PILG 2021 Speaker Biographies
Dr Sithembile Mbethe
Dr Sithembile Mbete is the Programme Director of Apolitical Academy Southern Africa, the non-profit and non-partisan political training programme for emerging public leaders in Southern Africa. She is a tenured Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria (UP) where she teaches international relations and South African politics. She is a visiting researcher at the African Leadership Centre at King’s College London (KCL) and a member of the Joint Academic Committee of the KCL/UP Joint PhD in Leadership and Security Studies.
Plenary: The role of social grants in a COVID-19 response
Isobel Frye is the founding Director of Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) in Johannesburg. She worked as a director at a commercial law practice before moving to work as the Black Sash National Advocacy Manager. From there she moved to work as a senior researcher at NALEDI, the research service organisation of the trade union federation COSATU, before starting SPII. SPII undertakes both primary and secondary research into poverty and social exclusions, and policy analysis in the field of anti-poverty policies, inequalities, socio-economic and constitutional rights and social protection..
Amanda Rinquest is the National Education and Training Manager at Black Sash in Cape Town, where she works on training paralegals, various aspects of social security in South Africa and especially on the campaign for Basic Income Support. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science in 2009 and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Cape Town in 2011, where she is currently enrolled in an Environmental Law LLM programme.
Brenton Van Vreede
Brenton Van Vrede is the Chief Director for Social Assistance at the National Department of Social Development in the Republic of South Africa. The Social Assistance budget for the country is approximately R190 billion per year and accounts for more than 12% of total government expenditure and around 3.5% of the country’s GDP. Mr. Van Vrede started his career in the National Government of South Africa in 2004 when he joined the National Treasury as a health analyst. In 2006 he became the budget director for the National Department of Social Development and in 2011 he joined the National Department
Daddy Mabe is a Christian and a community and #PayTheGrants activist. He is a Former shop steward, unionist and entrepreneur.
Duma Gqubule holds a degree from Aberdeen University in Scotland. He has worked as a financial journalist for most of South Africa’s leading publications and featured in international publications. He is founding director at the Centre for Economic Development and Transformation.
Panel 1A: Informal and precarious livelihoods during COVID – impacts and responses
Kelebogile Khunou is a researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) since August 2017. She closely follows the organisation’s “Making a Living” thematic area which is concerned with the struggles many vulnerable people face in earning a livelihood, including poor working conditions, long hours, low pay and the insecurity associated with part-time, temporary or informal employment. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Luyanda Hlatshwayo is a founding member and organiser of the African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO). ARO started as the Interim Johannesburg Reclaimers Committee (IJRC) which was formed initially to respond to the City of Johannesburg’s Separation@Source programme, which displaced reclaimers who collect in the streets by paying private companies to collect recyclables from high-income areas in Johannesburg. ARO is a membership-based democratic organisation of reclaimers. The organisation represents and defends the interests of reclaimers. ARO’s goal is for South Africa to increase its recycling rates and for reclaimers to be paid for their labour, which forms the foundation of the country’s multi-million rand recycling economy.
Thandeka Chauke is an attorney at Lawyers for Human Rights. She is the Head of the Statelessness Project, which is a specialized project under the broader Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme. The Statelessness Project was established in 2011 and has since done pioneering work on statelessness and access to nationality in South Africa and the SADC region through direct legal assistance, strategic litigation, research and advocacy. In 2019, Thandeka was appointed as team lead on a joint LHR-ICJ project to train lawyers across South Africa on Economic, Social and Cultural rights. She holds a B.SocSci and LLB degree from Rhodes University, South Africa.
Nerishka Singh is a candidate attorney at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) since January 2020, after having previously worked as a research intern at SERI from February 2019. She holds BA (Political Studies) and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nerishka worked closely with informal traders and reclaimers, providing these groups with legal support. She is looking to pursue a Master’s Degree which focuses on human rights litigation, with a specific interest in the rights of women and children in South Africa.
Kelly Kropman is an attorney in private practice under the name Kropman Attorneys. Kelly holds a Bachelors of Education, Senior Phase (UJ) 2010, LLB (Wits) 2015 and an LLM in International Human Rights Law 2021 (University of London Queen Marys College). She completed her articles at the Legal Resources Centre, Johannesburg and practised as an attorney at the same office before moving to Corruption Watch SA. She then opened Kropman Attorneys, a law firm focusing on constitutional and administrative law. Kropman Attorneys aims to provide representation on matters of public law for a broader group of people than would be available to traditional law clinics.
