Speaker Biographies 2013
Clare Ballard joined the Community Law Centre as a researcher in January 2011. Her field of expertise is penology and criminal justice and she has authored a number of academic papers and opinion editorials on these topics. Clare is also a regular feature on television and radio news as a legal expert. Clare has a BA LLB from UCT and an LLM from Cornell University. She clerked for both Justice Sachs and Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke at the Constitutional Court. As a practitioner, she has worked as an attorney at the Centre for Child Law (University of Pretoria) and has prosecuted in the District Attorney’s Office, Tompkins County New York.
Louise Bick is a Director of Werksmans Attorneys in the Public Interest Law Department. Louise focuses on the provision of pro bono legal services, particularly in the areas of consumer protection and property rights and established the Werksmans Pro Bono Law Clinic in Diepsloot township, North of Johannesburg. Louise has a special interest in the rights of people with physical and mental disabilities and has advised both NGO’s in the disability sector and individuals on issues relating to access to education, sexual violence and harassment, ill treatment and eviction of people with disabilities from residential facilities, disability grants, accessibility and discrimination of athletes with disabilities. She presented oral submissions on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Women, Children and People with Disabilities and co-drafted written submissions on the First Draft Country Report for South Africa on the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in conjunction with Centre for Applied Legal Studies and Afrika Tikkun. She has published several articles on disability related topics, including the definition of disability, disability equity and the Paralympics.
Steven Budlender joined the Bar in October 2005. He holds an LLM degree focussing on constitutional law and competition law at New York University School of Law and spent 18 months clerking for Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson at the Constitutional Court. He has a general litigation practice with a particular focus on constitutional and administrative law. He has a particular interest in public interest litigation strategies. He is the co-author of the Atlantic Philanthropies Strategic Evaluation of Public Interest Litigation in South Africa, which he has presented in a number of different countries.
Dr Aninka Claassens has been engaged in land issues in South Africa for 25 years and leads Centre for Law and Society’s Rural Women’s Action Research Project. See the website www.customcontested.co.za
Dr Francesca Conradie is a joint appointee of Right to Care and the Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU). She fulfils the role of Right to Care’s Clinical Advisor for TB. Francesca obtained her MBBCh from Wits University in 1988. She was involved in general practice until she joined CHRU in 2000. Since then she has obtained a Diploma in HIV Management; a Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; and a Higher Diploma in Epidemiology (from the University of London). Francesca joined CHRU as a sub-investigator. She has been the principal investigator on a number of trials. She worked at Themba Lethu Clinic, the HIV clinic at Helen Joseph Hospital, from 2001 until 2005. In that time, she participated in the start of the ARV rollout. She has gained extensive experience in ARV therapy and its complications. Francesca assisted with the writing CIPRA protocol and was involved in the implementation of this project at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU). In 2005, she was appointed Project Leader of CIPRA Project 1. She also led other ACTG trials (5208 and 5207). She was the site leader for HPTN 052. In 2005, Francesca was promoted to Deputy Director of CHRU. In 2012, Francesca was appointed President of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society. Francesca is a member of the Human Research and Ethics Committee of Wits University. Francesca has authored and co-authored many journal articles and abstracts.
Morgan Courtenay LL.B LL.M (with distinction) is an attorney at the Centre for Child Law. Morgan has been involved in a number of Constitutional Court cases, including the recent Harmony High School case, involving children. He has also litigated extensively in the Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court on several children’s rights related issues. Prior to rejoining the Centre for Child Law in 2012, he practiced as an attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies in its Basic Services programme.
Liat Davis completed a BA in Politics and English and is presently completing her postgraduate LLB at UCT. She was one of the co-founders of SJC and has been involved in public interest work for most of her career as a student. She has also been an active member of Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ), a student-led organisation that campaigns for access to justice and whose national campaign is the imposition of compulsory community service for attorneys. Liat was the chairperson of the UCT branch of SLSJ for two consecutive years, a member of the SLSJ national seminar committee in 2010, and is presently the national chairperson of SLSJ.
