PILG 2016 Panel Descriptions and Biographies of Panellists

 

Opening Plenary Session

9:00 – 10:30 am

 

Perspectives on Transformation in the South African Legal Sector:

“Practicing What We Preach? Transformation of the Legal Profession and Transformation by the Legal Profession”

 

Thabang Pooe earned her LL.B. from the North West University in 2011 and then joined SECTION27 as a Students for Law and Social Justice fellow and later as a legal researcher. She then served as a law clerk for Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Thabang recently graduated from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) where she obtained an LL.M specialising in Public Interest Law and Policy. During her time at UCLA she worked at the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project assessing the legal needs of people living with HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles County. She currently works in the Policy Development and Advocacy Unit at Sonke Gender Justice and serves as a liaison for Out in Africa Ride, an organisation that supports NGOs working on LBGTI rights in Africa.

 

 

Lwando Xaso obtained her LLB at the University of Johannesburg in 2005. In 2006 she started her articles and practiced at Norton Rose Fulbright until 2009. In 2009 she pursued an LLM in constitutional and administrative law at the University of Cape Town where she also worked as a researcher. In 2011 she had the privilege of clerking at the Constitutional Court for Justice Edwin Cameron. In 2012 she was awarded the Franklin Thomas Fellowship by the Constitutional Court Trust to study at the University of Notre Dame where, in 2013 she received an LLM in international law. She contributed to the book One Law One Nation and frequently writes on topics of constitutional and international law for the Sunday Independent. In 2013 she worked as a senior researcher for the Public Service Remuneration Review Commission tasked with the transformation of the public service and was also a researcher to former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo. Currently she is a senior associate at ENS.

 

Others to be Added

 

Faciliator: Adila Hassim is the Director of Litigation at SECTION27 and a member of the Johannesburg Bar. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Corruption Watch and has been an acting judge in the High Court. Along with Mark Heywood and Jonathan Berger, Adila edited Health & Democracy: A Guide to Human Rights and Health Law and Policy in Post-apartheid South Africa and she has also published in law journals, health journals and newspapers. She is a member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and an honorary member of the Treatment Action Campaign.

Adila earned a BA and LLB from the University of Natal, her LLM from the St Louis University School of Law in the U.S. and was awarded a JSD cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She has clerked for two Constitutional Court judges: Justice Pius Langa and Justice Edwin Cameron.

 

 

Concurrent Panels

11:00 – 12:30

 

*Foxes and Henhouses: How to Ensure the Independence of Key Public Institutions:

 

Context and Background

Various Public institutions including Chapter 9 Institutions and those which comprise our criminal justice system are pivotal to the preservation and advancement of our constitutional democracy, good governance and the implementation of counter-corruption measures.

In recognition of the importance of these institutions, Corruption Watch has since February this year, been involved in engaging with and overseeing processes related to the appointment of our next Public Protector as well as in litigation aimed clarifying the powers of the Public Protector. Our campaign, entitled Bua Mzansi, has involved several modes of intervention aimed at strengthening public participation in the appointment process as well as securing the integrity of the process by direct parliamentary participation.

On a different but related issue, we together with Freedom Under Law lodged a review application, in the North Gauteng High Court, aimed at setting aside, what we regard as the unlawful and irrational decision of the President to remove Mxolisi Nxasana as National Director of Public Prosecutions and to later appoint Shaun Abrahams in the same post. The decision of the President was made despite a conflict of interest relating to a pending decision of the NDPP to criminally prosecute the President.

These efforts are in recognition of the fact that a threat to the independence of these institutions is a threat to our democracy as well as, in some cases, their ability to effectively prevent and combat corruption. As part of continuing education and advocacy around our work in this democratic space, this panel discussion is focused on constitutional institutions more broadly and the ways in which we can secure and support the independence of these institutions.

 

Panel Discussion – Tuesday 30 August, 11h00 – 12h30, LB 144

 

The panel discussion will focus on some of the key institutions which support our constitutional democracy or advance criminal justice and the extent to which their independence has been impaired by issues such as bad appointments and/or removals, legislative anomalies, inadequate funding, political interference and pressure, to name but a few.  We hope that this discussion will lead to an engagement around possible solutions which may include the development of new and unique CSO strategies, strategic litigation, legislative amendments and CSO “lobbying”.

 

Panel Members:

Adila Hassim (Director of Litigation, Section 27)

Janet Love (IEC Commissioner, National Director of the Legal Resources Centre)

Judge Zak Yacoob (Retired Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa)

Moderator: Leanne Govindsamy (Corruption Watch)

 

Panellists:

Adila Hassim is the Director of Litigation at SECTION27 and a member of the Johannesburg Bar. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Corruption Watch and has been an acting judge in the High Court. Along with Mark Heywood and Jonathan Berger, Adila edited Health & Democracy: A Guide to Human Rights and Health Law and Policy in Post-apartheid South Africa and she has also published in law journals, health journals and newspapers. She is a member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and an honorary member of the Treatment Action Campaign.

Adila earned a BA and LLB from the University of Natal, her LLM from the St Louis University School of Law in the U.S. and was awarded a JSD cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She has clerked for two Constitutional Court judges: Justice Pius Langa and Justice Edwin Cameron.

 

Janet Love is the National Director of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in South Africa. As an anti‐apartheid activist, Love was involved in the trade union movement and the ANC before and during ten years spent in exile, and during four years as a member of the ANC underground. She served as a Commissioner on the South African Human Rights Commission from 2009-2016, was involved in the negotiation and drafting of the final Constitution of South Africa, and was a member of the 22‐person Constitutional Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. Love worked in the South African Reserve Bank for five years as head of strategic analysis and support in the currency department. In May 2016, Janet was appointed to the Independent Electoral Commission to work as a part-time commissioner.

 

Judge Zakeria Mohammed Yacoob lost his sight at the age of 16 due to meningitis. He obtained a BA degree from the University of Durban Westville, then known as University College Durban, majoring in English and Private Law and went on to complete an LLB at the University of Durban Westville. He served his pupillage in Durban in 1973 and was admitted as an advocate that same year. He practised as a junior counsel from July 1973 to May 1991.

Some of his early career highlights include representing the “Durban Six” in negotiations with the British consulate in Durban 1984 in protest against apartheid. He represented the accused in the “Vula” trial that involved members of the African National Congress (ANC). He also ran a significant and diverse commercial and general legal practice. He served as a member of the Society of Advocates of Natal for several years and took silk in May 1991.

Yacoob’s political activities included membership in the executive of the Natal Indian Congress from 1981 to 1991 (in this capacity he organised and took parts in protests, produced and distributed publicity material, and organised and addressed many anti-apartheid mass meetings). He also belonged to the Democratic Lawyers Association from 1979 to 1984. He was a member of the UDF’s Natal executive and was heavily involved in a campaign against the tri-cameral parliament from 1983 to 1985. He was a member of the underground structure of the ANC.

From Dec. 1993 to June 1994, Advocate Yacoob served on the Independent Electoral Commission and was a member of the panel of independent experts of the Constitutional Assembly. He also advised local-government bodies, the National Land Committee and the Department of Finance.

Advocate Yacoob was appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 1998, where he served until his retirement in 2013.

