Speaker Biographies 2014
Cathi Albertyn is a Professor of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on Constitutional Law and Human Rights. Prior to joining the Wits School of Law, she was the Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (2001 – 2007) and headed its Gender Research Programme for ten years (1992 – 2001). Cathi has a BA, LLB from the University of Cape Town and an M.Phil, PhD from Cambridge University. She is an attorney of the High Court of South Africa (non-practising roll). Cathi’s research interests include Equality, Gender Studies, Human Rights and Constitutional Law.
Sanja Bornman is an attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre, based in Cape Town, South Africa. The Women’s Legal Centre is a non-profit, independent law centre that seeks to achieve equality for women in South Africa. Justice is largely inaccessible to poor women, particularly black women, and the Centre plays an important role in litigating in their interest and providing them with access to free legal advice. It has been responsible for various land-mark judgments in the South African courts, including judgments relating to government accountability in the context of violence against women. At the Centre, Ms Bornman conducts constitutional and impact litigation in the areas of violence against women, and women’s sexual and reproductive health rights. She also advocates for law and policy reform on behalf of the Centre, and as a member of non-governmental coalition groups. She holds an LLB and LLM in human rights from the University of Stellenbosch.
Jason Brickhill has recently been appointed as the Director of the Legal Resources Centre’s (LRC) Constitutional Litigation Unit. Jason joined the LRC in 2008 as an attorney. In 2010 he became a member of the Bar and started working as an advocate in the Constitutional Litigation Unit, practising primarily in the area of constitutional law in South Africa. Jason was born and schooled in Harare, Zimbabwe. He studies law at the University of the Cape Town, graduating magna cum laude, after which he completed a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University, graduating with distinction. Jason clerked for Justice Kate O’Regan at the Constitutional Court, before completing his articles and practising as an attorney. Jason has taught constitutional law at the University of the Witwatersrand and currently serves as external examiner in constitutional law. He has published widely on various subjects in constitutional law and public law. Jason is an editor of Erasmus: Superior Court Practice and has authored several journal articles, book chapters and books.
Dr Jonathan Broomberg
Dr Jonathan Broomberg is CEO of Discovery Health. He studied medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand and then read PPE at Balliol College as a Rhodes Scholar. He subsequently completed MSc and PhD degrees in Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.
Prior to joining Discovery, Jonathan was a founding director of Praxis Capital, which manages private equity and venture capital funds investing in health care and education. Alongside his private sector interests, Jonathan maintains a strong engagement with South African and global health policy and public health affairs. He is also a director of the Soul City Institute for Health Communications and a member of the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand.
Alice Brown, lawyer and human rights advocate, has extensive experience in civil rights litigation and social justice philanthropy. In nearly two decades of leadership at the Ford Foundation, as a human rights program officer in its NY headquarters and as its Representative for the Office for Southern Africa based in Johannesburg, she initiated innovative grant making to support visionaries working on crucial human rights, social justice, constitutional and reconciliation issues, amongst others.
Earlier in her career, Alice spent five years as a litigator and advocate at the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund. There, her work and publications addressed legal aspects of housing conditions and environmental degradation in African American communities. Currently, Alice serves on the boards of Corruption Watch and Section27 and is an advisor to the Wits Justice Project and Lawyers Against Abuse.
Alice is a graduate of the New York University School of Law (JD) and Dartmouth College (BA). She has been a Visiting Adjunct Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Law, a fellow of the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program and a Visiting Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Presently, she is an independent consultant and researcher who is called upon to advise on a board range of topics including philanthropic giving, NGO governance and organizational effectiveness, public interest law and transformation within the South Africa legal profession.
Coline Bruintjies was born in Cape Town and completed her LLB at the University of Cape Town in 2011. She is an admitted attorney who first became involved in Constitutional Literacy and Service Initiative (CLASI) as a student fellow in her final year at UCT in 2011. She was based at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha, where she taught constitutional literacy once a week as a part of the school’s life orientation programme. During her articles, she assisted CLASI intermittently with preparing schools in the Western Cape for the National Schools Moot Court Competition. Since June, 2014, she has been helping to co-ordinate the competition in the Western and Northern Cape provinces.