Simon Delaney, BA LLB LLM (with distinction) is an attorney practising for his own account, providing strategic legal services to civil society. His human rights law career started at the Freedom of Expression Institute, where he litigated media freedom and right to protest cases. As a pro bono lawyer he defended occupiers of inner city buildings threatened with eviction and started the seminal water-rights case in Mazibuko. Simon recently initiated local and regional campaigns to decriminalise dissent.
Daygan Eagar is a programme manager for the Rural Health Advocacy Project responsible for its Rural Proofing Policy and Budgeting Programme (RPPBP). He is responsible for ensuring that the programme successfully advocates for rural proofing to become standard practice in all policy making, planning and budgeting in the health sector in South Africa. He has extensive experience in budget monitoring and expenditure tracking, which he has used in various contexts to advocate for greater accountability in the allocation and use of resources for public health.
Jean Elphick is the Director the Empowerment Programme for Families of People with Disabilities run by NGO Afrika Tikkun, in Orange Farm. Jean has extensive experience on advocating for disability rights and the practical problems faced by people with physical and mental disabilities. Jean will also be arranging for a representative from her empowerment group ( a mother of a child with disabilities) to join us at the panel discussion to share her experiences.
Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi joined the Wits Justice Project (WJP) as Project Coordinator in January 2012. The WJP (a project of the Journalism Department of the University of Witwatersrand) aims to impact significantly on the lives of people by striving for changes in the criminal justice system. Before that, Nooshin was the Humanitarian Diplomacy Senior Officer of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies – the world’s largest humanitarian network. In this post, she was part of the strategic conceptualisation and planning for the African Humanitarian Diplomacy Unit and helped establish and coordinate a continental team that included staff in communications, resource mobilization, planning and monitoring and evaluation, based in regional and country offices throughout Africa. Her specific portfolio included government relations and diplomacy; public affairs and advocacy; humanitarian affairs; communications; and protocol and external relations. Nooshin has also worked in the corporate and consultancy sectors, living and working in three continents, and brings these experiences to her work in advocating for the most vulnerable.
Fazila Farouk is the founder and executive director of the South African Civil Society Information Service (SACSIS – www.sacsis.org.za). SACSIS is a non-profit news agency that feeds social justice commentary to the mainstream media. Fazila has been running it since she launched it five years ago. Fazila qualified with a M.Sc. in development planning from the University of Natal in 1996 and has worked in civil society organisations ever since. Her experience includes research, policy advocacy and new media. She has written extensively about civil society, development and social justice in South Africa.
Nicole Fritz is the founding Executive Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), established to advance human rights and the rule of law within the southern Africa region. Nicole is an honorary lecturer at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Law. She has taught constitutional, international and human rights law as a faculty member at Wits School of Law and at Fordham Law School in New York.
Professor Adam Habib, the Wits University Vice-Chancellor, is an academic, an activist, an administrator, and outspoken. As a Professor of Political Science he is a renowned political media commentator and columnist. He cites Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky as key influences. Professor Habib brings to Wits more than 30 years’ academic research, institutional and administration expertise. His experience spans five universities and multiple local and international institutions, boards and task teams.
Kathleen Hardy joined the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) in June 2011 as an attorney in the Rule of Law Programme. Prior to joining CALS, she completed an internship at the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate (CTED) in New York. Kathleen obtained her LL.B and LL.M International Law (with distinction) from the University of Pretoria. Her areas of interest and expertise include international law, criminal justice and human rights. She has previously practiced as an attorney and lectured full-time at the University of Pretoria. Kathleen is a sessional lecturer at Wits University where she currently lectures criminal law.
