Ilan Lax

Ilan Lax is an experienced attorney and legal consultant. Admitted to practice since 1985, he served in the Human Rights Violations and Amnesty Committees of the SA TRC from 1996 to 2001. He assisted in setting up the Sierra Leone TRC. He has also worked with other commissions of inquiry. Ilan works in a range of areas dealing with legal issues in the fields of land rights, environmental, biodiversity conservation, organisational and project governance, human rights and community-based development issues. Ilan also works with a range of adjudication and commissions, inquiries and investigations matters. Over the last few years Ilan has focussed on community-based development projects, complementing technical and transactional advice teams that provide appropriate advice aimed at growing sustainable and profitable community-based businesses. Ilan is an experienced facilitator and strategic planning advisor. He serves on the Boards of a wide range of statutory bodies, NGOs and CBOs. He is married, has two daughters and his interests include the outdoors, sport, music, and literature.


Daven Dass

Daven is the Director of the University of Witwatersrand Law Clinic. As an admitted attorney, having previously supervised the refugee unit of the clinic, he currently supervises the general civil litigious unit. He also lectures within the Wits School of Law. As part of his Masters of Law which he obtained from the University of Witwatersrand, a component focused on included clinical legal education in South Africa, which ignited his passion for the experiential pedagogy. He has since published and presented both domestically and internationally in the field of clinical legal education. Daven is actively involved in continued legal education through his association with the Law Society’s Legal Education and Development (LEAD) program, through his course directing, lecturing and updating of course material. He serves as an executive member of the South African University Law Clinic Association, which is the umbrella body of law clinics throughout the country. Daven’s most noteworthy litigation public interest court cases emanated from the inadequacy of the Department of Home Affairs to issue recognised refugees with travel documents. Daven is committed to the empowerment of individuals and endeavouring to further advance social justice through the legal machinery.


Penny Andrews

Dean and Professor at UCT Faculty of Law, Penny is a noted human rights scholar and advocate.  Prior to joining UCT she served as President and Dean at Albany Law School in New York, the first female President and Dean for the school which was founded in 1851. She was previously the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY).   Prior to joining CUNY, she was a Professor and Director of international studies at Valparaiso Law School. She began her teaching career at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and since then has been tenured at four law schools in Australia and the USA. She has served on significant law school committees and the boards of public interest legal organisations as well as on business councils. A member of the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association, she has participated in and has chaired several accreditation site teams for the American Bar Association’s section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.  She has received many awards for her work. In 2015 she received the National Bar Association’s International Award for her global human rights advocacy.  For four years she was included in the USA’s Lawyers of Color annual power list issue, the compendium of “the nation’s most influential minority attorneys”. She has published four books and sixty articles that focus on comparative constitutional law, gender and racial equality, human rights, legal education and the judiciary.




Nikhiel Deeplal

Nikhiel is extremely passionate about social justice and equality. His involvement in civil society activities increased when he joined Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) while studying law at UKZN. He then went on to become the National Chairperson of SLSJ and focused on organisational renewal. He completed a certificate in International Relations at the Symbiosis International University, Pune, India before completing his LLM in International Trade Law at UKZN. Nikhiel then went onto to do his articles at Lawyers for Human Rights. He now works as a Senior Associate at a management consulting firm servicing both the public and private sector but continues to advise student movements and other social justice organisations. He also lectures law part-time at Varsity College. His interest in social justice has led him to engage government on what and how pro bono legal services should look like within the Legal Practice Act.


Seehaam Samaai

Seehaam holds an LLM degree in constitutional litigation and joined the Women’s Legal Centre from the Foundation for Human Rights where she provided programmatic support in the Strengthening of Civil Society Programme.  Previously she was the Director of Legal Administration at the Western Cape Regional Office of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and prior to that she was a practicing attorney and Director of the UWC Legal Aid Clinic. Seehaam serves on various national, provincial and community structures providing either strategic leadership, legal, programmatic or organisational support including for the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL), the South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA),  the Association of University Legal Aid Institutions (AULAI), Lawyers for Human Rights and the Rural Legal Trust.


Lesirela Letsebe

Lesirela is the Head of the Strategic Litigation Programme at Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and an advocate at the Pretoria Bar. He joined LHR in May 2009 after spending a few years in various corporate law firms as a specialist in labour law.