Judge Edwin Cameron
Edwin is a Justice at the Constitutional Court. He previously worked as a human rights lawyer and a High Court judge before his appointment at the Constitutional Court in 2009. He was educated at Stellenbosch University, after which he lectured Latin and Classical studies before attending Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. At Oxford he studied a BA in Jurisprudence with first class honours. He later attained his LLB from the University of South Africa cum laude. Justice Cameron was admitted to the Bar and, in 1986, began a practice at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. While there, he drafted the Charter of Rights on AIDS and HIV, and co-founded the AIDS Consortium. He chaired this association for the first three years of its existence, and became the first director of the AIDS Law Project. Justice Cameron was an outspoken critic of former President Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialist policies and is a gay and HIV rights activist. He acts as a patron for many organisations. He has been awarded numerous awards, including the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. Justice Cameron is also an accomplished author. His most recent book is called Justice: A Personal Account.
Lisa Chamberlain is the Deputy Director at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). As an attorney, she has been actively involved in the work of the CALS Environment Programme, focusing particularly on the impact of coal mining developments. Her expertise includes governance and administrative justice, public participation processes, and legislative drafting. She is also a sessional lecturer at Wits University where she has taught Administrative Law and guest lecturer in the Environmental Law Masters Programme. Lisa has an LLM from the University of Michigan, and prior to joining CALS, she worked at Cheadle, Thompson and Haysom and clerked at the Constitutional Court.
Ivor Chipkin is the Executive Director of the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI). 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.
Thomas Coggin is a legal researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI). He holds a BA LLB LLM from the University of the Witwatersrand. His research and writing focuses on issues relating to property law, the right to the city, legal tenure, as well as the correlation between rights and urban space.
He is the founder and editor of Urban Joburg, a blog and social media platform that aims to unpack the city of Johannesburg from a rights-based perspective. He is a global coordinator of the International Research Group on Law and Urban Space, and is currently involved in editing a book on law and urban space with Professor Marius Pieterse of the University of the Witwatersrand. He has worked at numerous research organisations worldwide, including the Human Rights Institute at the University of Potsdam, the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Law and UN Habitat. He has two postgraduate international qualifications in Managing Global Governance, as well as in International Futures.
Mr. Kabanda David (Uganda)
Kabanda David is an advocate with special interest in human rights, mostly the right to health. He practices this through public interest litigation, research and invoking health equity, fairness and the doctrine of public trust. He studied at Makerere University where he completed a Bachelors of Laws. He did a Post Graduate Bar Course Diploma at the Law Development Centre, Kampala Uganda and his Masters of Law in Makerere University. He is a PhD Candidate in Makerere University. His career is devoted to social inclusion and accountability using human rights approaches. He has made tremendous contributions in advocacy and policy development in health rights, working with and helping civil society organizations appreciate human rights and the use of legal tools for accountability and social change. He has led several human rights campaigns including the right to a clean and a healthy environment using a public interest paradigm. He is also the lead counsel in the famous constitutional petition case on maternal health (Petition No.16 of 2011 and now Supreme Court appeal No. 1 of 2013) challenging the unavailability and non-access of maternal health commodities by expectant mothers in government health facilities inter alia. He is currently working on a POST 2015 development project where he works as researcher in CEHURD. He is looking forward to informing the process of setting new global goals for health beyond 2015, to follow-on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Kabanda is the Programmes Coordinator at Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) in Uganda.
Pierre de Vos
Pierre de Vos (South Africa) is the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance at the University of Cape Town. De Vos studied at the University of Stellenbosch, Columbia University (New York), and the University of Western Cape, where he held a professorship. De Vos has published widely on issues of constitutional law, from housing to marriage equality and citizenship rights and he co-edited South African Constitutional Law in Context, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. South African Constitutional Law in Context. His blog, www.constitutionallyspeaking.co.za, offers constitutional perspective on social and political issues of contemporary South Africa and is widely read and syndicated on the Daily Maverick, one of South Africa’s leading online news platforms. He is chairperson of the Board of the Aids Legal Network and a board member of Triangle Project.
Erica Emdon, the National Director of ProBono.Org and an attorney, has worked in the legal sector since the 1990s, focussing on public interest law. She has been at ProBono.Org since its inception in October 2006, first heading the gender and child unit, prior to her appointment as Director. She has contributed to building the organisation into a substantial legal NGO facilitating the provision of pro bono legal services from the private legal sector to a wide range of clients including NGOs, community based organisations, communities and individuals.
