Opening Address

Professor Pumla Gqola

Pumla Dineo Gqola, is Dean of Research at the University of Fort Hare, and formerly Professor in African Literary and Gender Studies at the University of Witwatersrand. She is the author of Rape: A South African Nightmare, which won the Allan Paton award in 2016, and the first full-length study of slave memory in South Africa, What is slavery to me? Post-colonial/Slave memory in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2010). Her other books are a Renegade called Simphiwe (2013) and, most recently, Reflecting Rogue: Inside the mind of a feminist. She holds MA degrees from the universities of Cape Town and Warwick, and a D Phil in Post-Colonial Studies from the University of Munich.


Charting a new feminist path

Fatima Shabodien

Fatima Shabodien is feminist activist. She grew up on the Cape Flats with her parents and 4 siblings. Her activism dates back to her high school years in the 1980s as a youth activist in the anti-apartheid liberation movement. Fatima has worked in the NGO sector for more than 20 years, in SA and abroad. Her thematic areas of expertise include women and land rights with a focus on movement building within these sectors . She also has extensive experience in grant-making in a range of contexts and grant-making organisations. Fatima holds Masters degrees in International Peace Studies (from the University of Notre Dame) and Development Studies from Sussex University. She served as the director of the Women on Farms Project from 2004 to 2011, the Country Director for Action Aid South Africa from 2012 to 2018 and recently joined the RAITH foundation as its Strategy Director in 2019.


Simamkele Dlakavu

Simamkele Dlakavu is a PhD candidate and visiting lecturer in the Politics and International Studies Department at Rhodes University. She holds a Masters of Arts degree in African Literature from Wits (with distinction). She has been an active participant in student movements calling for an intersectional decolonial reality in South Africa- where all forms of oppression matter. She is the former Media and Communications Manager for Oxfam South Africa. She has also worked as a human rights television producer on one of South Africa’s most popular current affairs show: The Big Debate, tackling issues such as: racism, children’s s, access to basic social services like water, education and electricity. In 2013, she was one of the producers for BBC’s Question Time for a special episode on Nelson Mandela. She has co-created and participated in organizations that centre Black rural and township youth like Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu. Through her work, Simamkele has represented young people in various youth summits around the African continent and the world. In 2013, she was recognised by a Ghanaian based NGO- the Moremi Initiative as one of 28 “Africa’s Most Outstanding Emerging Women Leaders” for 2013. Simamkele shares her views on current affairs and politics on platforms such as: City Press, The Daily Maverick and Independent Newspapers. In 2015, she was a part of the 22 young women selected to end the African Women’s Development Fund’s “Writing for Social Change Workshop” in Uganda. In 2014 the Mail and Guardian recognized Simamkele as one of South Africa’s Top 200 Young South Africans.


Kwezilomso Mbandazayo – OXFAM

Kwezilomso Mbandazayo is the Women’s Rights and Gender Justice Programme Manager. She is a Black, Queer, Feminist thinker and activist. She holds life experiences and lessons from being in the world together with insights imparted by activists, Black feminists friends teachers, scholars and families. She has worked with organisations and collectives where there is a shared critique of an oppressive status quo together with (un)realistic dreaming practices for a Feminist utopia, such as One in Nine Campaign, Forum for the Empowerment of Women, Johannesburg People’s Pride movement and the United Front. Her interests lie in and are driven by music and words. Kwezilomso is consistently exploring the themes of organising and movement building navigating the nuances of power, sex , anger, love and desire for Black women.


Umunyana Rugege

Umunyana joined SECTION27’s predecessor, the AIDS Law Project, in 2010 and has played a leading role in our work since then. She represented the Treatment Action Campaign and Sonke Gender Justice as the attorney of record when the organisations were admitted as friends of the court in the ground-breaking Silicosis class action. Umunyana led the SECTION27 team during the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry and made representations to the panel on behalf of patient groups at the public hearings. Umunyana was a member of the team that fought for the rights of mental healthcare users in the Life Esidimeni case that spanned two years. Umunyana holds degrees from the State University of New York, Cornell University and the University of Cape Town. She also clerked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.