Suzanna Harvey

Suzanna Harvey is a practicing advocate at the Cape Town Bar, and a former CCMA commissioner.  She is currently in-house counsel to Lawyers for Human Rights and oversees their strategic labour litigation run in partnership with the Casual Workers Advice Office, an NGO which interfaces with precarious workers in Gauteng.


Ighsaan Schroeder

Ighsaan Schroeder has been involved in the labour movement since 1980, working variously as an organiser, researcher and educator. He currently co-ordinates the work of the Casual Workers Advice Office in Johannesburg.


Wayne Ncube

Wayne Ncube joined Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in 2011. He is an attorney in the Strategic Litigation Programme where he heads the Labour and Protest Rights Units. He has also headed the LHR’s Detention Unit which assists people in immigration detention, not people who are awaiting trial or sentencing. He has an LL.B from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and an LL.M in human rights advocacy and international from the University of Witwatersrand.


Angelo Fick

Angelo Fick has taught and researched the social construction and textual figuration of ‘race’, class, gender, nationality, and sexuality, and how these intersect, across disciplines ranging from literary studies to Sociology, at various universities in South Africa and abroad. In his last five years as a fulltime academic he taught on topics in philosophy of science in faculties of science and engineering.  He has taught specialist graduate courses on identity, representation, and ethics, and supervised higher degrees on gender in South African politics, constructions of subjectivity, configurations of sexuality and desire, and the political economy of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup.  In his current position as senior researcher at eNCA, he does regular on-air analysis of news and current affairs, and writes regular columns on ethics and human rights in the political economy of post-millennial post-apartheid South Africa for  His work remains immersed in the nexus of feminism, critical ‘race’ theory, post-structuralism, and cultural studies.


Lebogang Nape

Lebogang Nape was a community health worker in the Free State from 1997 until she was dismissed on 15 April 2014. She was one of the accused in the Bophelo House 94 case. She was arrested and detained following a peaceful protest outside the Department of Health. Lebogang is an activist and member of the Treatment Action Campaign.


Lwazi Lushaba

Lwazi Lushaba holds a doctorate degree in Political Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. Prior to joining Wits he was educated in number of institutions both in South Africa and abroad, including the University of Transkei (now called Walter Sisulu University) in South Africa, where he obtained an Honours degree in Politics; Ibadan University in Nigeria, where he obtained an M.A. in Philosophy, and the Center for Studies in Social Sciences and Culture, Kolkata, India, where he obtained an MPhil in Subaltern Studies. He has previously been a Visiting Fellow at the African Studies Center, Leiden in the Netherlands. Lwazi has also taught previously at the Universities of Ibadan, Fort Hare and Wits. He is currently a member of faculty at the University of Cape Town where he teaches in the Department of Politics.


Erica Emdon

Erica, the national director of ProBono.Org, is an attorney and development law specialist, having been involved in government policy formulation. She worked for three years as the women’s rights and child justice co-ordinator at ProBono.Org before moving into advancement. She became the National Director in January 2013. Erica is a published author.


Thuthukile Mbatha

Thuthukile Mbatha joined SECTION27 in 2014 as an NSP Review Researcher. She joined the advice office in 2015, where she ensures that all the clients that approach SECTION27 receive the assistance they require through referring them to the relevant persons both internally and externally. Thuthukile coordinated the Community Healthcare Workers (CHW) campaign calling for the finalisation of the policy on CHW’s and the improvement of their working conditions, among other things. She is currently an AVAC fellow working on an HIV prevention advocacy project housed at SECTION27. Her project is focused on advocating for access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for students in higher education institutions.



Wayne Ncube

Wayne Ncube joined Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in 2011. He is an attorney in the Strategic Litigation Programme in LHR where he heads the Labour and Protest Rights Units. He has also headed the LHR’s Detention Unit which assists people in immigration detention, not people who are awaiting trial or sentencing. He has an LL.B from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and an LL.M in human rights advocacy and international from the University of Witwatersrand.  He is also a founding member of the African Legal Centre, a non-profit voluntary organisation students which seeks to strengthen and develop the rule of law in Africa by commenting, documenting and reporting on human rights issues on the African continent.