 

Faciliatator: Leanne Govindsammy is Head of Legal and Investigations at Corruption Watch. She clerked for Justice Madala at the Constitutional Court and later completed her articles at Cheadle Thompson & Haysom Inc. where she practised as senior associate in the labour, media and litigation departments before joining Corruption Watch. She earned an LLB from Wits and an LLM summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in the U.S.

 

 

*Geojournalism for Improved Transparency in Governance

Geojournalism is helping to entrench participation by citizens in governance and compliance monitoring. Online mapping platforms facilitate the sharing of data and provide space for elevated communication via easy-to-use visualisations. The goal behind many data-driven geojournalism platforms is promoting public- and private-sector accountability, advancing civil society and socio-economic rights, protecting the free flow of information, and strengthening transparency and accountability.

This session brings together a panel of experts who discuss how and why geojournalism works. They will talk about their experiences in accessing crucial data, how it translates into geojournalism visualisations, and the impacts this cutting-edge technology is having on the ground.

 

Panellists:

Tricia Govindasamy will discuss how open source innovations can assist participation by citizens in governance and compliance monitoring. Currently serving her fellowship at Open Data Durban (ODD), a civic tech lab, she will share insights from her participation in the recent United Nations Open Camp gathering in New York. Tricia is a qualified geologist with expertise in environmental management and geographic information systems. Her geojournalism career includes working on alertME, an open source innovation collaboration involving ODD, Oxpeckers and Code for Africa that will provide a digital interface to enable government and civic entities to share data on development processes.

 

Anina Mumm will talk about the use of multi-media story-telling and other innovative digital tools in the sharing of scientific data. Using the ClimaTracker case study, she will discuss how climate modelling data was built into a geojournalism visualisation that informs citizens about the realities of climate change in Southern Africa, and the development of mitigation and adaptation policies.  Anina is a science communication and digital media specialist at ScienceLink, which built the ClimaTracker platform for Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism and Internews Earth Journalism Network. She is the chair of SciBraai, and an active member of the South African Science Journalists’ Association.

 

Sobuntu Mzwakali will focus on his experiences in mapping community inputs as part of the Community Monitors – Mapping the Minefields project. He is a former facilitator and coordinator of the Monitoring School run by the Bench Marks Foundation, which aims to get communities and church leaders involved in the monitoring of private corporations and government entities to ensure they act in an accountable and socially responsible way. Sobantu is currently a media intern at the Land and Accountability Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, where he is using multi-media platforms to tell the untold stories of rural communities.

 

Tholakele Nene will talk about her experiences in sourcing data for pioneering geojournalism platforms #GreenAlert and #MineAlert. Developed by Oxpeckers Investigative Journalism, these are data-driven mapping platforms that alert citizens to developments in their backyards, and encourage public participation in process and policy. Tholakele in an Associate at Oxpeckers, where she works on various multi-media, mobile and web-based tools. Her quest for data will be published in the 2016 edition of In Good Company? Conversations around Transparency and Accountability in SA’s Extractive Sector. Her previous positions include communications officer at Urban Earth.

 

Facilitator: Ichumile Gqada is a senior research and advocacy officer at the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA), where she is responsible for leading the organisation’s extractive industry transparency work and social auditing capacity support.

OSF-SA funds and collaborates on some of the geojournalism platforms, and Ichumile has a good insight into their progress. Prior to joining OSF-SA, she worked at PetroSA as a junior business analyst and at the South African Institute of International Affairs, as a researcher in natural resource governance as well as mining and community level issues. Ichumile has a MA degree in social science.

 

 

*A Southern African Regional Perspective on Prison Health

“[D]espite the connection of prison brutality to the racist and colonial policies of the late 1800s, penal oppression persists at an alarming rate and appalling depth in postcolonial Africa.”

(Sarkin, J “Prisons in Africa: An evaluation from a human rights perspective” (2008) International Journal on Human Rights 5:9; Available at: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/sur/v5n9/en_v5n9a03.pdf).

In recent years, the oppressiveness of the penal systems in the region have been highlighted in litigation concerning the health entitlements of prisoners. For example, the Dudley Lee case in South Africa, the Tapela case in Botswana, and the Masangano case in Malawi have made public the public health dimensions of human rights failures concerning prisoners while illustrating the political disinterest in prison reform, the political inexpedience of prisoners’ lives and the deep connections across borders between these closed systems. This panel seeks to draw on experiences in litigating prison health issues and in advancing health and human rights in the prisons to develop insights on how the colonial legacy of the prison systems in southern Africa can be dismantled. In particular, the presenters will consider the state of prison health and human rights in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi and the role of litigation in prison reform and best practices and challenges faced in the course of this litigation.

 

Panellists:

Tendai Laxton Biti is a Zimbabwean human rights lawyer who runs a private firm in Harare. He has litigated a number of key constitutional challenges on prisoners’ rights in Zimbabwe under the new 2013 Constitution, including challenges to the death penalty and whole-life sentences. Mr Biti is one of the founders of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and served as Minister of finance from 2009 to 2013 in the government of national unity. Mr Biti has himself experienced imprisonment in Zimbabwe as a political prisoner in 2008.

 

Mark Heywood is the Executive Director of Section 27. As one of the founders of the Treatment Action Campaign and a member of the Aids Law Project he has been involved with advocacy around HIV/AIDS and health rights for more than two decades. Heywood has also served as chairperson of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights and on the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on National Health Insurance and the South African National AIDS Council.

 

Annabel Raw heads the health rights programme at SALC. 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.

 

Faciliator: Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh joined SALC in February 2015. She was employed at Lawyers for Human Rights from 2002- 2014 where she initially headed the Immigration Detention Monitoring Unit and was thereafter appointed as Manager of the Refugee and Migrants Rights Programme, a position she held from 2007- 2014. She was the board chairperson of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa from 2007-2011.  She was the Southern African regional representative for the International Detention Coalition (IDC) and sat on the IDC’s Advisory Panel from 2008- 2014.

Kaajal is a founding member of the secretariat of the African NGO Taskforce which is a network of organisations working on refugee protection in Africa. The Taskforce has been working on capacitating local NGOs on aspects of refugee protection. She has significant experience and expertise in the fields of asylum, migration, refugee protection, citizenship and statelessness. She obtained her B.Proc LLB degrees from the University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu Natal).

 

 

13:45 – 15:15

*Taking the Law into Our Own Hands: Exploring Interdisciplinary Strategies for Victims of Gender-based Violence

This discussion will explore the development and implementation of gender-based violence prevention programmes in various South African contexts, with a special focus on strategies aimed at rendering the justice system visible and accessible to South African users. Such programmes provide empowerment strategies that enable users to critically and assertively address the failures of traditional juridico-legal and cultural mechanisms for preventing and addressing gender-based violence.

 

Panellists:

Rethabile Mosese joined Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA) in July 2015. She holds a BSocSci majoring in law and psychology and a LLB (2012) from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining LvA, Rethabile served her articles of clerkship with the University of Pretoria’s Law Clinic. Rethabile is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa in Gauteng. Her particular interests lie in human rights and constitutional law.

