in LMICs, Prof Fagan self-publishes two free open access textbooks, The Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Operative Surgery, and The Open Access Guide to Audiology and Hearing Aids for Otolaryngologists, chapters of which have been downloaded approximately 4 million times. He received the Open Education Consortium (OEC) Award for Open Education Excellence (2017), and the UCT Open Textbook award (2020) in recognition of the Open Access Atlas.

He has also advanced African and LMIC agendas through serving on executive committees of the Pan African Federation of Otolaryngologic Societies (PAFOS) and the International Federation of Otolaryngologic Societies (IFOS), and through chairing the International Advisory Board of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (AAOHNSF) and the International Advisory Service of The American Head and Neck Society.

Prof Fagan has constantly raised matters of social justice through writings about race bias and research, race bias and ethnicity in otolaryngology academic publications, vaccine nationalism, unethical recruitment of health care workers by the UK and USA during the Covid-19 pandemic, and rules of engagement for surgical outreach to LMICs. Johan has given numerous keynote lectures internationally about high income countries’ responsibility to address global inequality in healthcare.

He was awarded a gold medal by IFOS (2017), the Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Public Service Award by the AAOHNSF (2019), and a Paul Harris Fellowship by The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (2021) in appreciation of his global contributions to otolaryngology.

Professor Fagan has been at the forefront of advancing the field of ENT in Africa where he has displayed great integrity, philanthropy, leadership and a commitment to redressing disadvantage and ensuring high standards of care for all. His election as President of the CMSA comes with a commitment to build on what he has done for ENT for medical and dental practice. Professor Fagan is well positioned to build on the legacy of the past Presidents of the CMSA, Professors Mike Sathekge and Flavia Senkubuge in serving its purpose of promoting the highest degree of skill and efficiency in medical and dental practice and to cultivating the highest ethical standards and professional conduct … not for pecuniary profit, but for the betterment of humanity.”

“The College is such an important organization, not only for South Africa, but more and more so for the surrounding countries as well, and we have so much to contribute. I have been schooled by two outstanding past presidents and we have outstanding staff at the top with Prof Eric Buch, Prof Vanessa Burch and Mrs Yolokazi Kanzi and I am just grateful for this opportunity. We have a wonderful team, with Professor Flavia Senkubuge as our Immediate Past President so we will not be losing her skill set, Professor Zach Koto who is extremely well thought of – especially within the general surgery community, and Professor Johnny Mahlangu who comes with exceptional skills. We will have a wonderful term together. Professor Senkubuge has done a great deal of work and initiated many changes during turbulent times which has paved the way for the incoming Presidium to hit the ground running”.

– Professor Johan Fagan, CMSA AGM 29 October 2021

Professor Zach Koto

Professor Zach Koto is Professor of Surgery and department chairman at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. He graduated with a doctoral degree in surgery form UKZN and attained his FCS(SA) in 1992. From 1994 to 2011 he was Head of General Surgery at Sebokeng Hospital where he trained many young medical officers and rotating registrars from the University of Witwatersrand. In 2011, Prof Koto attained his FACS degree and later that year, was appointed as the Head of General Surgery at the University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus (which was re-named Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in 2015.

Author of more than 42 publications, Professor Koto is a pioneer in laparoscopic procedures in the management of trauma patients and is renowned for performing the first laparoscopic aortobifemural bypass graft in South Africa in 2012. It is passion for teaching and developing laparoscopic surgery in South Africa that sets him apart from the rest. Not only does Prof Koto encourage laparoscopic proficiency in registrar training, he also hosts regular laparoscopic workshops for all those who are willing to learn the skill and he hosts the annual TOTMAS (Tricks of the Trade in Minimal Access Surgery) Congress to share his experience and knowledge.

Professor Koto’s involvement in surgical training goes far beyond his own university and department. He has been an executive committee member of many surgical societies including ASSA (The Association of Surgeons of South Africa), SASES (South African Society of Endoscopic Surgeons) and SRSSA (The Surgical Research Society of South Africa).

The SASSiT Swann-Morton Silver Scalpel Award for 2017. The Silver Scalpel award recognizes that consultant demonstrating excellence in leadership, professionalism, communication and commitment to training and development. Candidates are nominated by surgical trainees in any surgical discipline and chosen by the SASSiT Executive Committee.

Professor Koto has served the CMSA as Senator since 2014, President of the College of Surgeons since October 2017 and member of the Finance and General Purpose Committee since October 2020.

Professor Johnny Mahlangu

vice president

Professor Johnny Mahlangu is a Full Professor of Haematology in the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of the Witwatersrand and the National Health Laboratory Service and a Consultant Clinical Haematologist in Charge of Haematology at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate training in science and medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand with haematology specialist and clinical haematology sub-specialist qualifications through the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. His main area of research is novel therapies in bleeding disorders in which he has served as Principal Investigator for a large number of international multicentre studies. He has published many peer review journal articles and presented more than 500 oral and posters at national and international scientific meetings

Prof Mahlangu is current President of the College of Pathologists in South Africa, Chairman of the South African Medical Research Council Board and Chairman of the International Society on Haemostasis and Thrombosis scientific and standardization Committee on Factor VIII, FIX and rare bleeding disorders. He is a recipient of many awards the most recent include the Wits University Vice-Chancellor Academic citizenship award in 2018, the American Society of Haematology Global Capacity Building award in 2019, the Publons top 1% cross-field reviewer award in 2019, Wits University Vice-Chancellor Research award in 2020 and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2020, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Esteemed Career award in 2021.

Professor Flavia Senkubuge

Immediate past president

Professor Flavia Senkubuge, a global health advocate, is the 20th President of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, the first black woman and only the 3rd woman to serve in this position in the CMSA’s 65-year history. She was also the youngest president ever of the CMSA and the first specialist in public health medicine to hold the position.

On becoming President of the CMSA, her vision was to “educate, innovate and impact”, and the evolution of a “dynamic CMSA that leverages and harnesses the collective excellence of its members and stakeholders and is responsive and creates value for its profession, health system and society.” The CMSA Agenda 2022 was born from this vision and is rooted in its foundation of excellence, located in CMSA’s ethos, and aims to build in a way that impacts on society. After introducing the income presidium at the AGM on 29 October 2021, Professor Senkubuge said she is delighted and looking forward to being the Immediate Past President. “I have the most delightful experiences from the people who went before me, my grandparents and their friends about being elders. I can’t wait to be a grandma and support this excellent team of colleagues,” she said.

Professor Senkubuge grew up in the small town of Cacadu (Lady Frere, in the then Transkei) and with the advent of democracy, her family moved to the small town of Komani (Queenstown) in the Eastern Cape where she completed her high school career. She was raised in an environment where women had their own voice, achieved success in their own right, and shared a passion to make a difference in the world. “I remember as a young girl being raised around women who were teachers, doctors, nurses, housewives and farmers, but each one of them had one thing in common, the drive to make a difference,” she says.

Professor Senkubuge, Public Health Medicine Specialist and Deputy Dean Stakeholder Relations at the University of Pretoria takes a special interest in Global Health and is well respected nationally and globally. She has a medical degree from the University of Pretoria, a specialist medical degree in community medicine, holds a Fellowship of the College of Public Health Medicine of South Africa (obtained in 2009), and completed her PhD in 2018. She is the current chair of the World Health Organisation’s African Advisory Council on Research and Development where she advises on matters concerning health research and development in Africa. She is also Vice-President of the African Federation of Public health Association, an organisation concerned with promoting public health in Africa. As the President of Women in Global Health South Africa, Professor Senkubuge is involved with achieving gender equality within global health leadership. In 2017, she was appointed as the Chairperson of the Health Systems Trust (HST) Board of trustees. The HST is a non-profit organization based in South Africa that has been at the fore front of the South African Health system for man than 20 years.

Her research interests lie in Global health diplomacy, Health policy and management, Leadership, and the social determinants of health. At heart she is a philanthropist and passionate about mentoring young people and says her work is rooted in the African Philosophy of Ubuntu, “I am because we are.” She wants to make a difference, not only to one person, but to population health globally. She believes that an awareness of intersectionality will make it easier to advocate and implement much needed improvements for the health system of South Africa and globally and that the global health systems Must be based on health justice and drive by social solidarity.

In 2015 the prestigious InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) elected Professor Senkubuge as a Young Physician Leader, and she was selected again the following year for the panel’s international reunion in Geneva. She was also a 2018 finalist for the Women of Stature award in the category Woman in Healthcare. Professor Senkubuge is an accomplished speaker with more than 16 years’ experience in public speaking with numerous awards and has had numerous presentations at scientific conferences locally and internationally.