Gail Smith

Gail Smith is a feminist writer and journalist. She is currently the Head of Strategic Integration at Soul City Institute for Social Justice where she manages the “Disrupting Patriarchy Project” that seeks to address violence against women through disrupting patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Gail is the former Spokesperson of the South African Human Rights Commission and worked previously at City Press as a Senior Specialist Writer. Gail is also the former head of the UNISA Institute for Gender Studies, and was Head of Communications at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA). Her publications include both journalism and long-form essays on race, gender, feminism, and culture. Gail holds a MA in Women’s Studies from London University and in 2006, was awarded the Nieman Fellowship for journalism at Harvard. She is currently expressing her passion for women’s equality, dignity, and freedom in developing a feminist drama series intended to shake patriarchy to its core.


Trans-invisibilty in State Care

Facilitator: Sanja Bornman

Sanja Bornman is the managing attorney of the Lawyers for Human Rights Gender Equality Programme, serving women and girls, and the LGBTIQ+ communities in South Africa and the region. Sanja conducts constitutional and impact litigation in the areas of gender-based violence and discrimination; advocates for policy and law reform; and provides gender rights training. She holds an LLB and an LLM in human rights, and was admitted as an attorney in 2008. She serves on the steering committee of the South African civil society Hate Crimes Working Group, and recently represented Jade September, who successfully litigated for the right of transgender prisoners to freely express their gender identity.


Mandivavarira Mudarikwa, Legal Resources Centre

Mandivavarira “Mandi” Mudarikwa is an attorney in the LRC’s Cape Town Regional office. Mandi holds an LLB and an LLM in Human Rights Law. She was admitted as an attorney in August 2011. Mandi works in the equality and non-discrimination project of the Legal Resources Centre, focusing on promoting and protecting the right to equality and non-discrimination of vulnerable and marginalised groups including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed persons, refugees, disabled persons, children and women. As an attorney, her work includes strategic impact litigation; local, regional and international advocacy; and training and research. Mandi represented GenderDynamiX as a friend of the court, in the matter of Jade September.


Liberty Matthyse, Gender Dynamix

Liberty is the former Legal, Policy and Education Advocacy Officer of Gender DynamiX, joining the team as Executive Director on 1 February 2018. Identifying as a trans non-binary person, she/they holds an LLM (cum laude) focused on non-discrimination and marriage equality for transgender persons. She/They can be defined as a community-centred, critical-thought, human rights and social justice activist whose passion in fighting for dignity, equality and freedom for trans and gender diverse persons drives their/her dedication to achieving positive change. Gender DynamiX was a friend of the court, in the matter of Jade September.


Pi Delport, Triangle Project

Pi Delport is a queer trans woman and software developer based in Cape Town. She’s been a member of the Triangle Project Support Group since 2016, and informally volunteers with Triangle Project and in the greater transgender community in Cape Town and South Africa, helping to maintain online support groups and other online resources.


Jabu Pereira, Iranti

Jabu Pereira is the Director at Iranti, an LGBTIQ+ human rights organisation that focuses its advocacy on advancing the rights of LGQ, Trans and Intersex persons. Jabu has over 25 years’ experience in the human rights sector having worked at IDASA, the Legal Resources Centre, the Foundation for Human Rights, SAHRC, and Soul City. Jabu founded Iranti in 2012. Iranti means Memory in Yoruba. Iranti uses media, media, research and documentation, and high level advocacy to shift stigma and discrimination. Jabu has a Masters in the Arts from New York University, and currently serves on the international trans fund committee and on the board of ILGA. Jabu is a trans man and uses he/him/his pronouns.


Domestic Workers Realising Their Rights

Shireen Ally

Shireen Ally has been teaching in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) since 2004. She has a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Wits, and an MSc and PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Her research work is currently broadly focused on two projects: cruelty, carnality and dirt in colonial histories of domestic service; and political life and death in a former Bantustan, KaNgwane. In 2009 she published a monograph, From Servants to Workers: South African Domestic Workers and the Democratic State. Shireen is currently Deputy President of the South African Sociological Association.


Eunice Dhladhla

Eunice Dhladhla, is the assistant secretary general of South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) and is based in the Johannesburg branch. Eunice worked for eight years as a domestic worker before becoming an organiser in the South African Domestic Workers’ Union (SADWU) in the 1980s, which was later reborn as SADSAWU.
Eunice became an organizer in the union because of exploitation she suffered as a domestic worker. SADSAWU provides assistance, education, and representation for domestic workers throughout South Africa.


Maggie Mthombeni

Maggie Mthombeni is a coordinator and case manager for Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance. Maggie worked as a domestic worker for 15 years. After supporting several domestic workers with workplace issues in the building she worked in, she started Izwi Domestic Workers Alliance in 2017 alongside her employer and a group of domestic workers in Johannesburg. As a coordinator at Izwi, Maggie advises and supports domestic workers in achieving their employment rights.