Nicole Fritz is the executive director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). She obtained her LL.B. from the University of the Witwatersrand and thereafter completed an LL.M. in international legal studies at New York University School of Law as a Hauser Global Scholar. She has taught constitutional and international law at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Law and human rights law at Fordham University School of Law in New York.
Pregs is Deputy Chair of the South African Human Rights Commission (2009 – Present). A full-time Commissioner, she leads its work on water and sanitation, health, CEDAW and Access to Information. Recently, the Commission launched its report on water and sanitation. As activist against apartheid, Pregs worked as a teacher at schools and university. In the 1980s, she joined the trade union movement and worked as National Educator, before leading South Africa’s first Workers College. During the transition, she managed and ensured the Constitution addressed women’s demands. She also worked on integrating women’s concerns into the Reconstruction and Development Program. After South Africa’s democratic election, Pregs served as an MP, chairing the Finance Committee’s group on gender and macro-economic policy and co-editing South Africa’s country report to Beijing. Pregs chaired Parliament’s Committee on Women, which ensured that most of its legislative priorities were enacted by 1999. During the 1994 budget debates, she initiated the Women’s Budget, steered its impact on the 1998/1999 National Budget and received the 1999 AWID Inspiration Award for its global impact. During President Mbeki’s term, she chaired HIV and AIDS public hearings and was the only MP to register opposition to the arms deal in the 2001 Budget Vote, before resigning as an MP. Pregs chaired the Independent Panel Review of Parliament (2007 – 2009); received honorary doctorates in Law and Philosophy and the inaugural Ruth First Fellowship. She is the author of Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination.
Adila Hassim has a BA LLB from the former University of Natal, Durban. In 1998, she was awared the Franklin Thomas Fellowship to pursue a LLM at St Louis University in the US, which she completed with distinction in 1999. In 2000 she was awarded the Rev. Lewers-Bradlow Foundation Fellowship to pursue her doctorate at the University of Notre Dame. The doctorate was conferred on her with honours in 2006. Her dissertation was entitled “The Protection of Social Rights in South Africa: From Theory to Practice.”
Adila is a member of the Johannesburg Bar and has been the head of litigation and legal services at the AIDS Law Project (now SECTION27) since 2006. As a former law clerk to Deputy Chief Justice Pius Langa (as he was then), as well as then Acting Justice Edwin Cameron, Adila has continued passionately to defend constitutional rights, and socio-economic rights in particular.
Mark is the Executive Director of SECTION27 (which incorporated the AIDS Law Project in 2010). He joined the AIDS Law Project (ALP) in 1994 and in 1998 he was one of the founders of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). He has continued to participate on the TAC Secretariat, National Council and Board of Directors. Mark was elected and served as the deputy chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) in 2007 until 2012. In 2009, he was also appointed as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on National Health Insurance. Mark has written extensively on HIV, human rights and the law and has been part of the legal teams of the ALP, TAC and SECTION27 that have been involved in major litigation around HIV and other human rights issues in South Africa.
Janine Hicks is a Commissioner with the Commission for Gender Equality, an independent statutory body tasked by the South Africa Constitution with promoting the attainment and protection of gender equality in South Africa. Janine holds an LLB from the former University of Natal, Durban and an MA from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Janine serves as Chairperson of local non-profits Agenda Feminist Media, the Valley Trust and the Community Law and Rural Development Centre, and has published various journal articles on participatory democracy and women’s political participation.
Solminic Joseph is from Atlantis, a small town on the outskirts of Cape Town. He graduated high school from the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology. In 2007 he enrolled at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and graduated with an LLB degree in 2012. For the duration of his degree, Solminic was a recipient of the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust Leigh Day Scholarship (UK).
While at UWC, Sominic became involved with the UWC HIV/AIDS Programme and volunteered as a Peer Educator in 2009. He then was invited back to be a Senior Peer Educator in 2010 and 2011. During this time, Solminic was a recipient of the University Scholarship for South African Students from Professor Robert Paul Woff in the U.S. for his work in the Programme.
Sominic was employed as a senior research fieldworker with HealthWise South Africa in 2012 and before joining the Equal Education Law Centre (EELC), he was employed by the UWC HIV/AIDS Programme as a Programme Assistant and coordinator of the Programme’s UWC iCare Initiative. He is currently completing his articles of clerkship with the EELC.