Janine Hicks is a Commissioner with the Commission for Gender Equality, an independent, statutory body tasked with promoting and protecting gender equality in South Africa. Janine holds an LL B from the former University of Natal, Durban, and an MA from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University. Janine is Chairperson of local non-profits The Valley Trust, Agenda Feminist Media and the Community Law and Rural Development Centre.
Marie Huchzermeyer is a professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits University. Marie’s research has covered housing and informal settlement policy across different contexts and from a historical, political and rights-based perspective. In 2004 she published her first book Unlawful Occupation: Informal Settlements and Urban Policy in South Africa and Brazil, and in 2011 published Cities with ‘Slums': from Informal Settlement Eradication to a Right to the City in Africa. This book offers insights into South Africa’s post-apartheid urban trajectory and aims to inspire a wider understanding of, and solidarity with, struggles against repressive informal settlement eradication in the country and beyond. Marie has worked with a number of informal settlement communities over the years, and assisted with related public interest litigation.
Mazibuko Jara is a researcher on land and agrarian reform, processes of change in customary law from below, the dialogue between lived custom and the constitution, and rural democracy. I stay and work in Keiskammahoek as the Executive Director of Ntinga Ntaba kaNdoda which is a community-owned rural development organisation. Also a political activist in the Democratic Left Front.
Catherine Kennedy is the director of the South African History Archive (SAHA), an activist archive based at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. SAHA, through its Freedom of Information Programme, has been working to extend the boundaries of freedom of information in South Africa for over a decade by creating awareness of the right of access to information and its power as an enabling right that can be used to protect, promote and fulfil other human rights; and empowering individuals and organisations to understand and utilise the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) as a strategic advocacy tool.
Raylene Keightley is an Advocate and member of the Johannesburg Bar and a Visiting Associate Professor in the Wits Law School. She was previously the Director of CALS.
Adv Rudolph Jansen practices at the Pretoria Bar and has been involved in human rights litigation since he started practicing in 1990. During the period 2003 and 2008 he wa the National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights. He continues to be involved a wide range of human rights areas, including land reform, land restition and urban housing. He has acted in a number of reported cases dealing with land restitution and urban eviction.
Hassan Lorgat currently works with the Bench Marks Foundation (part time) in research and strategy issues regarding building community power and activism for the Bench Marks Foundation in relation to the state, corporations and media. After being expelled from Teachers Training college, Lorgat was propelled into activism having worked as an organiser, legal officer and media and communications manager for various trade unions, from Johannesburg Municipal combined Employees Union, SAMWU, Public Services International, Metal and Allied Workers Union- NUMSA, and finally South African Democratic Teachers Union. Lorgat also worked for SANGOCO, on various campaigns it was engaged with, and served as chair of the board of Transparency International South Africa. Hassan Lorgat has a BA Hons (Unisa). Masters at University of Warwickshire.(United Kingdom), and is currently reading for a doctorate at Rhodes in politics. Lorgat’s research interest’s remain, building power and democracy amonst the poor and the working class, how media covers (or ignores the poor) etc.
Ludick Mabyane contracted, and almost died from, TB while in prison at Losperfontein Correctional Centre. He was released on medical parole in August 2007. He now works with the Treatment Action Campaign in the North West Province.
Thokozile Madonko is currently the organizer for the People’s Health Movement South Africa and is based in Cape Town. She has worked in the areas of social justice, national, subnational and parliamentary governance, transparency and accountability, corruption and public finance. She spent four years at the International Budget Partnership (IBP) as a Program officer for the IBP’s Zambia partnership initiative and was a Trainer/Technical Assistance Provider. Prior to joining the IBP, Thoko spent four years at the Public Service Accountabillity Monitor (PSAM) based at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa where she worked as a researcher monitoring the performance of the Eastern Cape Provincial Health Department. She serves as Strategist & Fundraising director on the board of Beauty for Ashes. When she has time she writes poetry and book reviews!