Amanda Duma
Amanda Duma is a candidate attorney ay the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI). She holds a Master of Laws (LLM) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Amanda’s passion lies in protecting the rights of indigent members of the South African society and using the law as a tool to bring about social change.


Kelebogile Khunou

Kelebogile Khunou is a researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI). She closely follows the organisation’s “Making a Living” thematic area which is concerned with the struggles many vulnerable people face in earning a livelihood, including poor working conditions, long hours, low pay and the insecurity associated with part-time, temporary or informal employment.

She holds a Master’s degree in Political Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her Master’s research was based on domestic workers’ engagement with everyday life, their social networks and the building of their political subjectivities. At SERI Kelebogile has continued her research on the domestic work sector, producing a “rights guide” for domestic workers in 2018, conducting workshops with domestic workers and para-legals, and conducting media advocacy for Mahlangu v Minister of Labour, in which SERI represents the surviving daughter of a domestic worker and the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU), in challenging the constitutionality of section 1 of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) which expressly excludes domestic workers from the definition of “employee”.


[In]Access to land and housing

Musa Gwebani

Musa Gwebani is the Head of Advocacy and Organising at the Social Justice Coalition in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. She oversees the local government and safety programmes which are aimed at improved basic service delivery and effective policing in informal settlements. Her work involves assessing the needs of communities as they relate to water, sanitation, land and safety. Her work includes working with communities to find ways in which they can advocate for how rights to these services can be protected and promoted.


Abortion access: battles in South Africa and globally

Moderator: Thuthukile Mbatha

Thuthukile Mbatha is a researcher and an activist for sexual and reproductive health and rights at SECTION27. She feels strongly about giving women and girls the opportunity to access their fundamental human rights.

In 2017, a global movement called SheDecides was born as a response to United States President Donald Trump’s Global Gag Rule, which prevents every country that is a recipient of American donor funding from providing access to abortion services. Om 2018, Mbatha joined the movement as a friend of SheDecides and participated in regional meetings that were aimed at establishing SheDecides Southern Africa.

The movement advocates for the right to access abortion services and supports the right of every woman and girl to decide what they want to do with their bodies, without question. Through her capacity as a friend of SheDecides, Mbatha was involved in the reviewing of the Southern African Development Community sexual rights and health rights strategy and Scorecard, which are the benchmark which countries in the SADC region use to measure progress in ensuring the realisation of sexual and health rights.

Mbatha’s activism involves the use of lobbying on mainstream and social media as well as community mobilisation and research. It also informs the overall organisational strategy on sexual and reproductive health rights which can potentially influence litigation strategies.

She dreams of an HIV/Aids-free generation, a world where girls and young women feel safe and free from gender-based violence.


Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng

An Medical doctor, and a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Expert, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng’s work has impact in Clinical Services, Advisory role, Health Policy, Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Training and Facilitation, Advocacy, Global Health Politics and Content Production. Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng has been appointed Commissioner at the Commission for Gender Equality in South Africa.

An Aspen New Voices Fellow, Country Co-lead for Global Doctors for Choice and board member of the Safe Abortion Action Fund Board (SAAF) and the Global Advisory Board Sexual Health & Well-being’s (GABSHW). She trains medical and nursing students in Advocacy for increased access to SRHR and safe abortion across 7 campuses in South Africa.

She has briefed the United States Senate on the impact of the Global Gag, is advisor to international NGOs on programming and funding in the era of Trump’s expanded GGR.

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng is published in The Guardian, Project Syndicate, The Sunday Times and in various media on Reproductive Justice.


Tambudzai Gonese-Manjonjo

Tambudzai Gonese-Manjonjo holds an LLB from the University of Zimbabwe. She is the Program Lawyer for the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Programme with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, where she is engaged in working with and providing support for lawyers and organisations in Southern Africa to promote respect for and protection of sexual and reproductive health rights through strategic litigation, capacity strengthening and advocacy. She was previously been practicing law in Zimbabwe and has, for over 15 years been litigating and advocating for women’s rights. She has worked in the Attorney General’s Office as a prosecutor, and, among others, prosecuted sexual offences and other offences involving violence against women. She has, as a member of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association and in private practice, provided legal advice and litigation assistance to indigent women on family law, gender-based violence, succession and in protecting and advancing women’s sexual and reproductive health rights. She has also instigated and participated in strategic litigation aimed at law reform, including litigation around criminalization of HIV exposure/transmission and also facilitated and participated in workshops and other advocacy programs for the advancement of women’s rights.