Bafana Khumalo is a Senior Programmes Specialist at Sonke Gender Justice and one of the organizations’ co-founders. He served as co-director of the organization from 2006 – 2010 and as manager of Sonke’s International Programmes Unit and the Policy, Advocacy and Research Unit from 2010 – 2011.
Bafana has a long and accomplished track record in the NGO sector. He was senior gender technical advisory for EngenderHealth South Africa. In that capacity, he worked with the South African National AIDS Council, the National Department of Health, provincial and district AIDS Councils, and the Department of Basic Education to integrate gender into all HIV-related public health strategies and information into all education-related policies and programs for schools and communities, and support the South Africa government and community organizations in quality assessment and improvement of HIV prevention services.
Bafana served as a Commissioner at the National Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) from 2000 – 2006 and 2007 – 2011. At the CGE he was instrumental in assisting National and Provincial Departments of Government to plan and coordinate many activities related to men, gender and HIV/AIDS. These included carrying out a series of national dialogues with men on gender equality and gender-based violence, working closely with traditional and religious leaders in each of the country’s provinces, as well as working with civil society partners to develop the National Gender Machinery Working Group on Men and Gender Equality.
Active in the anti-apartheid struggle, Bafana worked with the Soweto Civic Association and subsequently participated in the peace accords. Bafana has spoken at many national and international conferences on men, gender and HIV/AIDS, including the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and the International AIDS Society conference held in Mexico in 2008. He has published widely in professional journals and appears frequently on radio and television in South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Theology (Hon) and Masters in Theology from the University of Natal – Pietermaritzburg. Together with Sonke Co-Director Dean Peacock, he was awarded Men’s Health Magazine “Best Man” Award in 2007.
Currently, he chairs the SANAC National Men’s sector which is one of the components of the South African National AIDS Council responsible to provide oversight on the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on HUV, STIs and TB. Bafana is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa and volunteers his service to the Tembisa East Parish in Gauteng.
Jonathan Klaaren is currently a Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 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. Jonathan 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 Phd in sociology from Yale University and professional law degrees from Wits and Columbia Universities. He served as Head of the Law School from 2010 to 2013 and as Director of the Mandela Institute from 2005 to 2007. Currently, Jonathan works at the Law School and at WISER, an interdisciplinary research institute at Wits.
Judge Jody Kollapen
Jody Kollapen is a High Court Judge who previously served as the commissioner at the South African Human Rights Commission. Prior to joining the Commission in 1996, Judge Kollapen practised as an attorney. He joined the organisation, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) where he coordinated the “Release Political Prisoners” programme, which championed for the rights of political prisoners. In 1995, he was appointed National Director. While working as an attorney he worked on important cases such as Sharpeville Six and the Delmas Treason Trial. He was also a member of the selection panel that chose the Commissioners for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Judge Kollapen had previously served as an extraordinary lecturer in the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. Moreover, he has served on the board of many civil society organisations, including the Legal Resources Centre, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, IDASA and the London based Article 19.
Guillain Koko is a human rights lawyer and a social justice activist. He has experience working with the most marginalized groups in Africa. As the Project Coordinator of LGBTI Refugees Support and Advocacy Project at People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), he advocates for the rights of refugees who flee persecution in their respective homelands due to sexual orientation and gender identity and seek asylum in South Africa. He holds a LLB in Public Law from the Catholic University of Bukavu and is currently writing his mini thesis in International and Human Rights Law at the University of the Western Cape.
Jay Kruuse is the Director of the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) which is based at Rhodes University. Before joining the PSAM, he practised law as an attorney. He has lead PSAM’s research and monitoring activities since 2007 and during his tenure, Jay has instituted high court proceedings against government departments and Parliament to promote good governance and accountability.
Thokozile, also known as Thoko, is currently the coordinator of the Budget Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF). Making use of her MA in Political Theory, she has worked in the areas of social justice, national, subnational and parliamentary governance, transparency and accountability, corruption and public finance. Thoko served as organiser for the People’s Health Movement South Africa (PHM-SA) and remains a PHM-SA steering committee member to this day. Thoko spent four years at the International Budget Partnership (IBP) as a Programme officer for its Zambia partnership initiative and was a trainer/technical assistance provider in its training programme.
Thoko’s love for activism deepened during the four years she spent at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) based at Rhodes University where she worked as a researcher monitoring the performance of the Eastern Cape Provincial Health Department. Her other full time job is raising her daughter and, when she has time, she writes poetry and book reviews and plots global domination!