Princess Magopane joined SERI as a paralegal in February 2012 and is now a candidate attorney. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Wits in 2007. And completed her LLB in 20212 at the same university. Princess worked at a law firm from 2007 to 2010, and has ample experience in litigation at both the Magistrates and High Court level.
She is interested in social justice, human rights law and public interest litigation, and hopes to gain more insight and experience in this area of law while at SERI.
Kay Mahonde is a candidate attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and the 2013 Bertha Fellow. Before joining CALS, she worked as a Legal Fellow at Lawyers against Abuse where she provided direct legal services to victims of GBV. At CALS, Kay is part of the team working on sexual violence in schools, particularly issues relating to the lack of accountability of educator perpetrators
Stacey-Leigh Manoek joined the WLC in June 2008 as an Attorney. She holds an LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Stacey-Leigh built upon her education by completing a Winter Law School Program at the University of Witwatersrand held in conjunction with Seattle University, and completed a course in legal writing, global advocacy, advanced constitutional jurisprudence and litigation. She completed her articles at the Legal Resource Centre. Her activities include advocacy, lobbying, documenting human rights violations, direct legal assistance, legal education and training, research and litigation to advance sex worker’s rights in South Africa.
Ivy Masilela has a nursing background with diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery. She worked in Neonatal ICU for 10 years while studying social work. She completed her Honours in Social Work in 1994 and further has Honours in Psychology (Counselling). Amongst significant areas of other certificate studies, she was involved in Community Development in Mpumalanga Mental Health society for two years. She is currently with the national office of SA Federation for Mental Health for 17 years as a Programme Manager, involved in Capacity Building, Human Rights programmes for persons with Mental Illness/Intellectual Disability. She is also spearheading the Empowerment Programme for Mental Health Care Users and has been involved in this programme for 15 years.
Matakanye Matakanye is the General Secretary of the National Association of School Governing Bodies. He is a teacher by profession and holds an honours degree in education (UNISA). He is a community intellectual. Matekanye has, in the course of his career, been in leadership positions in the National Education Union of South Africa (NEUSA), SADTU, the ANC, the SACP, the Civic Association, and the Meadowlands Education Council (MEDCO).
Anne Mayher has served as Coordinator of the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA) since 2011, and has been working with extractives-affected communities since 2006. IANRA is a network of community-based and non-governmental organisations in 10 countries in Africa and 1 in Europe that work toward more just and sustainable management of natural resources through advocacy, research, and community organising support. Key regional level projects include: the development of model legislation on mineral resources that would protect human rights as per the African Charter, and the Women, Gender and Extractives Project. The model legislation project will take place over 3 years, in collaboration with various partners, including with the Pan-African Parliament Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Anne’s previous experience includes lecturing at the University of North West and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Economic History, Development Studies and Peace Studies/International Relations. Anne holds a Master’s Degree in International and Intercultural Management (concentration: sustainable development). Her papers include: Neoliberal Hegemony and the English-Language Print Media in South Africa: Paving the Way for ‘Privatisation’, with Dr. David McDonald, Municipal Services Project, Queens University, in Review of African Political Economy and A Clash of Rights? Platinum Mining vs. Rural Communities in Limpopo Province, South Africa, commissioned by the Foundation for Human Rights.
Dr. Dale T. McKinley is an independent writer, researcher and lecturer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a long time political activist and has been involved in social movement, community and political organisation and struggles for over three decades. He holds a PhD. in Political Economy/African Studies, occasionally lectures at university level and gives regular talks/inputs to a wide variety of organisations. He is the author of three books and has written numerous book chapters, research reports, journal/magazine and press articles on various aspects of South African and international political, social and economic issues/struggles. He is presently the Gauteng coordinator/spokesperson for the Right2Know campaign and a member of its National Working Group.