Sibongile Tshabalala

Sibongile Tshabalala is the National Chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). She was diagnosed with HIV in 2000. Sibongile is not only a positive inspiration for people living with HIV but a social justice activist on health and rights issues affecting women and the poor. In 2009, she became a member of the TAC Vosloorus branch in the Gauteng province of South Africa and in 2012 she was elected as Provincial Chairperson of TAC Gauteng. In 2015 she was co-opted as a National Deputy General Secretary, 2017 August she was elected as the National Chairperson of Treatment Action Campaign. Her leadership and voice has helped raise awareness at local and international platforms including the International AIDS Society Conference. She is an honorary fellow at Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics.


Gender and Climate Change

Hameda Deedat

Hameda Deedat has been the Acting Executive Director of the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI) for almost 4 years. NALEDI is the research arm for COSATU. She is also a senior researcher in the organisation and has continued to undertake research into key areas that impact labour and the working class in South Africa and internationally. Her current areas of research and interests are the 4IR, climate change and the just transition with a specific focus on energy, the NMW, global value chains and its impact on organising and the gendered impact of formalising the informal economy. Hameda’s other areas of research and expertise are water, gender and international trade.


Annabel Raw

Annabel Raw joined SALC in 2014 and runs the Health Rights Programme. She holds a BA Law from the University of Pretoria, an Honours degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand and an LLB from the University of South Africa. She obtained an LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from Lund University, Sweden in cooperation with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Prior to joining SALC, Annabel worked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa as a Law Clerk and Assistant to Justice Thembile Skweyiya.


Makoma Lekalakala

Makoma Lekalakala is the Director of Earthlife Africa, a civil society environmental justice and anti-nuclear organisation. She is also a board member of Natural Justice and has long been active in social movements tackling issues from gender and women’s rights, social, economic and environmental justice issues.

Her commitment to climate justice in South Africa has led civil society to win the first South African climate change legal case against the government and the reversal of the nuclear deal by South Africa and the Russian government. For her efforts, she received the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa 2018 award and SAB Environmentalist of the year 2018 award. Makoma has her roots as a liberation fighter and is strong campaigner for a just and fair society.


Centre for Child Law (PILG panel Friday at 13:00)

Zita Hansungule

Zita joined the Centre for Child Law first as a student assistant in 2011 and then as part of the Centre’s Research, Monitoring & Evaluation team in 2012. Zita obtained her LLB degree in 2011 and her Master’s degree in Child Law in 2016. In 2016, she had the opportunity to be a researcher in the Constitutional Court under the mentorship of Justice Bess Nkabinde. Recently, Zita has been responsible for co-ordinating the children’s rights sector’s engagements with international and regional human rights treaty bodies. She is also involved in a global study on children deprived of liberty and a study on the impact of the Child Justice Act in South Africa.


Isabel Magaya

Isabel is a legal researcher in the Research, Monitoring & Evaluation unit at the Centre for Child Law. She holds an LLB and an LLM (Child Law) from the University of Pretoria. Isabel is a doctoral candidate and her research focuses on the abolition of corporal punishment in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. At the Centre Isabel conducts primary and secondary research to support litigation for the Centre’s cases. She is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating the impact of cases litigated on by the Centre. Her research interests include ending violence against children; child migration in Southern Africa; child protection in the context of migration; child trafficking; improved use of research evidence in policy and programme design.


Daphne R. Naidoo
Ms Naidoo has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from the University of Durban Westville and a Master’s Degree in Social Work-Clinical from the University of Johannesburg.
Following employment at SASSA and Johannesburg Child Welfare, Ms Naidoo has been employed in the Department of Social Development in the Johannesburg Metro region since 2000, occupying the positions of social worker, probation officer, Assistant Social Work Manager/Supervisor. Since 2009 she has been the Social Work Manager- Regional Head:  Probation, Canalisation, Substance Abuse & Crime Prevention Services.  


Teresa Horne
Mrs Teresa Horne is a Senior Magistrate who commenced her career in the Department of Justice in 1987. She has been appointed as one of four Judicial Educators at SAJEI (South African Judicial Education Institute) since September 2016 where she is responsible for the training of Magistrates nationally on the law relating to Children and Family as well as Equality Courts. With her extensive experience and her keen interest in empowerment through training, it remains her passion to empower respective stakeholders to execute their duties and functions efficiently and effectively.