 

Ms. Makhoaphe Letsie is a Communications Practitioner and researcher by profession. She has worked with Community Development both in the Public and NGO Sectors, specialising in utilising communication tools to enhance Community Based Planning, as well as promoting sustainable livelihoods. As a researcher, Ms. Letsie works with children with disabilities in impoverished communities, and applies her research and communication expertise to promote more awareness about children with disabilities while empowering them and their families respectively. This is an area of which she has developed a great passion for. Makhoaphe has just completed her Masters in Development Studies; looking at the experiences of female caregivers in using the Care Dependency Grant for the Support and Care of their children. She is currently working at Afrika Tikkun as a Communications, Research and evaluation officer in the Empowerment Programme addressing children with disabilities and their families, as well as Gender Based Violence.

 

Phumzile Vilakazi is a mother of a 16 year old son Mxolisi. At the age of three, Mxolisi was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and at the time, Phumzile had little knowledge on her son’s condition and disability in general. In pursuit of learning more about her son, she joined the empowerment programme in 2010 as a co-researchers and is one of the founding members of Sidinga Uthando Self-help group. Phumzile currently works as an Advocacy officer for the Afrika Tikkun Empowerment Programme, her role entails coordinating and assisting in the formation of Self-help groups as well as education and training. She is a facilitator for the Human Rights Course, and teaches mothers of children with disabilities together with Young Urban Women about their rights thereby empowering them to become better advocates for themselves and their children.

 

Facilitator: Ella Kotze is a community and counselling psychologist at LvA. She is involved in the training and supervision of community psychology and drama therapy students. Prior to joining LvA she worked on transformation issues related to sexuality and gender. Ella holds an MA from Wits University, and is currently working towards a PhD which focuses on the interrogation of the intersection of safety, subjectivity and sexuality.

 

 

*Land Occupation and the Right to Housing

The session on Managing and Curbing Unauthorised Land Occupation aims to provide a holistic understanding of the complex nature of informal settlements, unauthorised land occupation, and the various approaches to management of land occupations by municipalities. This will be done by highlighting and analysing the challenges of managing land occupations in municipalities.

Lessons from previous cases of land occupations in various municipalities will be drawn on, taking into account their capacity and the approaches they adopted in managing land occupation, as well as the dynamics and complexities they experience in applying the approaches.

 

Panellists:

Ronald Eglin is the Sustainable Settlement Specialist at Afesis-corplan. Before joining the organisation, Ronald studied City and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town. Ronald joined Afesis-corplan in the early 1990’s as a Project Worker in the Projects Department. His present work predominantly focuses on land access and sustainable settlement work. Ronald has a keen interest in development planning, community development, environmentally sustainable development and participatory planning. Some of his more recent interests include the People’s Housing Process (PHP), co-operative housing, incremental settlement development, land access and urban and rural land tenure and land use management.

 

Mohau Melani is a co-founder and the chairperson of the Slovo Park Community Development Forum (SPCDF). In addition, he is also a co-founder and the former Provincial Secretary of the Informal Settlement Network (ISN). In the past Mr Melani has stood as a SACCAWU (South Africa Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union) representative for national class distribution, Secretary of Ward 18 in the branch of Bill Jardine and Chairperson of Ward 119 in Chief Makana. Mr Melani is a graduate of the Walter Sisulu Political School.

The Slovo Park Community Development Forum (SPCDF) is an organisation consisting of elected settlement residents of Slovo Park, Nancefield, who represent the development needs of the settlement in order to engage with the South African government.

 

Stuart Wilson is a co-founder and executive director of SERI. He is a practicing advocate, a Member of the Johannesburg Bar, and a door member of the Bridge Group of Advocates. Stuart has been responsible for litigating many of the leading socio-economic rights cases to come before the courts in recent years. He appears regularly at all levels of the courts system. His practice encompasses constitutional law, administrative law, defamation, property law, labour law and criminal defence work. He has particular expertise in land and housing law.

 

Nomzamo Zondo became SERI’s director of litigation in July 2014, after joining the organisation as an attorney in February 2013. Nomzamo holds an LLB degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and served her articles of clerkship with the Wits Law Clinic. She was admitted as an attorney in 2008.

 

Facilitator: Tiffany Ebrahim is a researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI). She has an honours degree in political studies from Wits University and an MA degree in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam. Tiffany has been involved in the implementation phase of the Public Interest Legal Services in South Africa: Project Report, a study commissioned by the Ford and RAITH Foundations exploring the nature of public interest legal services sector in South Africa, the context in which it operates and how its value and impact can be best characterised. Following the release of the report, Tiffany has assisted with mapping out the sector and developing a human resource guideline and workshops with litigating NGOs and community advice offices based in the Western Cape on discussing and applying the multidimensional framework for assessing value and impact.

 

 

15:30 – 17:00

*Is it as Simple as Black and White? Race, Racism and Relations in Contemporary South Africa

December 2015 saw the eruption of what many would have termed a dormant volcano, one that was filled with racial intolerance amongst other intolerances. Some have said that now the honeymoon period is over and democracy is in full blown force that the true nature of the South African population is emerging. To what extent are the above statements true? Have we “sold out” on too much in order to achieve a political change with very little economic change thus causing divisions within races? Or are these racial issues just something that a few extremists seem to suffer from? How far is too far when having the debate on race in a post-apartheid South Africa?

How should we as a society deal with extreme or maybe even normal situations where comments such as “We will give a tip when you return land” is made or when people donate over R100 000 to the victim of such an incident? How can we draw a balance between expressing our frustration about a lack of economic change which is definitely linked to race versus making comments and acting in a way that is counterproductive to an inclusive society founded on the values of the Bill of Rights? Lastly, we would like to engage with the questions of whether racism should be criminalized and what should be the bench mark to determine whether something is racist, especially given the South African context.

 

Panellists:

Danaline Franzman is an admitted attorney with an interest and extensive practical experience in the field of human rights, gained from working within various sectors over the past 15 years. She holds BA, LLB and LLM degrees, as well as a Certificate in Commercial Law and an International Diploma in the Equal Status and Human Rights of Women from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Lund University, Sweden.

She is currently the Chief Director: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy within the Constitutional Development Branch at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD), at the National Office in Pretoria. In this portfolio, she is responsible for the coordination, promotion and development of programmes in support of social justice and participatory democracy. One of the key DOJ&CD programmes that she is actively driving at present involves coordinating the finalisation of, and upon approval, the subsequent implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP).

 

Sello Hatang: Sello Hatang is the CEO at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and was the former Information and Communication Manager, and spokesperson. Previously he was a senior manager at South Africa’s Human Rights Commission. He participated in the post-1994 transformation of the National Archives, including archival support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is a former Director of the South African History Archive (SAHA). He serves on the boards of SAHA, the Open Democracy Advice Centre and Students for Law and Social Justice. He was a member of the editorial team of Nelson Mandela’s book, Conversations with Myself, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2010.

 

Ntokozo Qwabe: Has a LLB from UKZN and has studied in Oxford where he founded the Rhodes Must Fall movement at Oxford University. He has been vocal around issues of land and poverty. He is currently enrolled in MA program at UCT.

 

Faciliator: Mr Nikhiel Deeplal

Nikhiel Deeplal is the national chairperson of Students for Law and Social Justice. His organisation has taken a number of proactive steps in reform, most recently making submission to the Fees Commission set up to investigate tertiary education.