Panel 1B: Rights and accountability in customary law: Developments backward and forward for rural communities
Monica De Souza Louw
Monica de Souza Louw is the Deputy Director of the Land and Accountability Research Centre and heads activities within LARC’s Traditional Governance stream. She is responsible for monitoring legislation, policy and practices dealing with the role and recognition of traditional institutions in South Africa, and providing legal analysis for use in advocacy and litigation. Since joining the Centre in 2010 (when it was still the Rural Women’s Action Research Programme), she has researched the registration of customary marriages, the status of traditional councils, processes for recognising traditional leaders and resolving leadership disputes, and participation requirements for the making of legislation on customary law. Monica has an LLB and LLM (Human Rights Law) from the University of Cape Town.
Wilmien Wicomb is an attorney and co-lead of the land programme at the Legal Resources Centre. She has a particular interest in customary property rights and community governance systems, and broadening communities’ rights to choose their own development paths.
Nokwanda Sihlali is a land researcher at the Land and Accountability Research Centre. Her main academic and professional interests are centred on topics of gender, social research and community development. She is currently part of the land team working specifically on women and land issues, however also researching topics of security of tenure in the former bantustans.
Thiyane Duda is a Researcher at the Land and Accountability Research Centre. Since joining in February 2015 his focus area of research has been traditional governance, especially in relation to living customary law. Thiyane has also worked as a Junior Researcher at the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) in the HIV/AIDS, STI & TB (HAST) unit. At HRSC Thiyane was involved in research on HIV and alcohol, HIV and men that have sex with men (MSM), HIV and gender-based violence. Thiyane has a BsocSci (Hons) in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town.
Ayesha Motala joined the Land and Accountability Research Centre in 2017 as a Researcher in the Traditional Governance stream. Prior to joining LARC, she served articles of community service and spent time as an attorney at the Centre for Environmental Rights in the Centre’s mining programme. She graduated with her LLB and LLM (Environmental Law) degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Ayesha’s research interests include community development, rural democracy, and power struggles in the former homelands. Ayesha is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa.
Plenary: Threatened and collapsing state institutions
Professor Tshepo Madlingozi
Tshepo Madlingozi is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University. He has master’s degrees in both Law and Sociology, and he received his PhD degree from Birkbeck, University of London. He is a Research Associate at the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education at Nelson Mandela University. He is the co-editor of South African Journal of Human Rights and part of the management team of Pretoria University Law Press. He is a co-editor of Symbol or Substance: Socio-economic Rights in South Africa (Cambridge UP) and a co-editor of Introduction to Law and Legal Skills in South Africa, 2nd Edition (Oxford UP South Africa). He is an advisory board member of the Journal of Human Rights Practice, and he sits on the boards of the following civil society organizations: Amandla.mobi; Centre for Human Rights, University of Free State; the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution; the Rural Democracy Trust; Mining-Affected Communities United in Action/Women-Affected by Mining United in Action; and Health Justice Initiative. For thirteen years (2015-2018) he worked with and for Khulumani Support Group, a 120 000-strong social movement of victims and survivors of Apartheid.
Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi
Mbongiseni Buthelezi is the Director of the Public Affairs Research Institute. He holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He previously held teaching and research positions at the University of Cape Town. Mbongiseni is serves on boards of research and advocacy organisations including the Alliance for Rural Democracy in South Africa and the German organisation Agora Energiewende. He writes on the state and on state-society relations.
Ziyanda Stuurman is a political science and security studies graduate who is currently a Policy Manager based at the Abdul Latiff Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (also known as J-PAL Africa) at the University of Cape Town. Ziyanda is a Fulbright and Chevening scholar whose Masters degree research on the militarisation of policing in Brazil and South Africa was published in the South African Journal of International Affairs in April 2020. Her broader research and writing on policing, justice, law and society was published in a book titled “Can We Be Safe? The future of policing in South Africa” in June this year. The book explored the long colonial and Apartheid history of the police; the scale and size of the problem of police brutality and violence within the SAPS; and a possible vision for a police institution that works to serve all South Africans equitably and fairly.