Princess Magopane is presently a Candidate Attorney at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI), having joined that organisation as a paralegal in February 2012. She completed a BA in 2007 and a LLB in 2012, both at the University of the Witwatersrand. Princess worked at a commercial 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.
Faathima Mahomed is a practising attorney at the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) in Durban and she is currently the Acting Regional Director of that office. Faathima’s litigation practise mainly includes housing, women’s and equality rights, social security, informal street traders and land. She also participates in law reform work in relation to land. She holds B.PROC, LLB (post-graduate) and LLM degrees. Prior to joining the LRC, she worked in Justice Yacoob’s chambers at the Constitutional Court for 12 years. In 1999, she served as law clerk to Justice Yacoob at the Constitutional Court. She has an interest in human rights and constitutional law.
Trudi Makhaya is an independent economist, business strategist and writer. With her rare combination of skills gained in economic regulation in the public sector and in management and economic consulting in the private sector, she is able to offer deep insights into the economy and policy. Trudi joined the Competition Commission in 2010 as a Principal Economist in the Chief Economist’s team and between March 2013 and March 2014, she was the Deputy Competition Commissioner (appointed for an interim term). She was also a member of the Commission’s executive committee from April 2012. Trudi holds a MBA and an MSc in Development Economics from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She also holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, including a MCom in Economics and a BCom (Law).
Prior to joining the Commission, Trudi held management consulting and corporate roles at Deloitte, Genesis Analytics and AngloGold Ashanti.
Tabeth Masengu is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and is currently a Research officer at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU) based at the University of Cape Town. She holds an LLB from Rhodes University (Cum Laude) and an LLM in Human Rights (Cum Laude) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has spoken at various fora on gender transformation in the judiciary with an expected journal article publication soon. In addition, expected publications in peer-reviewed journals and a chapter in a book address issues of women’s rights and constitutional processes and gender dynamics of in Zambia’s Constitutional processes. Tabeth is also the Southern Africa regional Correspondent of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and the Secretary of the Women and Constitution Working Group of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers.
Quinton is a law student at the University of the Western Cape. He is currently the National Chairperson of Students for Law and Social Justice.
Thandiwe Matthews is an attorney with a strong passion for human rights and social justice. She completed her undergraduate degrees at the Universities of Cape Town and Witwatersrand respectively, where after she completed articles of clerkship at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc. Shortly after being appointed as an Associate at the firm, Thandiwe pursued her goal to contribute towards the upliftment of her society and was appointed as an attorney at the public interest legal NGO, ProBono.Org. She then enrolled in a Masters in Development Programme at the International Institute of Social Studies based at The Hague, specializing in Human Rights, Development and Social Justice. Now, having recently returned to South Africa, Thandiwe is a Senior Legal Officer at the South African Human Rights Commission. In her spare time, Thandi enjoys engaging in public debate, particularly around issues of race and social transformation and the tensions that exist between the market economy and the Constitution in the delivery and realization of human rights. She also loves reading fiction novels, attending the cinema and exploring the streets of Johannesburg in search of great food, music and interesting people.
Charlene May is the Acting Regional Director of the Legal Resources Centre (Cape Town). She holds a LLB degree from the University of the Western Cape and completed her contract of community service with the LRC. She was admitted as an attorney in 2006 and she specializes in gender and non-discrimination law.
Paul McNally is a writer and radio journalist. He is Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of The Year in radio broadcast for 2013 and heads the Wits Justice Project’s community radio initiative to disseminate legal journalism in poorer areas. He won ‘Best News and Actuality Producer’ for campus and community radio at the MTN Radio Awards 2014. Paul was also the recipient of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award in 2009 and returned as a pre-selection judge for the awards in 2011 and 2012 at its headquarters in London. While working as a health journalist Paul won a MPASA Pica for Public Interest Writer of The Year (2008) for his work on ARVs. He has convened a course at the University of Cape Town in print production and has a Masters in Creative Writing.