He has presented academic work in The Hague which focused on policy and international law reform. Mr Deeplal has previously clerked for Justice Yacoob and holds an LLB and LLM from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal. He will focus on community service for students and candidate attorneys.

  

 

*Marginalisation of Transgender and Intersex Persons Human Rights in Southern Africa:

Thirteen years ago, the Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act, No. 49 of 2003 (Act 49) was introduced by government in order to provide a legal mechanism by which transgender and intersex persons in South Africa can alter their sex descriptors (gender markers) on identity documents. As such, Act 49 allows transgender and intersex persons to apply to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to alter the sex description captured at birth on the population register so that it corresponds with their gender identity.

Since inception of the legislation, there have been a number of reported problems and rights violations in the implementation of the legislation including mandated surgical alterations, forced divorces, delays in processing the applications and obligatory medical confirmation of gender identity rather than allowing the individual to self-identify. In addition, the panel will examine and reflect on issues of self-identification and legal gender markers in the Southern African region as a whole, and compare country-specific situations to current international best practices.

The panel aims to highlight the need for effective implementation of Act 49 in the realisation of legal gender recognition for transgender and intersex persons. Additionally, the panelists will engage participants on the crucial need for law reform to ensure self-identification and bodily autonomy within a rights-based framework in Southern Africa. The panelists will draw from their expertise and experiences in advocacy and litigation on rights related to gender diversity and body diversity.

 

Panellists:

Tashwill Esterhuizen is employed as a LGBTI and Sex Worker Rights Programme lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). SALC is a regional human rights organisation that envisage to remove legal barriers (affecting minority groups and key populations) through strategic litigation and advocacy. Tashwill holds an LLB from the University of Cape Town and is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa. He has extensive experience in public interest and human rights law litigation and advocacy. Prior to his employment at SALC, he was employed as a litigation attorney at Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), where he was involved in a number of public interest litigation cases in South Africa including the provision of housing and shelter to vulnerable groups.

 

Mandivavarira Mudarikwa holds a LLB and a LLM in Human Rights Law, both from the University of CapeTown. She was admitted to the Western Cape Town High Court Attorneys Roll in August 2011. Madivavarira is currently employed as an attorney working in the equality and non-discrimination project of the LRC Cape Town office. This project focuses on promoting and protecting the right to equality and non-discrimination of vulnerable and marginalised groups including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed (LGBTI) persons, refugees, disabled persons, children and women. As an attorney, her work includes strategic impact litigation, legal representation in internal tribunals and lower courts, local, regional and international advocacy at both the African and global level, training and research.

 

Estian Smith is the national advocacy coordinator of Gender DynamiX, a Cape Town-based transgender human rights organisation. It played a central role in parliamentary lobbying surrounding South Africa’s gender recognition law, and are involved in ongoing law reform and implementation struggles to realise transgender and intersex rights, including the depathologisation of gender diversity and body diversity in legal and medical discourses.

 

Facilitator: Charlene May is an attorney at the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) a public interest non-profit law centre based in South Africa. Ms May obtained her LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape and completed her articles of clerkship at the LRC. She currently coordinates the equality and non-discrimination focus area of the LRC which is focused on providing legal assistance to individuals and communities who are faced with discrimination. She has a special interest in gender law and has litigated, trained and published on issues ranging from women’s access to socio-economic rights, gender-based violence, sexual orientation and gender identity as well as custom and its impact on the lives of women and other vulnerable groups.

 

 

 

*Confrontational, Complementary, Co-operative or Co-opted? Social Justice Organisations Working with the State:

This panel discusses the findings from a recent research report commissioned by the RAITH Foundation and conducted by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI). The report, Confrontational, Complementary, Co-operative or Co-opted? Social Justice Organisations working with the State, considers the working relations between Social Justice Organisations (SJOs) and the State with a view to determining the conditions under which they have been successful in pursuing and deepening social justice and democratic outcomes. The report sheds light on the multiple relationships which SJOs have with the State and the range of strategies used to engage it. Overall, the report highlights that strategic litigation was found to be one of the most effective methods for producing social justice outcomes. Litigation is often widely perceived as only building adversarial relations with the state, and it does indeed carry that risk, but our findings discussed in the report proved that it was a complex yet useful tool. The panel will discuss these findings and more in considering the current and future prospects for SJO-State engagement for social justice.

 

Panellists:

Dr Ian Goldman is the head of evaluation and research in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. He has worked for 37 years on issues of rural development, decentralization, sustainable livelihoods approaches, community-driven development, and action learning, involving a range of evaluation and research work. He has worked in 18 countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and with national, provincial and local government, as well as in the NGO and SME sectors. He is a deputy director general in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, where he is leading the establishment of South Africa’s national evaluation system and DPME’s involvement in research. Ian is also a Commissioner of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).

 

Mr Mavuso Msimang is the Chairperson of Corruption Watch, a former Director General of the Department of Home Affairs and CEO of SANParks. He is also currently the CEO of the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation. His non-executive board directorships include the African Parks Network and the Peace Parks Foundation, and he is chairperson of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site.

 

Dr Carin Runciman was a Senior Researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institute and is now a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Change, University of Johannesburg. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Glasgow. Her research specialises in civil society activism and the politics of protest.

 

 

Faciliator: Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi is the Research Manager at the Public Affairs Research Institute. He holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, New York, where he also obtained a Master of Philosophy in English and Comparative Literature. Working in various academic and activist capacities, Mbongiseni has been interested in how the state interfaces with citizens in areas that include land restitution, the role of traditional leaders in governance, heritage and public archives.

 

 

17:30 for 18:00

Keynote Address: Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, Former South African Constitutional Court Judge: “Civil Society: It’s Role in an Increasingly Assertive South African Society”

 

JUSTICE JENNIFER YVONNE MOKGORO

Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from its inception in October 1994 until the end of the 15 year term in October 2009. Simultaneously served on the South African Law Reform Commission, 1995-2011, chairing the Commission from 1999 to 2011.

Appointed Judge of the Appeal Court of Lesotho (2015 to date) and also Judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia (April 2016 to date).

Appointed Honorary (Emeritus) Professor of Law at the following South African Universities: University of the North – West, University of Limpopo, University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, and the University of South Africa.

Studied, mostly part-time, obtaining the Bachelor of Law Degree (B.luris), in 1982, the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1984, Master of Laws (LLM) in 1987. All at the University of Bophuthatswana, now North West University. Obtained a second LLM degree at the University of Pennsylvania (USA) 1990).

Conferred with the Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by the University of North West (South Africa), the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa); the University of Toledo (Ohio U.S.A); University of the Western Cape (South Africa); University of Pretoria; University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa); University of South Africa and the University of Pennsylvania (U.S.A).

Started work-experience as a nursing assistant and later as a retail sales-person before appointment as administrative clerk in the Department of Justice (Bophuthatswana) South Africa. Appointed maintenance officer and public prosecutor in the then Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court-1982.

Appointed lecturer in law in the Department of Jurisprudence, at the University of Bophuthatswana 1984. Rose through the ranks to Associate Professor, serving there until 1991. Appointed Associate Professor at the University of the Western Cape, 1992-1993. Appointed as Specialist Researcher at the Centre for Constitutional Analysis, Human Science Research Council, in January 1994 – October 1994. Served as part-time Lecturer, University of Pretoria, January 1994 – October 1994, until appointment to the Constitutional Court in October 1994.