Lindokuhle Mdabe completed his LLB degree at the University of Witwatersrand. He joined SERI as a research assistant in October 2012, mainly to do groundwork for SERI’s involvement in the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. He joined SERI full-time in November 2012 as a candidate attorney. He is currently working towards attaining an LLM on Human Rights at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Bandile Mdlalose is a 27 year, General Secretary of Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A. She has had this position since July 2010 at Abahlali Annual General Meeting. Bandile is the youngest cadre to hold the executive position of this movement since its formation in 2005. She was born in Kwa Mashu Township in Durban with four other sisters and one brother. Apart from her secretary duties, she volunteers Administration work at Abahlali‘s Head Quarters in Durban Central .Bandile has been sent to represent Abahlali in various meetings, conferences and workshops around South Africa. She has also been delegated to Kenya to represent the Civil Society Cop 17 Committee in the UN, Gender and Climate Change, United Kingdom and Senegal. Bandile has successfully organized protests and forced some municipalities to engage with shack dwellers movement and communities direct.
Bonita Meyersfeld graduated cum laude from the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Law and, after completing her articles of clerkship, went on to obtain her masters and doctorate in law from Yale Law School in the United States. In 2010, Bonita returned to her alma mater as an associate professor of law and became the Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies in 2012. Bonita’s work and studies have focused on international human rights law. Prior to her position at Wits she worked as a legal advisor in the House of Lords in the UK. During this period she was also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics in the Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights. Bonita has also worked at Interights in London, the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York and POWA in South Africa. She has published several articles in the areas of international human rights law, women’s rights, animal rights and business and human rights. In 2010 she published her book in the United Kingdom, Domestic Violence and International Law and founded Lawyers against Abuse.
Khanya Mncwabe is a South African human rights advocate with particular experience in the field of transitional justice. Khanya joined the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in October 2012 as the Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative
From 2008 to 2012, she held various positions at Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Cape Town, most recently Senior Researcher supporting CSVR’s Transitional Justice Programme. She was previously Regional Coordinator (Southern Africa) of the African Transitional Justice Research Network, where she worked with human rights and transitional justice organizations across Africa. She interned at Legal Resources Centre, and at Centre for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. Khanya received her BSocSci (Politics & Philosophy) from the University of Cape Town. She has completed short courses on “The Right to Water: Impact of extractive industries/resources” at Legal Resources Centre, and on “Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights” at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. She is currently working toward her LLB at the University of South Africa.
Hlengiwe Mtshatsha is an attorney with LHR’s Security of Farm Workers Project in Cape Town. After completing her LLB at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2008, she worked at the Department of Public Enterprises until 2010 before joining LHR. Hlengiwe’s passion lies in the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights for all citizens through public interest litigation.
MP Andries Carl Nel was, On 11 May 2009, appointed by President Jacob Zuma to serve as Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. The Minister of Justice, Mr. Jeff Radebe, MP, has delegated to him responsibility for the South African Human Rights Commission, Public Protector, Magistrates’ Commission, Legal Aid South Africa, Small Claims Courts, Sheriffs, South African Law Reform Commission as well as overseeing the drafting of legislation. To read his full biography, click here.
Sizani Ngubane has been working with grassroots women’s organizations for the past 40 years. She is Founder and Director of the Rural Women’s Movement (RWM), which now works with 500 community-based organizations with a membership of about 50,000 women in South Africa.
Nhlanhla Ndlovu is a programmes manager at the Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa (CEGAA), responsible for Budget Monitoring, Expenditure Tracking and Advocacy (BMETA) activities. He joined in October 2008 after serving as a Provincial Manager of the KZN Child Services Programme for ARK (Absolute Return for Kids), where he promoted access to social security as an intervention in mitigating the social impact of AIDS. Be fore then he spent four years working for IDASA’s AIDS Budget Unit, where he monitored resource allocation and utilisation of HIV/AIDS funds in South Africa and elsewhere. His HIV/AIDS experience includes numerous research positions, such as work on research ethics in HIV vaccine development research for HAVEG/SAAVI, and monitoring and evaluation of community and government responses to HIV and AIDS. Nhlanhla has a Master of Philosophy Degree in Public Policy from the University of Cape Town, an Honour’s Degree in Commerce from UKZN, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, also from UKZN. He has lectured on Business Administration and Industrial Psychology, and serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for SECTION-27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project (ALP).