Mbekezeli is a Research and Advocacy Officer at Judges Matter, a civil society project monitoring the appointment, governance and discipline of judges and magistrates in South Africa. For several years, Mbekezeli has been in involved in litigation on issues relating to the right to education, the right to housing, and the right to protest for grassroots activists. He has been involved in cases that have come before all levels of the court system, from the magistrates’ courts up to and including the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He has also made submissions at international bodies, including UN treaty-bodies. Mbekezeli has written for the Daily Maverick, the Mail & Guardian, and Business Day, and has been quoted on radio, television and the Financial Times of London. Mbekezeli is an alum of the Bertha Justice Fellowship (2014-2016) and was the Global Practitioner-in-Residence at Stanford Law School for 2019. He holds an LLB from Wits University and is currently reading for an LLM at the University of Cape Town..
Zukiswa Kota is a Programme Head at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) which is based at Rhodes University and works in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. The PSAM aims to promote social accountability and tackle social justice problems that originate from public resource management and governance failures. Zukiswa is interested in contributing to South Africa’s open government and anti-corruption agendas and coordinates Imali Yethu, a civil society coalition working with the National Treasury to develop South Africa’s first online portal for provincial and national budget data; vulekamali. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) and has contributed to various budget and social justice initiatives including the Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) and the Budget Justice Coalition. Twitter handle: @Zukiswa Kota Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel 2A: Can we use learning from the COVID-19 pandemic to sharpen our defence of/progress towards social justice outcomes in a changed climate?
Dr Garret Barnwell
Dr Garret Barnwell is a clinical psychologist in private practice, community psychology practitioner, University Research Committee Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Humanities. His areas of focus include climate psychology, environmental justice and epistemic violence. He is on the editorial board of the forthcoming Explorations in Climate Psychology Journal, one of the co-conveners of the Psychology Society of South Africa’s (PsySSA) Climate, Environment and Psychology (CEP) group and has several publications on the subject. Barnwell also recently released the expert report: “The psychological and mental health consequences of climate change in South Africa” commissioned by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) for the African Climate Alliance, groundWork, the Vukani Environmental Movement in Action.
Vho-Mphatheleni Makaulule (Mphathe) was born in 1969, when her father was 74 years old. Her father was a traditional healer, farmer and traditional leader. She is a founder of Mupo Foundation (now registered as Dzomo la Mupo( the voice of the Earth), a community-based organisation dedicated to protecting Nature in all its forms rooted on the protection Zwifho (sacred indigenous forest), seeds and food systems and creating spaces of intergenerational learning. For 33 years Vho-Mphatheleni has been interacting through learning, with the Venda elders, particularly wemoon women, for the transfer of indigenous knowledge to the younger generation. She calls elders living libraries of knowledge.
Andrew is the research coordinator at the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). He has an MA in Development and Environmental Sociology, and is writing his PhD on the agrarian question, the politics of food, and grassroots organising in South Africa, at Wits University, Johannesburg. His research work has focused mainly on land, extractivism, environment and the politics of food systems. He also has an activist history in cooperative and solidarity economy support, community organising, popular education and coordinating national campaigning on food and climate justice issues.
Professor Debra Roberts
Professor Debra Roberts is currently head of the Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit in eThekwini Municipality (Durban, South Africa) and was selected as the city’s first Chief Resilience Officer in 2013. Professor Roberts was a lead author of Chapter 8 (Urban Areas) of Working Group II’s contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She was elected as Co-Chair of Working Group II for the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle in 2015. She was also a lead negotiator for the South African delegation involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations until December 2015, and a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Thematic Group on Sustainable Cities involved in mobilising international support for the creation of a city focused SDG (SDG11). She is an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the School of Life Sciences and has been an advisor to the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the United Nations Secretary General’s 2019 Climate Summit. In 2019 she was included in a list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy.