Throughout, offered a number of courses at the University of North-West (Mafikeng), 1984-1991; University of the Western Cape, 1991-1993 and University of Pretoria (1994). Courses included Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, Jurisprudence, History of Law, Comparative Law, Criminal Law, Private Law and Customary Law.

As visiting professor offered short courses on the South African Constitution and the Constitutionality of South African Customary Law, and presented public lectures at Southern Methodist University Law School (U.S.A);University of Pennsylvania Law School (U.S.A); Albany Law School (U.S.A); University of Michigan Law School and (U.S.A) and Rutgers University Law School (U.S.A).

Presented public lectures on various topics in contemporary jurisprudence at Maastricht University (Netherlands); London School of Economics (United Kingdom); Harvard University Law School (USA); University of South Africa; University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa); University of Cape Town (South Africa); University of Pretoria (South Africa) and University of North-West (South Africa).

Presented papers, published articles and participated in a myriad of national and international conferences, seminars and workshops in South Africa and internationally, mainly in sociological jurisprudence, particularly on Constitutional Law, human rights and customary law, focussing on the impact of law on society generally, and on women and children specifically. Served extensively as a resource person in this regard for civil society organisations and other initiatives in South Africa regionally and internationally.

Presided as Chairperson of the Selection Committee of the Press Council of South Africa which appoints the Press Ombudsperson and members of the Press Appeal Board- (1997).

Member of the Advisory Committee of the South Africa – Canada Linkage Project, from its inception in 1994 until it ceased operations in 2004; President of Africa Legal Aid (AFLA); a civil society organisation, which provides legal aid and human rights education throughout Africa and is based in Accra, (Ghana) with satellite offices in Maastricht (Netherlands) and Pretoria (South Africa), (1995-2005) and Chairperson of Venda University Council, (2002 – 2009).

Currently serving on a number of boards, and trusts, including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Chairperson); Mandela-Rhodes Trust (Trustee); the South African Judicial Education Institute (SAJEI) – (Member of Council, and chairing the Curriculum Development Committee). Also serves on the Social Cohesion Reference Group; DNA Forensic Board – South Africa (Chairperson); Constitutionalism Fund (Chairperson); Sol Plaatje University Council (Chairperson); South African Reserve Bank Appointment Board (Appointing Non-Executive Director of the Reserve Bank – South Africa) (Member);Justice Initiative Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundation (New York) – (Member); International Committee of Arbitration in Sport (ICAS) (Geneva) – (Member) and Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists (2014).

Recipient of a number of other honours and awards, including the Educational Opportunities Council Scholarship (U.S.A)-(1989-1990); the Women’s Law and Public Law Fellowship, by Georgetown University Law Centre, (Washington DC)- (1990); the Human Rights Award (Black Lawyers Association)- (1995); the Oude Molen Reserve Order of Merit (1995/1996); the Legal Profession’s Woman Achiever Award (Centre for Human Rights) and (the University of Pretoria)- (2001); University of the North School of Law Excellence Award (2003); the Kate Stoneman Democracy Award (Albany Law School, NY (U.S.A)-(2003); the Tshwane Outstanding Service Award (TOSA)-(2006) and the James Wilson Award by the University of Pennsylvania Law School (Philadelphia, PENN, U.S.A)-(2008); the Felicia and Sydney Kentridge Award for Service to Law in Southern Africa, (General Bar Council ,South Africa)-(2014); and the Annual Honour for Service to Law (Advocates for Transformation – (2014).

Appointed Special Ambassador for the University of Venda (2009 to date); selected by the President of South Africa as an official Advocate for Social Cohesion in South Africa (2013-2018); is patron of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges; is member of the International Women’s Forum, (Washington DC, U.S.A), the International Federation of Women Lawyers and the South African Women Lawyers Association.

Selected as an icon of the history of Women Lawyers in South Africa (2006).

Appointed by the International Bar Association to lead and investigation into the boycott of certain courts by legal practitioners in the Gambia (2005); appointed Chairperson of the Independent Panel of Experts to investigate the circumstance of the stampede that occurred at the University of Johannesburg, (South Africa) during student registration, resulting in the death of a parent and reporting to the Council of the University of Johannesburg, 2012.

Appointed to chair the Tribunal investigating the conduct of the President of the Court of Appeal, Kingdom of Lesotho with a view to determine and report whether the conduct was impeachable – (2013); appointed by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Zimbabwe, as lead consultant to investigate, assess and report on the capacity needs of the Judiciary in Zimbabwe, determining whether the judiciary can adequately meet their mandate in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment Act, 20 of 2013).

Appointed Judge in the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) from 2011 to 2013 exercising oversight over the administration of the OCJ and the implementation of the OCJ’s legislative mandate, where the role of the OCJ in turn entailed the enhancement of the independence and accountability of the South African Judiciary including, the enhancement of access to justice for all.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 31 August

9:00 – 10:30

 

*Mobilising the Media(s) to Advance Rights: Case Studies in Using Media in the Quest for Social Justice:

The media landscape in South Africa has changed dramatically in the last few years, there is no denying that the media still play a pivotal role in driving discourse in this country. Discussions about a healthy democracy often include references to active citizenry and how people can access their constitutional rights. The media, whether traditional, online or social, is an important source of information for the public to learn about what is going on behind the closed doors of institutions like the Constitutional Court, the Competition Commission, the High Court and amongst social justice organisations.

 

The SECTION27 and Basic Education For All (BEFA) textbooks monitoring campaign is a good example of this principle in action. The organisations increased advocacy efforts from the beginning of 2016, after the successful textbooks judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal delivered on December 2, 2015. This campaign is geared towards highlighting the judgment and building on the 2015 #textbooksmatter campaign.

 

Often, those with power are only galvanised into action when issues are brought into the public sphere by the media. Recent examples include the Eastern Cape Department of Health’s response to the South African Human Rights Council (SAHRC) report on Emergency Medical Services in the Eastern Cape and the publicity created around the Silicosis and TB Class actions brought by the LRC and others.

Some of the issues to be unpacked during this panel discussion will include (i) where to break the story first, (ii) the use of social media to drive engagement, (iii) what is the role of the media in driving social justice and (iv) where do media and social justice movements connect?

 

Panellists:

Moira Campbell is head of communications at Corruption Watch, a not-for-profit NGO dedicated to combatting corruption, a position she has held for close on two years.

Moira received a liberal arts degree majoring in English literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, prior to which she obtained a national diploma in graphic design at what is now the KZN University of technology.

 

Over the past thirty years, Moira has worked in communications primarily in development and social justice, but with short stints in the private sector, in South Africa and the United States. Her career in communications, beginning in the NGO sector in the mid-80s, has spanned many global and national events, most notably the first democratic elections in 1994, when she worked as a peace monitor.

 

Moira spent close on seven years in the U.S., working in programme development and public relations. After returning to South Africa in 2003, she worked as a consultant in development and communications over a period of 10 years, crafting communications strategies and programmes for a range of public sector, donor and other clients. These diverse projects throughout southern Africa deepened her awareness of sustainability issues and the impact of poverty and inequality in the region. Her career trajectory has also required constant adaptation to new tools and methods of story-telling and public engagement. Since joining Corruption Watch, she is constantly in search for innovative ways to use new media to make content more accessible and relevant to diverse audiences.