Sayi Nindi: After obtaining her law degree and LLM in human rights, child law and international law from the University of Pretoria, Sayi gained extensive experience in human rights law practice, working for a variety of organisations. Once she completed her articles, Sayi litigated on behalf of commercial clients, frequently appearing in the Magistrates and High Courts. Sayi joined the LRC’s Constitutional Litigation Unit in 2010 and has, most notably, represented thousands of ex-miners in their class action against Anglo American for contracting an incurable disease (Blom & Others v Anglo American & Others). Sayi also regularly presents papers at various human rights law conferences.
Jameelah Omar joined the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) in February 2013 as an attorney in the Rule of Law Programme, focusing on research, advocacy and strategic litigation in the areas of criminal justice and access to information. In particular, she has worked on projects related to remand detention in South Africa, access to treatment for tuberculosis in prisons and providing legal assistance to inmates in correctional centres. Prior to joining CALS, Jameelah practiced at the firm of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. in the litigation and corporate commercial departments. Jameelah obtained her LL.B and LL.M (Criminal Justice) from the University of Cape Town. During her LL.M she focused on areas of research relating to access to rehabilitation programmes for inmates in correctional centres, sexual offences as well as the theory and practice of litigating issues involving the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of South Africa.
Lebogang Pitso is a provincial women’s representative and branch organiser for the Treatment Action Campaign. She does advocacy work with rape victims, assisting them to open cases with the police and to access post exposure prophylaxis. She is also involved in educating her community about sexual rights. The TAC has worked extensively with victims of sexual abuse in schools.
Thabang Pooe graduated from the North West University in 2011 where she obtained her LLB degree. She joined SECTION27 in January 2012 as part of a fellowship programme with the Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and remained at SECTION27 as a researcher until June 2012. She is currently a Law Clerk to Justice Madlanga at the Constitutional Court. Thabang has served in the Students for Law and Social Justice and the South African Students Congress. Through her work for SLSJ, she worked on projects aimed at equipping law students with the necessary skills to enter the legal profession; and on access to justice campaigns. She was also a member of the planning committee for the Public Interest Law Gathering held at Wits University in June 2012. While at SECTION27, Thabang worked on cases related to the right to basic education, which included work on sanitation in schools, provision of learner teacher support material in schools, school infrastructure and sexual violence in schools.
Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh heads the Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme at Lawyers for Human Rights(LHR). She joined LHR in 2002, having studied at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre. The Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme provides legal assistance to more than 15 000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers every year. On Ramjathan-Keogh’s watch the programme has won a series of precedent-setting court challenges.
Gabriella Razzano is a law graduate working at ODAC as the Head of Research. She has a BA LLB from the University of Cape Town, graduating with distinction in Sociology. She formerly clerked with Justice Yacoob of the Constitutional Court and worked with University of Witwatersrand. She has a particular focus on access to information and freedom of expression issues, and has served as an active member of the Right2Know Campaign, Coordinating Committee Member of the National Information Officers Forum and is an Honourary Member of the KwaZulu-Natal Public Sector Lawyers Association. She has spoken before a number of international, audiences including the UNESCO Media Freedom Summit in 2012. In 2013 she named one of the Mail & Guardians 200 Young South Africans.