Panel 2B: A rights-based green recovery post COVID-19: Where legal and policy efforts to further Animal Wellbeing, Social Justice and a Healthy Environment meet
Lara Wallis is the Executive Director of Animal Law Reform South Africa. Lara is a human rights and social justice lawyer with over 8 years of legal experience who believes strongly in the mutually reinforcing nature of animal rights, human rights, and environmental law. An admitted attorney, Lara holds an LL.B and an LL.M in Human Rights Law from the University of Cape Town and an LL.M from Columbia Law School. Lara has gained wide-ranging experience in legal research, advocacy, litigation and strategy development across a range of human rights, social justice, and environmental law issues both in South Africa and internationally. In South Africa, Lara has explored these areas at the Legal Resources Centre, the Centre for Environmental Rights, and as a clerk of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. In recognition of her commitment to human rights and social justice in her career, Lara was the recipient of the Constitutional Court Trust Ismail Mohamed Fellowship towards international human rights study. This led her to pursue her LL.M at Columbia Law School where she was a Columbia Human Rights Fellow and a Lawrence A. Wien Corporate Social Responsibility Fellow. Lara’s studies at Columbia were centred around taking an intersectional human rights-based approach to corporate accountability and she also engaged in transnational advocacy as a member of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and conducted research for the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment
Dr Melanie Murcott
Melanie Murcott is a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria where she teaches administrative law and environmental law. She holds an LLB cum laude from the University of Cape Town, an LLM cum laude (Masters in Administrative Law and Constitutional Law) from the University of Pretoria, and an LLD (Doctor of Laws, Constitutional Law) from North-West University. Melanie is admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa, and as a solicitor of England and Wales (non-practising roll). Melanie’s doctoral thesis titled ‘Towards a Social Justice-Oriented Environmental Law Jurisprudence’ developed a legal theory of transformative environmental constitutionalism. Her research focuses on the potential of environmental law and administrative law to contribute towards South Africa’s project of transformative constitutionalism. Melanie is an active member of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law (IUCNAEL), having participated in, and presented her research at the IUCNAEL annual colloquia (attended by leading environmental law scholars from around the globe) since 2014.
Tozie Zokufa is a recognised animal welfare consultant with extensive experience at a national, regional, and international level mainly in the field of farm animals. For 9 years, Tozie worked for both the private sector the national department of agriculture as a meat inspector and for the Western Cape provincial department of agriculture as a Veterinary Public Health practitioner respectively. For additional 11 years, he has been providing consultation and been a keynote speaker to different organizations locally and abroad, including faith-based, indigenous and grassroots community organizations. Tozie’s organisational involvement has included Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International, Humane Education Trust, Animal Voice and Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance, Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Cape Animal Welfare Forum, World Animal Net and he is the Executive Director of the Coalition for African Animal Welfare Organisations and a Director for Soil for Life and an ambassador for World Animal Day. Tozie is also a member of the African Union’s Africa Platform for Animal Welfare and served on the Coordination Committee for the implementation of the Africa Strategy for Animal Welfare.
Kirsten qualified as an attorney in 1999 and has a Masters degree in Environmental Law. She has specialised in this field for most of her professional career. Kirsten has a deep desire to correct the imbalances in the world, and does so through her practice of environmental law and environmental justice. Kirsten works on matters advocating for better protection of wildlife, specifically protected, endangered and threatened species, both terrestrial and marine. Her cases support communities, conservation organisations and NGOs in protecting their environmental rights as well as enforcing environmental legislation for the purpose of preserving natural resources and combatting climate change. Kirsten offers legal advice and support in all fields of environmental law and environmental justice and has done a great deal of work in opposing and/or appealing applications made in terms of mining legislation and the various National Environmental Management Acts. This work often encompasses cultural heritage, human rights, traditional land rights and water rights.
Panel 2C: Reflections on multi-faceted education activism in South Africa during COVID-19
Hopolang Selebalo is an activist and currently employed as the Head of Research at Equal Education. She has worked in social movements that address both education and housing issues in South Africa. Prior to EE, Hopolang was the Senior Researcher and Project Manager for the Socio-Economic Rights Monitoring programme at the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute. Her research interests include education financing and education policy.
Tshegofatso Phala is the Executive Director at the Equal Education Law Centre. Tshego is an accomplished public interest activist lawyer with over 10 years’ experience in public interest litigation and a passion for human rights and the protection of vulnerable and marginalised persons and communities in society. She believes that movement-led lawyering and community lawyering can contribute positively to bringing about social change and the legal empowerment of marginalised voices.
Ronaldah Lerato Karabo Ozah
Karabo Ozah is the Director at the Centre for Child and a lecturer in the Department of Private Law of the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She obtained her LLB and LLM in Child Law (cum laude), as well as a Certificate in Advanced Labour Law from the University of Pretoria. Karabo also lectures undergraduate and postgraduate courses in child law, education law and human rights. Karabo is a member of the Hague Expert Group on International Parentage and Surrogacy that is tasked with researching the possibility of a Hague treaty to regulate international parentage and surrogacy.
Recently, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services appointed her to serve on the Advisory Committee of the South African Law Reform Commission’s Project 100D on Care of and Contact with Children (incorporating Family Dispute Resolution).