 

Ellis Mnyandu is the Founder, CEO, Editor In Chief – Candid Media and a former Editor of Business Report, South Africa’s largest financial daily, a position he assumed in January 2011 until January 2016.

Prior to that he was Deputy Editor of Business Report after joining Independent Newspapers, which publishes Business Report, in May 2010 from New York.

In New York he was a Reuters senior correspondent, leading a team of Wall Street reporters covering the U.S. stock market and corporations listed on it. He has a decade of experience covering corporate America, which included reporting on the effects of such major events as the Enron accounting scandal, 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the election of Barack Obama as U.S. President and the global financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Before heading to the Unites States, he was a correspondent in the Johannesburg bureau of Reuters, covering economics, business and politics.

He also worked as a Reuters deputy parliamentary correspondent based in Cape Town, where he covered the political and financial spectrum of the South African legislative process and the transition from Nelson Mandela to Thabo Mbeki’s presidency.

 

Ntsiki Mpulo is a journalist and media relations specialist at SECTION27. She joined the organisations in 2015 following two years as a communications manager at a Johannesburg based financial services firm. Her career spans fifteen years in communications that includes representing clients in the tourism sector and in government. She has unique perspective of the media industry having worked within it as a journalist and as a media practitioner on behalf of organisations. She has international experience having worked in the United Kingdom as a marketing communications manager for three years.

In addition to an undergraduate degree in marketing, Ntsiki holds a post graduate diploma in journalism and media studies from Rhodes University and is working towards a Masters in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.

 

Facilitator: Dinesh Balliah (Moderator – Wits Journalism) is a journalism educator and trainer. She started her career at Wits University in 2001, where she pioneered a new program called Information Technology for the Humanities Faculty. The program now forms part of the Media Studies department.

After a three year sabbatical in Germany where she completed a few business courses and increased her German language proficiency, Dinesh joined Wits Journalism as the new & social media lecturer.

In 2000, Dinesh published the first book on history of the Internet in South Africa. Dinesh is currently reading for her PhD in Journalism and Media Studies. Her researches explores the shifts in journalism practice in the move to digital platforms.

In 2016 Dinesh was appointed the deputy public advocate to the South African Press Council and handles all online-related complaints to the office of the Press Ombudsman.

 

 

 

*Drafting a Public Procurement Law for South Africa: The Process and the Possibilities:

While the public interest law community has long focused on the place of litigation within social justice and social change campaigns, participation in law reform processes initiated and controlled by the state have not received as much attention. Nonetheless, they have a recognized place within legal campaigns for legal changes. Such processes might be considered as innovative in the degree of openness by a government unit to working with a public interest organization and in its integration of organizational research into legal drafting processes. They also pose particular challenges of independence and sustainability.

 

This panel explores the opportunity for participation with elements of the state in formal law reform efforts. The current law reform process engaged in by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) with the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) within National Treasury on procurement law reform in terms of section 217(2) of the Constitution will be the subject of the panel. PARI is part of the project team drafting a Public Procurement Act to consolidate the current fragmented regulatory regime around public procurement and to repeal and replace the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA). The subjects to be covered include: reflections on the distinctive law reform process evident in this law reform process, the current state of public procurement law reform, and opportunities for civil society organisations to advance social justice through engagement with this law reform process.

 

Panellists:

Ryan Brunette received a Bachelor of Social Science, summa cum laude, with majors in Philosophy, Politics and Law, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He received an Honours degree summa cum laude in Philosophy from the same institution. Ryan also has an Honours in Politics with distinction from Wits University, and was awarded the Joe Ebrahim Prize for Best Honours Student in Politics. He was granted Golden Key membership at UKZN and Wits in 2008 and 2012 respectively. He recently completed his masters, under a PARI-Nedbank Scholarship, constituting a broad-ranging preliminary study of state capacity in South Africa and its history. His research continues to focus upon the determinants of state capacity in South Africa, and upon the political ramifications of public administration.

 

Ivor Chipkin is PARI’s Executive Director and an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He completed his PhD at the Ecole Normale Superieure in France and was based at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) between 2001 and 2004. He received an Oppenheimer fellowship in 2005 and took up a position at St Anthony’s college at the University of Oxford. He spent 4 years in the Democracy and Governance Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council where he acquired an intimate knowledge of government departments and agencies. In 2007 he published “Do South Africans Exist? Nationalism, Democracy and the Identity of ‘the People’ ” with Wits University Press.

Ivor has also published widely on questions of government, governance and the State in South Africa. He is currently finishing a new book on the history of public sector reform in South Africa and its consequences for development and democracy.

 

Leanne Govindsammy (Corruption Watch) is Head of Legal and Investigations at Corruption Watch. She clerked for Justice Madala at the Constitutional Court and later completed her articles at Cheadle Thompson & Haysom Inc. where she practised as senior associate in the labour, media and litigation departments before joining Corruption Watch. She earned an LLB from Wits and an LLM summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in the U.S.

 

Patronella Nqaba holds a Masters in Politics and International Studies, B. Economics (Hons) in Politics and International Studies and Bachelor of Economics degree, all from Rhodes University. Her Masters research looked at NGOs and the depoliticisation of development: The case of GADRA education in Grahamstown. Petronella has an interest in civil society interaction with the state and its impact on broader societal issues. She has experience in communications and digital marketing.

 

Facilitator: Jonathan Klaaren Jonathan is Professor and former Dean of the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He teaches, researches and writes in the areas of human rights, law, and sociology, having written over forty peer-reviewed publications and co-written several books. His current research interests are in the legal profession, regulation and human rights, transparency, and sociolegal studies in Africa. He has served on a number of editorial committees and boards including those of the South African Journal on Human Rights, Law & Society Review, and Law & Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University and law degrees from Columbia (JD) and Wits (LLB). He served as Dean of the Wits Law School from 2010 to 2013 and as Director of the School’s Mandela Institute from 2005 to 2007. Beyond his permanent appointment in the Law School, he holds an additional appointment as a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and works with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER).

 

 

 

*Parliamentary Oversight and the Right of Access to Basic Education: The Need for Accountability:

This panel will discuss the constitutionality envisioned role of legislatures in ensuring oversight over the realization of the right to access to basic education. The panel will also explore ways in which public interest lawyers and civil society can utilize parliamentary and provincial legislature platforms to advance the right to access to basic education.

 

Panellists:

Nurina Ally is the Executive Director of the Equal Education Law Centre. She is a committed activist, with a passion for using law to advance social justice. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, receiving various accolades for outstanding achievement. She then pursued a Masters degree in African Studies, which she obtained from the University of Edinburgh with distinction. With an interest in social justice lawyering, Nurina then completed her LLB degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, graduating as the most distinguished scholar. Nurina completed her articles and eventually practised as a senior associate in the public law department at Webber Wentzel Attorneys. As a public law attorney, she has specialist expertise in the field of constitutional and administrative law, as well as public interest litigation. In addition, Nurina has had the privilege of serving as a law clerk to Justice Edwin Cameron at the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

 

Silomo Khumalo is currently a legal researcher at SECTION27. He first joined SECTION27 in 2015 as Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) research Fellow. Silomo holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree with majors in Sociology and Legal Studies, a Bachelor of Laws and an Honours degree in Public Policy from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. During his time as a student he participated in human rights and disability activism organisations. Silomo is passionate about constitutional law and public policy and hopes use a career in human rights law to assist in the transformation of South Africa. In 2017, he will join the Constitutional Court as a clerk for Justice Froneman. Silomo is totally blind.