Simon Roberts held the position of Chief Economist and Manager of the Policy & Research Division at the Competition Commission from November 2006 to December 2012. He is also a visiting professor in economics at the University of Johannesburg and a member of the Economic Advisory Panel to the South African Minister of Economic Development. Prior to joining the Competition Commission he was Associate Professor in Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand. In addition, Simon has consulted extensively on competition matters over the past 15 years and has been an expert witness in a number of major cases. Previous positions include Lecturer in Development Economics, University of East Anglia, UK; Senior Research Officer, Bank of Botswana; and, Lecturer in Economics, University College Cork, Ireland. Simon holds a PhD from University of London (Birkbeck College), MA from University of East Anglia, and BA(Hons) from Oxford University. He has published widely including in the World Competition, Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of African Economies, Development and Change, Journal of International Development, and the South African Journal of Economics.
Umunyana Rugege commenced work as an attorney at SECTION27 in 2010. Her areas of work include access to health care services in the private sector, including the price of health care services. She also works on addressing challenges in the public health system, access to social security, and issues related to the intersection between intellectual property and access to medicines. Prior to joining SECTION27, Umunyana practised in the public interest law unit at Webber Wentzel Attorneys. She was also a research clerk at the International Criminal Court in The Hague during 2008. Umunyana holds an LLB from the University of Cape Town, as well as a BA in environmental studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MA in environmental management from Cornell University. She also recently completed a certificate course in Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Bongumusa Sibiya is an attorney at the LRC’s CLU. Sibiya was a former Clerk to Justice Nkabinde at the Constitutional Court and is a Wits University Graduate. Sibiya has a keen interest in housing and eviction cases.
Korir Sing’Oei is a Kenyan human rights attorney and is presently Litigation Director, Katiba Institute. He studied human rights law at Universities of Nairobi, Pretoria, Minnesota and Tilburg law schools.
Henk Smith has been a lawyer in the Cape Town office of the LRC since 1991. For 19 years until 2007 he was the instructing attorney for the Richtersveld community who utlimatley won restitution of both land and mineral rigths on the basis of proving underlying customary law.
Yasmin Sooka joined the Foundation for Human Rights in 2001 and serves as its executive director. She practiced as a human rights lawyer during the apartheid era and was a member of the National Repatriation Committee of South African exiles. In 1995, she was appointed as a commissioner on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission where she was the Deputy Chair of the Human Rights Violations Committee and was one of three Commissioners who served until 2001 and was responsible for the production of the final report in 2003. She also served as a member of the High Level Panel of Experts to the Secretary General of the United Nations to advise him on War Crimes in Sri Lanka(2010-2011). Ms. Sooka is widely regarded as an expert on transitional justice and has been a consultant to a number of governments, commissions and civil society organizations. She also served as one of the International Commissioners appointed by the United Nations to the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Sasha Stevenson is an attorney at SECTION27 and works on issues of access to health care services and access to food. Sasha has an LLM in Human RIghts Law from the University of Cambridge and, before joining SECTION27, worked as an attorney at Bowman Gilfillan, and a legal researcher at the Constitutional Court and the International Criminal Court.
Zeenat Sujee is an admitted attorney and currently employed at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (“CALS”) in the Basic Services Programme. She completed her LLB degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. She was employed the Legal Resources Centre (“LRC”) as a candidate attorney and thereafter as an attorney. She was involved in many important constitutional matters, such as Biowatch, Hassam and the Rivonia Primary School matters.She completed the Public and Development Management Housing Policy course funded by Urban Landmark. She is currently pursuing post-graduate studies in Human Rights Advocacy and Litigation at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Guy Taylor is passionate about the convergence of humanity with technology, and using technology as a platform to help created a better world. In order to do this Guy uses technologies such as data mining, data scraping, data visualization, data analysis and business process management. Guy is a firm believer in data-driven business. Guy currently chairs the Johannesburg chapter of Hacks/Hackers, using this to empower people to create a better civic environment. Guy has been featured in past Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans You Should Take to Lunch and has spent the better part of his working life working in, or consulting to start-ups. For the last year Guy has been looking deeply into Cloud based infrastructure, working with CloudAfrica to create a new hosting company to serve Africa. The GreenHornet project, an Africa News Innovation Challenge winner, was spear-headed by Guy and others in order to help keep whistle-blowers secure. Guy has worked in clients from across industry sectors including clients such as: Great Basin Gold, Nike, Yola.com, University of Cape Town (UCT), Mail & Guardian, The Daily Maverick, Vox, Internet Solutions, SAP, Spescom and many others. In his spare time Guy trains and coaches in MMA, is an avid reader, and spends far too little time looping together bits of music.