Bonita Meyersfeld is the director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and an Associate Professor of Law at the School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand. She is an editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights and the founding member and chair of the board of Lawyers against Abuse. Bonita teaches international law, business and human rights and international criminal law. Prior to working in SA, Bonita worked as a legal advisor in the House of Lords in the UK and the gender consultant to the International Centre for Transitional Justice in NY. Bonita obtained her LLB from Wits Law School and her LLM and JSD from Yale Law School. She is the author of Domestic Violence and International Law, Hart Publishing (UK) (2010)
Vuyo Mntonintshi completed his primary education at Mbuque Primary School and matriculated at Kings Commercial College. He first studied for a Diploma in Management, which he completed in 2011. Currently, Vuyo is in his second year of an LLB degree at the Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha campus. He is part of the Walter Sisulu University Debate Union and a member of the SRC. In addition, Vuyo is one of the leaders of Students for Law and Social Justice at Walter Sisulu University.
For 30 years, Sammie Moshenberg was the Director of Washington Operations for the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). As head of the organization’s Washington, DC, office, Ms. Moshenberg led the organization’s advocacy efforts in Washington and played a key role in mobilizing effective grassroots work on the organization’s issues and campaigns around the country. She led BenchMark: NCJW’s Judicial Nominations Campaign which she helped develop in 2001 as a way to educate and engage NCJW’s members and their communities on the importance of the federal judiciary and filling judicial vacancies with a diverse group of individuals with a proven record of fidelity to core constitutional values. Moshenberg helped create the ‘Courts Matter’ project, which has resulted in coalitions in six states active in educating their communities and advocating for a fair and independent judiciary.
During her time at NCJW, Moshenberg represented the organization on national coalitions concerned with judicial nominations, civil rights, reproductive rights, and economic justice issues, among other issues. She was on the leadership team for the US judicial nominations coalition. After stepping down as NCJW’s Washington director, Moshenberg started a consulting practice focusing on assisting progressive organizations with building grassroots capacity and engagement on issues including the US federal judiciary.
Moshenberg has a Masters degree from Loyola University of Maryland and a BA from Shimer College in Illinois. In 1995, she worked as a volunteer legislative assistant to Sister Bernard Ncube in the South African Parliament and, in 2003, worked with the Treatment Action Campaign.
Tshepo Motsepe is the co-head of Equal Education Gauteng. He is responsible for establishing and strengthening Equal Education’s presence in Gauteng.
Sisonke Msimang is a writer and activist who works on issues of money, power and sex. She is also a columnist with the Daily Maverick who appears regularly on radio and television to comment on social and political issues. Sinsonke works closely with Sonke Gender Justice and the Social Justice Initiative (SJI).
Mandi holds a LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Cape Town. She completed her contract of community service at the Legal Resources Centre and is currently employed at its Cape Town offices where she specialized in refugee and non-discrimination law. She has co-authored a number of publications on gender and refugee law.
Wayne Ncube is a candidate attorney in the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme in Johannesburg. He has also worked in LHR’s immigration detention monitoring and environmental rights programmes. He received his LL.B at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and went on to complete a LLM degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Gareth Newham is the Head of the Governance, Crime and Justice Division at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) which he joined in January 2010. The ISS is an independent and authoritative research, policy and training organisation working to enhance human security in Africa. Between 2006 and 2009 he was the Policy Advisor and Special Projects Manager to the Gauteng Provincial Minister (MEC) for Community Safety Firoz Cachalia. Prior to joining government, Gareth was a Senior Project Manager in the Criminal Justice Programme at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR). During his seven years there, Gareth’s areas of work included research on strategy development and change management within policing agencies, tackling police corruption, enhancing police performance management, strengthening internal and external systems for police accountability, developing witness protection and social crime prevention programmes. Before joining CSVR, Gareth spent three years working as a Project Manager at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). He has also worked as a consultant for a number of private, government and international donor agencies and served on a national Task Team established by the Department of Justice to set up the country’s first National Witness Protection Programme in 1996. He has published both locally and internationally on issues related to his areas of work.
Karabo obtained her LLB (UP) in 2005. She has a Certificate in Advanced Labour Law (UP), an LLM in Child Law (UP) and is now studying toward an LLM in Constitutional and Administrative Law. On completion of her LLB, she served her articles with the Law Clinic of the University of Pretoria and was admitted as an Attorney in 2006. She is currently an attorney at the Centre for Child Law based in the law faculty of the University of Pretoria, which specialises in child law and children’s rights impact litigation. Karabo was involved in the litigation of the Teddy Bear Clinic and Welkom cases in the Constitutional Court.