 

Zukiswa Kota is a researcher at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) in Grahamstown. She has significant experience in spheres such as expenditure tracking, budget analysis and monitoring of various public resource management processes. Promoting fiscal transparency and accountable governance is integral to the work she does at the PSAM- central to which is engagement with parliamentary committees and other oversight entities. She has a keen interest in social justice issues with a passion for the environment, food security and education in particular. Zukiswa holds a postgraduate degree in Environmental Science from Rhodes University.

 

Samantha Waterhouse is currently the Head of the Women and Democracy Initiative of the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape. She’s focused on promoting social justice, transformation and human rights through enhancing deliberative democracy in South Africa. Her work seeks to strengthen or support civil society processes to hold government accountable, with particular attention paid to public engagements with the legislatures for this purpose. She has worked for the past twenty years on advoacy in the women’s and in the children’s sectors. Her experience includes providing counseling and paralegal support services; training and capacity building of criminal justice sector stakeholders; research; and engaging in advocacy for law and policy reform and implementation. She holds a diploma in photography (Peninsula Technikon) and an MPhil in Social Justice (UCT).

 

Facilitator: Chandré Stuurman is an attorney at the Equal Education Law Centre. She studied at the University of Stellenbosch, where she obtained her BA and LLB degrees. During her studies, Chandré was employed by the South African Property Law Research Chair Professor AJ van der Walt as a Constitutional Property Law researcher with a particular focus on Section 25 of the Constitution, dealing with property rights. She was also involved in the Financial Literacy Project of the university’s Legal Aid Clinic. Before joining the Equal Education Law Centre in early 2014, Chandré completed her Articles of Clerkship with Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys. Chandré is a passionate young lawyer and activist, with a drive to use the law as a tool for social justice and for equality in education.

 

 

*Prodding ProBono: Community Service and the Legal Practice Act:

The current framing of community service under the new legislative framework, is unclear and ambiguous. The discussion aims to bring clarity to Section 29 of the Legal Practice Act, what the proposed outcome of the legislation should be and how it should be realised. Questions surrounding the definition of community service and pro bono will be explored, including practical issues such as what constitutes pro bono work, what constitutes community service, what form of community service is appropriate for candidate attorneys and legal practitioners, the number of hours required of legal practitioners in terms of pro bono work and so forth.

 

Panellists:

Mr Nikhiel Deeplal is the national chairperson of Students for Law and Social Justice. His organisation has taken a number of proactive steps in reform, most recently making submission to the Fees Commission set up to investigate tertiary education. He has presented academic work in The Hague which focused on policy and international law reform. Mr Deeplal has previously clerked for Justice Yacoob and holds an LLB and LLM from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal. He will focus on community service for students and candidate attorneys.

 

Erica Emdon is the National Director of ProBono.Org. An attorney, published author and development law specialist, Emdon has been involved in government policy formulation and submissions. She has worked in women’s rights and child law. Currently Emdon serves on the Legal Services Committee of Legal Aid SA, participates in the NADEL National Stakeholders Forum on pro bono and community service and has written extensively on the pro bono aspects of the Legal Practice Act.

 

Ricardo Wyngaard is passionate about the non-profit sector and has been focusing on non-profit law since 1999. He is a lawyer by profession who obtained his LLB degree at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and his LLM degree at the University of Illinois in the U.S. He has authored a number of articles and booklets on non-profit law and governance, some of which have been published in international journals. Ricardo has participated as a speaker at both national and international conferences and has facilitated workshops with NGOs and community-based organisations. He served as a member of the Cape Law Society’s Pro Bono Committee from 2007 to 2015.

 

Facilitator: Mrs Tshenolo Masha manages the housing, refugee and community advice office projects at ProBono.Org. She obtained a Diploma in Paralegal Studies at the then RAU (now UJ) Law Clinic and volunteered at the Tembisa Justice Centre before joining the Alexandra Justice Centre where she worked for seven years. Tshenolo is passionate about public education and empowering communities in aspects of the law.

 

 

*Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Strategies for Public Interest Work:

How do we track and evaluate the impact of public interest advocacy?
Increasingly, public interest lawyers and activists are being asked to demonstrate the impact and efficacy of their chosen advocacy interventions. However, advocacy does not generally fit the traditional monitoring, evaluation and learning model. We need to develop monitoring and evaluation tools for public interest work, that enable civil society organisations to measure their progress, identify strategic blind spots, allow for learning within the sector, and to disseminate or replicate their strategies elsewhere in the region.

 

Panellists:

Tiffany Ebrahim is a researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI). She has an honours degree in political studies from Wits University and a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam. Tiffany has been involved in the implementation phase of the Public Interest Legal Services in South Africa: Project Report, a study commissioned by the Ford and RAITH Foundations exploring the nature of public interest legal services sector in South Africa, the context in which it operates and how its value and impact can be best characterised. Following the release of the report, Tiffany has assisted with mapping out the sector and developing a human resource guideline and workshops with litigating NGOs and community advice offices based in the Western Cape on discussing and applying the multidimensional framework for assessing value and impact.

 

Lebohang Letsela is a trained research psychologist from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and holds a Masters of Arts degree in Research Psychology. She is currently employed as M&E Manager at Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication. She enjoys conducting quantitative and/ or qualitative research and has 5 years of experience in research in health and developmental issues including HIV and AIDS, alcohol, masculinity and youth health. Her work has also involved extensive M&E activities for health communication interventions, specifically Social and Behaviour Change Communication programs.

 

Liveson Manguwo (Sonke Gender Justice) is a monitoring and evaluation specialist focusing specifically on tracking the impact of advocacy strategies by the Policy Development and Advocacy unit of Sonke Gender Justice. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Development Planning from Stellenbosch University, a Certificate in Environmental Education from Rhodes, and a BSc in Geography from the University of Zimbabwe. He previously worked for World Vision South Africa as a Development Facilitator for the Atlantis Advocacy and Education projects and as a Design Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Specialist for the Cape Region from 2012 to 2014.

 

Facilitator: Ariane Nevin (Sonke Gender Justice) is leading Sonke’s advocacy for prisons transformation in South Africa. She holds a BA LLB from the University of Cape Town, and an MA in public interest law and policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was an active member of Students for Law and Social Justice at UCT, and before joining Sonke, worked on issues relating to education at SECTION27 as an SLSJ fellow and researcher.

  

 

*Resisting the Unequal Balance of Power: Farm Worker Struggles and the Legal System:

This panel discussion will focus on the struggles of farm workers in the Western Cape. Drawing on SERI’s experience in the Robertson Abattoir case, the panel will discuss anti-union strategies and methods used by farm owners to ensure that workers remain vulnerable, disorganised and exploited. The panel will touch on the role that litigation can play in enforcing farm workers’ rights.

  

 

Students for Law & Social Justice Special Lunch Hour Session:

Is it civil to engage in civil unrest and disobedience?