Professor Riette du Plessis

Riette has extensive experience in the field of clinical law.  She holds a PhD in clinical legal education from the University of the Witwatersrand, published twenty-one articles in accredited law journals in the field of clinical law, both nationally and internationally and presented papers in this field at seventeen international conferences and workshops.  Her book, “Clinical Legal Education,  Law Clinic.  Curriculum Design and Assessment Tools” (Juta), was published during 2016.  She supervises a number of international PhD candidates in the field of clinical law.  Riette practiced as an attorney at the Wits Law Clinic, a live client university law clinic affording access to justice to the indigent, for 12 years.


Dasantha Pillay

Dasantha Pillay joined SERI as a candidate attorney in January 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree in Political Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Political Studies (both awarded with distinction). She has completed a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B). All degrees were conferred by the University of the Witwatersrand. Before joining SERI, Dasantha was involved with various non-governmental organisations, including Amnesty International, the Steve Biko Foundation and the Wits Law Clinic. She has an interest in social justice and the relationship between law and politics in the realisation of access to basic services and justice. During her time at SERI Dasantha has gained significant experience in working in and coordinating activities of SERI’s walk-in law clinic. Dasantha was intimately involved in litigating the Rhodes University v Student Representative Council of Rhodes University case in which SERI defended three student activists who were interdicted for their involvement in protests against rape culture in Grahamstown.


Ann Skelton

Professor Ann Skelton has worked as a children’s rights lawyer in South Africa for 25 years. She played a leading role in child law reform through her involvement with the committees of the South African Law Reform Commission that drafted the Child Justice Act and the Children’s Act. Ann is currently the Director of the Centre for Child Law, a law professor at the University of Pretoria, and is the incumbent in the UNESCO Chair: Education Law in Africa. She is an advocate who often appears in the superior courts arguing children’s rights issues in public interest law matters. She is an internationally recognised researcher and has published widely. In 2012 she received the Honourary Worlds’ Children’s Prize, presented by the Queen of Sweden, and in 2016 the ‘Juvenile justice without borders’ award, presented by the International Juvenile Justice Agency. Ann is currently a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Her term of office is from March 2017 to February 2021.


Dr Ololade (Lola) Shyllon

Dr Ololade Shyllon is a human rights lawyer who is currently the programme manager for freedom and expression and access to information at the Centre for Human Rights (CHR), University of Pretoria. In this role, she has over the last seven years been involved in a broad range of research, training and advocacy initiatives on freedom of expression, access to information and most recently data protection across the African continent. She also provides technical support to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Her expertise spans comparative constitutional, legislative and alternative legal frameworks on freedom of expression, access to information and data protection in Africa, AU/RECs and access to information, democracy, governance and elections in Africa, transparency and socio-economic rights, freedom of expression, and the African human rights system. She has coordinated and participated in the drafting of continent-wide human rights standards such as the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa and the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa. She also coordinated a campaign for the ratification and implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (Democracy Charter) and subsequently provided technical assistance to the department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission in drafting of the State Reporting Guidelines for the Democracy Charter. Lola holds an LL.B from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and was called to the Nigerian Bar. She also holds an LL.M with specialisation in human rights and democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria, as well as a doctorate in human rights law from the same institution.


Corlett Letlojane

Corlett Letlojane is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Corlett possesses over 20 years’ experience in the field of human rights operating in the national, regional and international levels. Among others, she has monitored the enforcement of regional and international human rights mechanisms at domestic level and served as a focal point for drafting and submitting NGO shadow reports to UN & AU respectively. She has conducted extensive advocacy interventions that contributed to the adoption of human rights resolutions, including on the prevention of torture in countries like Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Mali. A passionate human rights defender, Corlett has conducted training and research and other forms of capacity building to audiences in the African Continent. She has hosted annual human rights camps for human rights defenders from across the Continent where she raised awareness about the African human rights system and contributed in the Commission’s Resolutions adopted for setting up various Working Groups, as well as Committees, and plays a supportive role to the Special Mandates like the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa. Corlett serves on a number of Continental organisations, among others, the African Commission Study Group on Freedom of Association & Assembly, the NGO Forum preceding Ordinary Sessions of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network and the Coalition for An Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Corlett has also worked for Lawyers for Human Rights in Pretoria, South Africa. Corlett holds a B. Iuris Diploma from the University of the North West and an LL.B degree with the University of South Africa.