Wandisa Phama obtained her LLB from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2011. She is currently studying for an LLM in Social Justice from the same institution. She is a candidate attorney at CALS and a Bertha Fellow. Prior to joining CALS, Wandisa worked for the Equal Education Law Centre as a researcher. She also worked for the UCT Refugee Rights Project on a UNHRC pilot project for social assistance and was a legal intern at the South Africa Human Rights Commission (WC).
Marlise has worked as a researcher at Project Literacy, the AIDS Law Project, the Treatment Action Campaign and the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit. She holds a PhD in Public Health and her research focused on sex worker access to health care services in sub-Saharan Africa.
She currently works within the Policy Development & Advocacy Unit at Sonke Gender Justice and holds visiting researcher positions at the School of Public Health & Family Medicine, UCT and at the African Centre for Migration & Society, the University of the Witwatersrand.
Umunyana 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 Section27Umunyana 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 UCT, as well as a BA in environmental studies from the State University of NY 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.
Mandisa Shandu graduated in 2011 from UCT where she completed B.SocSci (political science) and LLB degrees. She completed her articles at ENS Africa, and was admitted as an attorney in February 2013. Wishing to follow her interest in public interest law, she joined Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU) as a legal researcher. NU is an NGO which works closely with organisations in Khayelitsha and promotes understanding, engagement and collaboration on social justice issues in order to foster active citizenship and leadership in South Africa. Mandisa is also a member of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) secretariat, which is a community-based organisation working in Khayelitsha’s informal settlements. Both the SJC and NU were among the five complainant organisations that launched the request to establish the Commission of Inquiry into Policing in Khayelitsha.
Chiedza Simbo is a registered legal practitioner, conveyancer and notary public with the High Court of Zimbabwe. She holds an LLB honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe (2007) and Masters Degrees in Commercial Law and Social Justice, Law and Poverty conferred by the University of Cape Town in 2008 and 2010 respectively. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the right to basic education in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Chiedza has worked as a criminal prosecutor in Harare. In 2011 she took up a position as a young full time undergraduate law lecturer with the North West University. As a result of her leadership skills she was offered the positions of Quality Assurance Coordinator for the law faculty North West University Mafikeng Campus between 2012 and 2013 and Deputy Patron for the Law Student Council in 2012. She however denied the offer of Chief- Patron for 2013. Chiedza Simbo assumed duty as the National Director of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) in 2013 and she now pursues her passion by transforming society through developing, defending and dialoguing on women and children’s rights. Chiedza is an author who has presented and published papers on human rights and social justice in peer and non-peer reviewed academic journals. Chiedza is the author of “Loving the African Man,” a book that depicts the struggles of African women in relationships with African man amid education, independence, religion, colonialism and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The book can be accessed from Amazon. Currently she is a member of the G20 Alumni Association and sits on various boards on other non-governmental organizations in Zimbabwe as part of her duty as the ZWLA National Director.
Karam Singh is the Head of Research at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Prior to joining the Human Rights Commission, he was the National Education and Training Coordinator for Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) (2001 – 2005), a Project Coordinator at Law, Race and Gender at UCT Law Faculty (2005 – 2006), and a Research Manager at the Special Investigating Unit (2007 – 2012). Karam also sits on the board of the Human Rights Media Centre, an NGO based in Cape Town. His main research interests are anti-corruption mechanisms and human rights, and the synergies between these two fields.
In 2002, Karam was involved in founding the Tri Continental Film Festival – South Africa’s first annual film festival dedicated to human rights. Karam has served as one of the festival Directors since then.
Nikki Stein is an attorney at Section27. She obtained a BA (Law and Psychology) and a LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand. She then went on to clerk for Justice Nkabinde at the Constitutional Court and completed her articles at Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys. In 2008/09, she obtained an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Virginia. Nikki joined Section27 in September 2011 and is currently working on the right to basic education and the obligations of the government arising from that right.
Her work has included litigating against the Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Department of Education to compel them to provide textbooks to schools across Limpopo. This forms part of the work on addressing the broader education crisis in Limpopo, including a lack of proper school infrastructure, adequate sanitation facilities, school transport, teacher post provisioning and school furniture. Nikki also works on cases of sexual violence in schools and assists learners in reporting these cases to the police and the relevant Provincial Department of Education. She also forms parts of the team working with the Gauteng Department of Education on improving processes to address cases of sexual violence in schools.
Alison Tilley is the head of advocacy and special projects at the Open Democracy Advice Centre. She has a BA LLA degree from the University of Cape Town. She is an attorney who was formerly in private practice. She was the National Advocacy Manager at Black Sash, before becoming the Centre’s first manager in 2001. She is a founding trustee of the Women’s Legal Centre, and is a member of the South African Law Reform Commission Project Committee on Data Protection. She has litigated in the areas of access to information and whistle blower protection since 2002.
Kate Tissington is a senior research and advocacy officer at SERI. Prior to joining SERI in January 2010, Kate was a researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a BA with Honours in History from Rhodes University and an MPhil in Development Studies from Cambridge University. She completed the Certificate in Housing Policy Development and Management from the School of Public and Development Management (P&DM) at Wits in 2008.
Kate has researched and written on water and sanitation delivery by local government, informal settlement upgrading, inner city evictions and informal street trading. She is interested in the role of civil society in ensuring accountability in the implementation of socio-economic policy and programmes, understanding inter- and intra-governmental relations in housing and basic services delivery, and strengthening participatory democracy in South Africa more generally.
Niren Tolsi is the Times Media Group’s Deputy Legal Editor. He has previously worked at the Mail & Guardian and the Sunday Tribune. His areas of interest include constitutional law, the state’s response to citizen mobilisation and protest, social justice and the politics of the judiciary.
Shayda is a Legal Fellow at Lawyers Against Abuse (LvA). She joined LvA in July 2013. Prior to this, Shayda clerked for Justice Sisi Khampepe at the South African Constitutional Court. She holds a BA from Harvard University and a JD degree from Columbia University Law School. Before moving to South Africa, Shayda worked as a legal advisor to refugees in Egypt and the U.S. She has also had experience in advocacy with women in Egypt and with class action litigation in the U.S. She is a member of the New York State Bar.
Jacob van Garderen
Jacob van Garderen is the National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR). During his nearly 15 years at LHR, Jacob has also headed the Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme and Strategic Litigation Unit. Before joining LHR, he worked for the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. In 2008, he was appointed as National Director where he is responsible for the overall management of the organisation and its six offices and programmes on strategic litigation, refugees and migrant rights, land reform, farm workers, housing, environmental rights and penal reform.
Jacob obtained BCom and LLB degrees from the University of Pretoria and was admitted as an advocate in 2003. He has since been an associate member of the Johannesburg Bar. Jacob has written and lectured on refugee and migration law and practice. He has also served on the boards and advisory committees of various NGOs and research institutions.
Yana van Leeve
Yana van Leeve completed a social science degree at the University of Cape Town in 2007 before going on to obtain her LLB at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 2010. As a student, she occupied various leadership roles in social justice organisations including co-founding the Street Law Project at UWC and acting as the National Chairperson for the Students for Law and Social Justice. Yana joined the Legal Resources Centre’s Cape Town office as a candidate attorney in 2011 and later worked as an attorney in its Johannesburg office. She is currently an attorney at the Equal Education Law Centre and serves on the National Council and Secretariat of Equal Education, a movement of learners, parents, teachers and community members working for quality and equality in the South African education system through analysis and activism.
Albert Van Zyl
Albert van Zyl joined the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in August 2005 and is based at IBP-Cape Town where he is the manager of research and learning. Van Zyl has consulted to finance ministries, NGOs, and legislatures in Burkino Faso, Chad, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Niger, South Africa and Uganda as well as a range of non-African countries. He established and managed the macroeconomic and budget offices in the Western Cape government in South Africa. Between 1997 and 2002 van Zyl worked at the Budget Information Service (BIS) at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) and directed it from 2000 – 2002. Van Zyl holds MA degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economy from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Bordeaux, France. He has been published on a range of public finance issues including fiscal policy, social service finance, environmental issues and subnational finance.
Kirsten Whitworth is an attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She holds a BA, MA (Translation) and LLB from Wits. She is the lead attorney on the Centre’s work on access to health, and the project lead on the Transformation of Legal Profession project. Her areas of interest include torture, language rights, constitutional and administrative law.
Stuart Wilson is the co-founder and executive director of Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI). He is 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. Stuart has been responsible for litigating many of the leading socio-economic rights cases to come before 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.
Nomzamo Zondo joined SERI in February 2013 and she currently holds the position of director of litigation. Nomzamo obtained a 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 and later joined Glenrand MIB, attending to claims on the Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund Scheme. She joined SERI because she was attracted to the opportunity of working with exploited communities while using the law to balance the scales of social justice.