Dr Sithembile is a lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria where she lecturers international relations and South African politics. She is also an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria. She has a doctorate from the University of Pretoria on the subject of South Africa’s foreign policy during its two elected terms in the United Nations Security Council (2007-2008 and 2011-2012). Sithembile's doctoral research was funded by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Science (NIHSS), National Research Foundation (NRF), the American Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Mellon Foundation.
She has published on the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) and South African elections in accredited academic journals. She comments frequently in the media on topics related to South African and international politics.
She is a 2019 Open Society Foundation Democracy Fellow conducting research on the South African electoral system.
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. While at Idasa she monitored the parliamentary deliberations on the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB), commenting on and writing about the bill in the media. She served on the provincial and national working groups of the Right2Know Campaign and helped coordinate activism against the legislation