Melody Kozah,

Melody Rumbidzai Kozah-Chironga holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Masters in Human Rights Law (LL.M) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is a human rights lawyer with seven years experience and her focus has been on a broad range of areas including the rights of persons living with HIV, prisoners, women, children and refugees and migrants. She is currently working on police accountability and governance in Africa at the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF). She has previously worked for the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit based at the University of Cape Town and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.


Kristen Petersen

Kristen Petersen is a researcher at Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR), a project of the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights. Kristen is an admitted attorney (2009) and she has an LLM in Human Rights Law (2011/2012). Prior to joining ACJR, she worked for the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services as the Assistant Director: Policy & Research focusing on the treatment of offenders in correctional facilities in South Africa. She also previously worked in the legal services department of the South African Human Rights Commission.


Chumile Sali

Chumile Sali is an activist with the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), a mass-member based social movement campaigning for safe, healthy and dignified communities in some of South Africa’s largest, most under-developed townships. He is currently serving as the Head of Safety and Justice Programme. The SJCs Safety and Justice Programme is advocating for the implementation of the 2014 Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry Recommendations. The SJC has a case at the Equality Court against the Minister of Police for irrational allocation of police resources. Police stations in Black unsafe communities are less resourced in comparison to the safest (white) communities in South Africa.


Aquinaldo Mandlate

Aquinaldo Célio Mandlate runs SALC’s Regional Advocacy Programme. He is specialised (PhD) in Public International Law and his work involves engaging with international and regional human rights mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Aquinaldo is also an Affiliated Senior Legal Advisor at the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) based in Norway. He has written extensively on human right issues. His recent contribution is a book titled “Implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Lusophone Africa”.


Sherilyn Naidoo

Sherilyn is the attorney in the Right2Protest Project. She assists protestors with legal advice and procedures when exercising the protest rights as well as bail applications. Prior to joining R2P, Sherilyn was a candidate attorney at the Wits Law Clinic where she received training and experience in assisting victims of police brutality with civil claims against the State. Sherilyn holds an LL.M from the University of Cape Town and an LL.B from the University of the Witwatersrand.


Mandisa Dyantyi

Mandisa is a dedicated activist who has worked in the Social Movement and organising space for the past seven years. She holds a Masters in Political Studies from the University of the Western Cape. Mandisa is committed to social justice and has a particular interest in the fight against inequality in South Africa. Mandisa has worked as the Social Justice Coalition’s Education coordinator and has recently been elected as the SJC’s Deputy General Secretary.


Peter Alexander

Peter Alexander is a Professor of Sociology and the South African Research Chair in Social Change at the University of Johannesburg. He is expert on protest in South Africa and has published widely on protest in South Africa, including on the Marikana Massacre and South African labour movements.


Ofentse Motlhasedi

Ofentse Motlhasedi is a pupil at the Johannesburg Society of advocates. She is doing dual pupillage at SERI and with Advocate Michelle Le Roux. She joined SERI in January 2016 as a litigation fellow. Prior to joining SERI she clerked for Justice Tunoi of the Supreme Court of Kenya and Justice Khampepe of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.  She has worked in research capacities in both government and the NGO sector. Ofentse holds an LL.B and an LL.M in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa, both from the University of Pretoria. She was admitted as an advocate of the Johannesburg Bar on 20 April 2017. Ofentse is broadly interested in the developmental agenda, gender equality and social justice in South Africa.


Mimi Memka

Mimi obtained an LLB at the University of Durban Westville and she is the Director of Memka & Associates.

Keketso Maema

Keketso’s role at the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) encompasses development of institutional and operational strategies in line with the CGE Act and other relevant legislative frameworks. Within her fiduciary function, she is tasked with the responsibility of actualising principles of good governance, adherence to the Public Finance Management Act and other regulations.


Nolukhanyiso Gcilitshana

Nolukhanyiso is the General Secretary of South African Women Lawyers and State Attorney in the Northern Cape and member of the Law Society of SA.


Charlene May

Charlene May is an attorney with the Legal Resources Centre. She is a graduate of the University of the Western Cape where she obtained her law degree. She completed her articles of community service with the Legal Resources Centre and has been with the Centre since then. She specialises in Equality and Non-discrimination law and has extensive experience in issues related to women and their access to socio-economic rights. She has litigated cases ranging from access to land and restitution to women’s right under customary law. In recent years she has worked on advancing the rights of persons who have been persecuted as a result of their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity.


Elizabeth Gqoboka

Elizabeth Gqoboka is a Reclaim the City activist. She has lived in Sea Point for almost twenty-two years, mostly in precarious accommodation. She has been at the forefront of the campaign for affordable housing on the Tafelberg site along with other Sea Point workers. As a local leader, Elizabeth has advocated strongly against the poor living conditions facing domestic workers and other workers in Sea Point since the mid-1990’s, and has been involved in occupying sites in the area as a demonstration of the need for dignified housing. She currently works as a carer and previously as a domestic worker.


Mandisa Shandu

Mandisa is a co-director and attorney at Ndifuna Ukwazi where she is responsible for leading the organisation’s Law Centre. Her areas of practice support the organisation’s primary mission of advancing urban land justice, including constitutional, property and housing law, access to basic services and access to administrative justice. Prior to working at Ndifuna Ukwazi, Mandisa worked as a commercial law attorney at ENSAfrica. She is a University of Cape Town graduate holding a B.Soc.Sci degree in political science and an LL.B degree and is currently completing her LL.M at the same university. Mandisa was announced as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2016.


Ndumiso Lebohang Dube

Lebohang is the acting president of Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and previously served as a member of its National Task Team in 2016. He is a registered BA Law student at UKZN in Durban. He has been involved in the FeesMustFall movement. As an LGBTI activist on campus, he advocates for gender and sexual justice on campus. His most recent activity beside SLSJ involves work with rural women in KZN.



Thulani Nkosi

Thulani joined SERI as a senior attorney in October 2016. He holds a BA, LL.B and LL.M. Prior to joining SERI, Thulani worked at the Wits Law Clinic for five years, first as a candidate attorney then as a supervising attorney in the Labour Unit. He was appointed as an Associate Lecturer/Practising Attorney, and lectured Practical Legal Studies, Civil Procedure and Administrative Law at the Wits School of Law.


Boitumelo Ramahlele

Boitumelo Ramahlele works as a political educator, health and safety officer and paralegal at the Commercial Stevedoring Agricultural & Allied Workers’ Union (CSAAWU). In search of a place to stay, he was part of the group of occupiers who occupied vacant land in Phillipi, Cape Town, that later became the Marikana Informal Settlement. When he’s not doing work for CSAAWU, he assists community members who are facing eviction and occupation issues.


Sarita Pillay

Sarita Pillay is an organiser at Ndifuna Ukwazi. She is interested in the power and politics behind spatial-decision making. She has a Masters in Urban Planning from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and an undergraduate and honours degree in Geography and Politics at UCKAR (Rhodes University).


Steven Friedman

Steven Friedman is Research Professor in the Humanities Faculty of the University of Johannesburg. He is a political scientist who has specialised in the study of democracy. He researched and wrote widely on the South African transition to democracy both before and after the elections of 1994 and has, over the past decade, largely written on the relationship between democracy on the one hand, social inequality and economic growth on the other. In particular, he has stressed the role of citizen voice in strengthening democracy and promoting equality. He is the author of Building Tomorrow Today, a study of the South African trade union movement and the implications of its growth for democracy, and the editor of The Long Journey and The Small Miracle (with Doreen Atkinson), which presented the outcome of two research projects on the South African transition. His current work focuses on the theory and practice of democracy and his study of South African radical thought Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid was published in 2015. He writes a weekly column in Business Day on current political and economic developments.


Nonhlanhla Chanza

Nonhlanhla Chanza is currently employed as a Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). Prior to joining the LSSA in 2012, she worked as a political researcher with a particular focus on parliamentary advocacy work for the then Institute of Democracy in South Africa (Idasa). She is an activist and involved in various local struggles around access to information laws, surveillance laws, the Regulation of Gatherings Act and recently internet governance. She holds a Social Science Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Kwazulu-Natal.