Kate Tissington is a senior researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), a legal NGO conducting public interest litigation around housing/evictions and access to basic services, including the upgrading of informal settlements (see www.seri-sa.org). She has written on water and sanitation delivery by local government, inner city evictions, housing demand and allocation, informal street trading and informal settlement upgrading. Kate has written two working papers on the latter, the first in 2011 entitled Towards a Synthesis of the Political, Social and Technical in Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa: A Case Study of Slovo Park Informal Settlement, Johannesburg, and the latest in 2012 on informal settlement upgrading in South Africa and the linkages to livelihood creation.
Keamogetswe Thobakgale is a candidate attorney at CALS. He obtained an LL.B degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. Kea has extensive knowledge and skill in the protection and enforcement of human rights through research, advocacy and litigation. He has previously been extensively involved in community and youth development programmes. Kea is currently involved in a community education project at CALS.
Arnold Tsunga is currently the executive director of the Africa Regional Programme of the International Commission of Jurists in South-Africa. He has dedicated himself to defending human rights in Zimbabwe, founding Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). Apart from being managing director of ZLHR, Tsunga was also the National Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) and one of the democratically elected board members of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ), the Zimbabwean Bar Association.
Jacob van Garderen is the National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and is responsible for the overall management of the organisation and its six offices and programmes on strategic litigation, refugee and migrant rights, land reform, farmworkers, housing and environmental rights. Jacob obtained BCom LLB degrees from the University of Pretoria. He was admitted as an advocate in 2003 and has since been an associate member of the Johannesburg Bar.
Yana van Leeve completed a social science degree at the University of Cape Town in 2007 before going on to obtaining her LLB at the University of the Western Cape in 2010. As a student, she fulfilled various leadership roles for social justice organisations. She co-founded the Street Law Project at the University of the Western Cape and was the National Chairperson for the Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ), serving in executive positions throughout her time as a student. Yana joined the LRC’s Cape Town office as a candidate attorney in 2011 and later as an attorney in the Johannesburg office. In her relatively short time at the LRC, Yana has already gained impressive litigation experience in Magistrates Court, High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal in children and women’s rights.
Nosipho Vidima recently joined SWEAT/Sisonke as a lobby officer, working on the decriminalisation campaign and is a sex worker from Durban now based in Cape Town. She represents sex workers voices and issues that they face under the current criminality of sex work nationally. Being part of the panel discussion on decriminalisation is one of the platforms sex workers need to participate in so that their issues are raised and addressed. Sisonke is a sex worker movement led by sex workers for sex workers. As a Sisonke member they are calling for decriminalisation of sex work because they believe that sex work is work(just like any other job).
Wilmien Wicomb is an attorney in the Constitutional Litigation Unit of the Legal Resources Centre. She specialises in customary law and governance issues, including traditional governance systems and the access of customary communities to land, minerals and marine resources.
Stuart Wilson is SERI’s co-founder and executive director. He is a practicing advocate, a Member of the Johannesburg Bar, and a door member of the Bridge Group of Advocates. Prior to joining the Bar and SERI, Stuart ran the Litigation Unit at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). 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. He holds a Master of Arts degree (in Philosophy, Politics and Economics) from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Laws degree (with distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a part-time lecturer and Visiting Senior Fellow at Wits Law School, where he runs the undergraduate Property Law course. Stuart also writes and publishes on constitutional law, property law and the intersection between law and society. He sits on SERI’s Board of Directors and on the Human Rights Committee of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa.