Sithembile Mbete is a lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria where she lecturers International Relations (IR) and South African politics. She is also a doctoral candidate at the university, researching South African foreign policy during its tenure in the United Nations Security Council in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. Her IR research interests include foreign policy, global governance, middle powers, the United Nations, and decolonising IR theory. Her Political Science research interests include elections and political parties. She has published on the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) performance in the 2014 elections in the Journal of African Studies and done media commentary on both the 2014 and 2016 elections in South Africa. Her research has been funded by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Science (NIHSS), National Research Foundation (NRF), Social Science Research Council and the Mellon Foundation.
In 2014 she was a visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo. She comments frequently in the media on a range of issues in South African politics.
Sithembile joined the University of Pretoria from The Presidency of South Africa where she was a researcher in the secretariat of the National Planning Commission. Her work in this regard was focused on public service reform and anti-corruption policy. She contributed to the drafting of the National Development Plan.Prior to this she worked as a political researcher at IDASA (Institute for Democracy in Africa) where she was responsible for Parliamentary monitoring and political analysis.