Issues to be discussed: (I) Where a state (not limited to government) loses its legitimacy/trust of its civilians in a Constitutional dispensation, what are the roles civil unrest / civil disobedience arising from obligations set out in public policy and statute may play if any? The role of protest and uprising in post-1994. Social and legal Consequences not only for the state but also for civilians?

(II) Contextualize using eg from loss of legitimacy in different organs of state and or jurisdictions where unrest and disobedience worked in interests of civilians/failed them further. What is the answer to the legitimacy crisis outside scope of unrest/disobedience? Does it ultimately serve the purpose of representing the will of the people’s power vested in the state?

(III) Is silent protest which may disrespect a particular office part of civil disobedience or do our constitutional right to protest trump the respect to be accorded to that office.

 

Panellists: To be Announced: Each panelist will offer suggestions on the way forward.

 

Facilitator: Ashleigh Le Feur: Member, SLSJ National Executive Committee

 

 

13:45 – 15:15

*Universities as the Sites of Struggle

The historic student protests in 2015 exposed the inequality and racial segregation in universities across South Africa. This panel will assess the ways in which universities have become an arena for social justice struggles – by examining what has been achieved on campuses thus far, what remains unfulfilled, what the relationship between student movements and the public interest legal community is / could be, and where to from here.

 

Panellists:

Anele Nzimande is a One Day Leader 2013 contestant and is currently completing her final year of Law at the University of Witwatersrand. During her time at Wits, she has held the posts of Vice Chairperson of the Law Students Council and tutor for the South African Model United Nations Programme for high school students in 2013. She has participated in the Wits Debating Union for two years and has written a chapter for a book project lead by SABC Education called ‘Reflections on South Africa’. She was also a mentor for the Future Leaders programme in 2014 pioneered by SAB to discourage underage drinking in communities. Anele is currently a part-time researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS).

 

Lesego Papinho Phetlhe is a graduate of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).  While at TUT, he held a number of positions including Local SRC PRO of Pretoria Campus, Branch Executive Committee member of SASCO, Treasurer of the Young Communist League of South Africa at Rand Campus and secretary of SASCO Rand Campus. Lesego is currently studying towards an MPhil degree at the University of Johannesburg and holds the position of Sports Officer at the newly established Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. He considers himself a human rights activist and a proponent of social justice.

 

Simamkele Heleni is completing a Bachelor of Journalism degree at the University currently known as Rhodes. She identifies as a feminist and considers herself a well-raised young woman with good values and beliefs that are mostly non-conformist and have opened some doors for her.

 

Facilitator: Palesa Madi is an attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). While studying towards an LLB at Wits University between 2009 and 2012, she became a member of the Wits Volunteer Programme and took on the role of founding Chairperson of the Wits Chapter of Students for Law and Social Justice. In 2013, she interned at both Amnesty International and CALS, where she was appointed as a candidate attorney in 2014. Now an attorney, she continues to work across all CALS’ programmes with a particular focus on the right to protest, prison conditions, remand detention and corporate accountability.

 

 

*Watching the Watchers: Assessing the State of Surveillance in South Africa

This panel will look at state surveillance in South Africa, examining the extent and depth of surveillance capabilities and what this means for the right to privacy, the health of our democracy, and the ability of the media and civil society activists to operate freely. The panellists will discuss the nature of the systems that are in place including the use of CCTV coverage, communications interception, the role played by the private sector in enabling state surveillance and abuses within the existing frameworks.

Furthermore, the panel will also look at the question of what oversight mechanisms currently exist, whether they are able to ensure accountability and prevent abuse, and whether the existing laws regarding surveillance contain sufficient safeguards and would pass constitutional muster if challenged. In considering these issues, the panel will look at the developments both in South Africa and trends taking place in countries worldwide.

 

Panellists:

Jane Duncan is a professor in the Department of Journalism, Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg. She was the Executive Director of the Freedom of Expression Institute, and has written widely on freedom of expression, the right to protest and media policy.

 

Murray Hunter is the National Advocacy Co-ordinator of the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign. He has worked extensively with surveillance and information rights issues since the formation of R2K in 2011.

 

Avani Singh has worked in the Constitutional Litigation Unit of the Legal Resources Centre since August 2014. Prior to that, she completed her articles of clerkship at Webber Wentzel, and was retained as an associate in the dispute resolution practice group focusing on media law. She has also worked as a research assistant to Professor Christof Heyns, and has clerked for Justice Thembile Skweyiya at the Constitutional Court and Judge Eboe-Osuji at the International Criminal Court. Her particular areas of interest are freedom of expression, access to information, privacy and administrative law.

 

Facilitator: To Be Announced

 

 

*Litigation vs. Advocacy: Do We Have to Choose? Spotlight on the Black Sash “Hands off Our Grant Campaign”

Campaigns to secure socio-economic rights are complex. Civil society organisations and social movements are often confronted with the vexed question of whether to litigate or to pursue an advocacy path to advance the cause. Both are risky, particularly when resources are constrained, and there is no guarantee of success.

The Hands Off Our Grant (HOOG) campaign, initiated in 2013 to stop unauthorized, unlawful and immoral deductions from social grants, forced the Black Sash to confront this question not once, but several times. How best to advance the cause? How to reconcile opposing internal organizational viewpoints? What are the risks and rewards of these strategies? The panel will also explore the implications of working in Amicus Curiae mode and as an intervening party.

 

Panellists:

Elroy Paulus

National Advocacy Manager, Black Sash Trust

Elroy Paulus serves as the National Advocacy Manager of the Black Sash and coordinates the Hands Off our Grants Campaign at a National level within the Black Sash. Since 1996 he was a community development practitioner for various organisations – including Fair Share UWC School of Government.

He was also Research Coordinator for COSATU Parliamentary Office from 2003 – 2006. He represents the Black Sash on the Board of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group; served on a Task Team and Committee of the National Department of Health, and the Presidency respectively. He is also a member of the Social Development Ministerial Task Team on Unlawful Deductions. He has published on the matter being debated in Groundup, Economic and Social Review, Dullah Omar Institute, UWC and in the mainstream media.

 

Gina Snyman is in-house counsel at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies litigating across all programmatic areas, with a special interest in the Rule of Law. Prior to joining CALS, Gina practiced as in-house counsel at Lawyers for Human Rights’ in the Strategic Litigation Unit, with a strong focus on Environmental Rights and mining affected communities, as well as representing clients before the Arms Procurement Commission. Before joining the bar, Gina headed LHR’s Immigration Detention Programme where she successfully obtained landmark judgments on the rights of asylum seekers not to be detained, and the non-extradition of foreign nationals facing the death penalty.

 

Facilitator:

Nomonde Nyembe is an attorney in the Business and Human Rights Programme at CALS. Nomonde completed her legal articles at Edward Nathan Sonnebergs Inc., then spent a year at the Constitutional Court as a law clerk to then Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Subsequently, she worked as a Research and Teaching Associate at the Wits Law School. She was then awarded the UCLA Law – Sonke Health and Human Rights Fellowship through which she completed a LLM specialising in Public Interest Law and Policy with a focus on Gender, Health and Human Rights at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. Prior to joining CALS, Nomonde was a Policy Advocacy and Development Associate at Sonke Gender Justice.