Samantha Waterhouse

Samantha Waterhouse is currently the Head of the Women and Democracy Initiative of the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape. She is focused on enhancing participatory democracy in South Africa by strengthening citizen engagement in holding government accountable as well as strengthening the legislatures for this purpose. She has worked for the past twenty years on the women and in the children’s sectors, advocating for the rights of women and of children’s rights. She holds a diploma in photography (Peninsula Technikon) and an MPhil in Social Justice (UCT).


Demichelle Petherbridge

Demichelle obtained her B. Comm (Law) degree from Stellenbosch University in 2005 and post-graduate LL.B degree in 2007 at the same university. In March 2015, she received her doctoral degree from Stellenbosch University, with her dissertation focused on the role of international law in the interpretation of socio-economic rights in South Africa. She joined the Equal Education Law Centre in February 2015 and is employed as an attorney.


Mhpumeleli Sikhosana

Mphumeleli completed his LL.B Degree at the University of Fort Hare. He has been involved in Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) where he served as the University of Fort Hare’s SLSJ branch chairperson in 2015, and he was also involved in the Constitutional Literacy and Services Initiative (CLASI) where he served as a Coordinator at the University of Fort Hare branch in 2016. Mphumeleli is interested in health-related issues. In January 2016, Mphumeleli joined SECTION 27 as an SLSJ Fellow – he works with the Public Health team where he has been conducting workshops in the Eastern Cape on Access to Health Care Services. Finally, Mphumeleli has been collecting statements from people in various villages and townships in the Eastern Cape who have been affected by the shortages of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Planned Patient Transport (PPT).


Mosa Phadi

Mosa Phadi is a researcher at Public Affairs Research Institute where is the project leader on a long-term study focusing on municipalities with emerging mineral extraction. She is currently completing her PhD at the University of Johannesburg and is a sociologist by training. Her research interests are local governance, race and class.


Alana Potter

Alana Potter joined SERI in February 2017 as Director of Research and Advocacy. She previously led the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre’s Africa Regional Programme, focussing on influencing sector change at district, national, regional and international levels; strengthening and influencing partnerships, policies and practices within and between government, civil society, users and private providers towards equitable and sustainable water and sanitation services. She brings twenty years water and sanitation governance, planning, policy, monitoring and evaluation experience, holds an MA in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand and is committed to realising the right to universal basic services.



Mbekezeli Benjamin

Mbekezeli completed his schooling in Soweto and completed his LL.B degree at Wits University. He completed his articles at SERI as a Bertha Fellow. During his time at SERI, Mbekezeli worked on various matters that have come before court at all levels from the Magistrate’s Court up to the Constitutional Court. He has been involved in matters relating to the right to housing, the right to protest and the right to a livelihood. Mbekezeli joined the Equal Education Law Centre in February 2016. Coming from a township school himself, Mbekezeli has a passion for addressing the education problems in marginalszed communities.


Nolundi Luwaya

Nolundi returned to the Centre for Law and Society as a researcher in 2017. She has a BA (English, Sociology and Law) and an LL.B from the University of Cape Town. In 2012 she joined the Law, Race and Gender Unit (LRG) as a junior researcher where she worked on the Unit’s campaign on the Traditional Courts Bill. The LRG then became the Centre for Law and Society and from  2013 – 2015 Nolundi was the Programme Coordinator of the Rural Women’s Action Research Programme (RWAR) based within CLS. In this position she worked extensively with rural community based organisations and NGO’s on issues connected to citizenship rights, land rights and nuanced understandings of customary law within our constitutional democracy. In 2016, the RWAR became the Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC) where Nolundi was the Deputy Director. Nolundi has a particular interest in the struggles and strategies of women living in rural South Africa, and in what these strategies for transforming their particular circumstances can teach us about transformation and change on a societal level.


Mazibuko Jara

In addition to being Chairperson of Oxfam South Africa Board, Mazibuko is the Executive Director of Ntinga Ntaba kaNdoda, a community-owned rural development initiative in the Eastern Cape Province. Mazibuko has occupied various senior political roles, including Spokesperson and Chief Strategist of the South African Communist Party until his departure in 2010. An activist for social justice and democracy in South Africa, Mazibuko is a Research Associate at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Law and Society. He serves as a board member of the Alternative Information and Development Centre. He is the founding chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign, an organisation that lobbied for a more responsible approach by political leaders to the challenge presented by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He has worked as the National Director of the then National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality which secured sexual orientation as a ground for non-discrimination in the Constitution of South Africa. Mazibuko is a key and influential commentator and analyst on issues such as the state of democracy and rural transformation in South Africa and edits several thought-leadership magazines, such as Amandla Magazine.


Anele Nzimande

Anele Nzimande is a former One Day Leader 2013 contestant, a reality TV show that seeks the best youth in South Africa and puts their leadership skills and abilities to the test. She is in her final year of Law at the University of Witwatersrand and has served as the Vice Chairperson of the Law Students Council. She has worked also as a tutor for the South African Model United Nations Programme for high school students and formed part of a team of mentors on the SABC 1 programme Future Leaders aimed at curbing underage drinking in communities across South Africa.

Anele has also co-authored a book, titled Reflections on South Africa and has written opinion pieces for various publications such as the Vanguard Magazine, The Star newspaper and the Saturday Star. In the past year, she occupied a position as a legal researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) under the Business and Human Rights programme, but has since ventured into fashion and currently owns a clothing label that makes locally produced women’s apparel called Aluna.

Robert Krause

Robert Krause is a Research Associate in the Environmental Justice Programme at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS).  He obtained an LL.B and an LL.M in Public and Constitutional Law from the University of Cape Town.  His LL.M thesis addressed the issue of substantive limits to amendments of the South African Constitution. His work involves conducting research on the mining and environmental legal regime. Particular focus areas of the Environmental Justice Programme include public participation in decisions about the environment and the use of natural resources, legislation and policy instruments to transform the mining sector (Social and Labour Plans in particular) and planning.  His research interests include participatory governance and development and Marxist social theory as a lens for understanding inequality in South Africa, including environmental injustice.



Nicole Löser

Nicole joined the Pollution & Climate Change Programme in January 2015. She grew up in Empangeni, KwaZulu Natal and completed her LL.B degree at Stellenbosh University. She holds a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town and spent a semester abroad at the University of Bern in Switzerland where she studied International and European Law of Climate Change. Nicole completed her articles of clerkship at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs and continued to work there as an associate after her admission as an attorney.


Adrian Pole

Adrian practices as an attorney for his own account, specialising in environmental law. Most recently, Adrian was the attorney of record in the legal challenge successfully brought on behalf of Earthlife Africa-Johannesburg and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute setting aside Ministerial determinations relating to the need to procure 9.6GW of new nuclear generation capacity and the tabling of various international governmental agreements relating thereto. Previously, Adrian was an attorney in the Legal Resources Centre’s environmental justice programme, where he was involved in (among other things) the successful review of the government’s then proposed Pebble Bed Modular Nuclear Reactor environmental authorisation. Adrian holds a BA LL.B from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban), a Masters in Environment & Development from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg), and an LL.M (environmental law) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban).


Makoma Lekalakala

Makoma is the Earthlife Africa Johannesburg branch coordinator. She is an environmental justice activist and a women’s rights activist. Programmes Officer at Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Partnership.



Robyn Hugo

Since joining the Centre in October 2011, Robyn has been responsible for its collaborative Pollution & Climate Change programme. This programme predominantly works in a collaborative project with partners groundWork, the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA), and the Highveld Environmental Justice Network – who all support several community-based organisations – to promote environmental justice, ensure compliance with environmental laws, and strengthen civil society participation in decisions on industrial pollution, waste, and land use; and with partners groundWork and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg to challenge the exploitation of coal for electricity. Before moving to the Cape, Robyn worked for seven years at Bowman Gilfillan in Sandton, specialising in employment and public law. She holds a BA LL.B from Stellenbosch University, and an LL.M in Environmental Law through the University of Cape Town.


Amanda Rinquest

Amanda Rinquest is the Deputy Head of the Equal Education in the Eastern Cape. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Cape Town in 2011. After completing university, Amanda volunteered and was later employed by an NGO in Mpumalanga for three years. There she taught History to high school students and ran the community outreach program, coordinating and teaching literacy classes and running sporting programs and medical-clinic evenings for rural farm workers and their families. At the beginning of 2015, Amanda joined the Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) as a Candidate Attorney. She was admitted as an attorney of the Western Cape High Court in February 2017. During her time at EELC, Amanda worked on cases concerning school fee exemptions for single mothers, land expropriation for public schools on private land, delictual liability for the Minister of Education and the Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure. In May 2017 she joined Equal Education in an effort to help strengthen its fight for equal and quality education and infrastructure compliance in school in the Eastern Cape.


Tendai Mafuma

Tendai Mafuma is a legal researcher on the public health team at SECTION27. Before joining SECTION27, Tendai clerked at the Constitutional Court for Justice Madlanga. Her research interests include constitutional litigation, mental health, the rule of law, and intellectual property law.

Lisa Vetten

Lisa Vetten is a researcher at the WITS City Institute. She has spent over twenty years working in the field of violence against women as a counsellor, paralegal, and researcher. Her research and advocacy currently focuses on two aspects of social care work: the development and support of quality, transformative social care services; and the recognition of care work as a valued social activity. This work has included researching the Expanded Public Works Programme, post-rape care, and the Department of Social Development’s funding practices nationally. Collaborating with others to develop a rights-based framework in support this work has also been key, with this thinking currently being tested in litigation drawing on the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

Mpule Thejane-Lenyehelo

Mpule Thejane-Lenyehelo is the founder and director of A Re Ageng Social Services in Gauteng. She is a social worker with forty years of practice experience, with a Masters Degree from Atlanta University in the USA. A Re Ageng has been in existence since 2003, and renders diversion services for both Westonaria and Randfontein Courts. It also manages two shelters for abused women and their children, including awareness campaigns in communities and counselling in six victim empowerment centres at police stations where victims of rape, domestic violence and other criminal offences come to lay charges. A Re Ageng also supervises both student Social Workers and Auxiliary Workers.


Sanja Bornman

Sanja Bornman is the managing attorney of the Lawyers for Human Rights Gender Equality Programme. She conducts constitutional and impact litigation in the areas of gender-based violence and gender equality, and advocates for policy and law reform. She is the chair of the South African civil society Hate Crimes Working Group. The Gender Equality Programme not only serves women and girls, but seeks to empower and protect the human rights of the LGBTIQ+ community, using the law. The Programme has trained over eighty social service non-profit organisations on contract law, administrative justice, and the state funding framework as part of its aim to effort to stop the erosion of social services to vulnerable groups


Suzanna Harvey

Suzanna Harvey is a practicing advocate at the Cape Town Bar and a former CCMA commissioner.  She is currently in-house counsel to Lawyers for Human Rights and oversees their strategic labour litigation run in partnership with the Casual Workers Advice Office, an NGO which interfaces with precarious workers in Gauteng.


Lynette Maart

Lynette Maart has extensive experience of working in various capacities in the not-for-profit and heritage sectors. She is currently the National Director of the Black Sash. She also currently serves as co-chairperson of the Ministerial Task Team (MTT) established in 2014 to stop unlawful and unauthorised debit deductions from social grants. From 1986 to 1991 Lynette worked as Trainer, Trainer of Trainers and senior manager in early childhood development in disadvantaged communities at Border Early Learning Centre (Eastern Cape) and Grassroots Educare Trust (Western Cape). From 1998 to 2013, Lynette was the Deputy Director of the Robben Island Museum. During her tenure as project manager at the St. George Cathedral Crypt Memory Centre three books and two exhibitions were produced – Glimpsing of Hope, Marching for Peace (focusing on the 1989 Peace marches) and An African Tale to the Mother City, (housing and land struggles in the Western Cape from Modderdam to Khayelitsha). From 1992 to 2013, Lynette worked as Senior Organisation Development consultant at the Community Development Resources Association (CDRA) with clients in the land, urban development and heritage sectors including. Lynette worked as independent organisational development consultant with clients in community philanthropy, international donors and local foundations. She led teams to conduct external evaluations and facilitated the development of strategic plans.