Dr Demichelle Petherbridge
Dr Demichelle Petherbridge obtained her BComm (Law) and post graduate LLB degree at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), and completed her doctorate degree at the same university in 2015. In 2019, she also completed her Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Dr Petherbridge has worked in the field of education law in South Africa since 2015 and is currently an attorney in the Education Rights programme at SECTION27, a public interest law clinic based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Yolanda Sewela is a learner at BB Mnyathaza Secondary School in Johannesburg. She is an Equal Education Equaliser and member of the movement’s National Council. Yolanda has a big personality and strong work ethic. She strives for social change and is motivated by competition.
Panel 3A: Vaccine Apartheid and Secrecy – Using law to advocate for equity, transparency and accountability within a global pandemic
Dr Marlise Richter
Dr Marlise Richter is a senior researcher at the Health Justice Initiative. She has worked in the health and human rights field for twenty years and has served in a number of key South African NGOs. She was a researcher at Project Literacy, the AIDS Law Project, the Treatment Action Campaign, the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit and more recently at Sonke Gender Justice.
S’lindile is an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa who works as an Associate at Power Singh Inc. and an Analyst at ALT Advisory. Her focus areas include public law, international law, and Constitutional law. She is passionate about the protection of women and children – both on-and offline, as well as education policy in South Africa.
Yanga Nokhepheyi is a Junior Researcher at HJI with a specific interest in health economics and health technology assessment. She’s passionate about access to affordable life-saving health technologies.
Tabitha Paine is a lawyer at Open Secrets. She is a Bertha Justice Fellow whose previous experience as a researcher and analyst, includes over 10 years in the human rights field, including gender work, transformation in higher education, sexual and reproductive health rights, violence and crime, prisons, and education law.
Panel 3B: Mandatory vaccination – Reconciling individual rights and public health
Mbali Baduza is a legal researcher and activist under the Health Rights Programme at SECTION27. She graduated from the university currently known as Rhodes University in 2014, with a BA(Law), Honours in Political Science and International Relations, and LLB. Mbali has just completed her LLM in Human Rights with the University of Edinburgh. She previously worked at Lawyers for Human Rights, under the Land and Housing Unit. Her current areas of work focus on climate justice, access to healthcare for migrants and advocating for mental health rights.
Umunyana Rugege is the Executive Director of SECTION27, a human rights organisation based in South Africa that seeks to achieve substantive equality and social justice. She is a human rights lawyer and has been with SECTION27 since its inception in 2010. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies (magna cum laude) from the State University of New York at Buffalo; a Master’s degree from Cornell University; and an LLB from the University of Cape Town, and has clerked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Umunyana has played a leading role in several human rights cases advancing the right to health and works on access to medicines in particular. She has led policy development and law reform that has helped to realise the right to health, particularly for vulnerable groups, and represented patient groups in the Health Market Inquiry into the private health care sector. She has served on the board of a gender equality organisation and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee to the UNAIDS Executive Director.
Professor Halton Cheadle
Halton Cheadle is an attorney with 40 years’ experience. Cheadle also has extensive experience in legislative drafting and has participated in the drafting of the Bill of Rights in the final Constitution, various labour statutes including the Labour Relations Act, 1995, the National Economic Development and Labour Council Act, 1994 and the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996. Cheadle has also been involved as author and editor of various books and journal articles on labour and constitutional law. He has been an acting judge in the High Court and the Labour Court and has experience as an arbitrator. Halton is the first South African to sit on the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR), International Labour Organisation, Geneva. Cheadle is an Emeritus Professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town.
Safura Abdool Karim
Safura Abdool Karim is a researcher at SAMRC Centre for Health Economics and Decision Science, PRICELESS SA (Priority Cost Effective Lessons for Systems Strengthening) a Research Unit based at the Wits School of Public Health. Her work focuses on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases through the use of legal and policy mechanisms as well as using the law to improve health outcomes more broadly. Safura is a 2020 Aspen New Voices Fellow. Safura completed an LLB at the University of Cape Town and thereafter an LLM in Global Health Law at Georgetown University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on constitutional rights and non-communicable diseases.
Prior to joining PRICELESS SA, Safura had practiced corporate law, worked on plain packaging and advertising laws for tobacco control and was a clerk to Justice Leona Theron at the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Professor Pierre De Vos
Professor Pierre de Vos is the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance and teaches Constitutional Law at the University of Cape Town, where he is the head of the Department of Public Law. He has a B Comm (Law), LLB and LLM (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, an LLM from Columbia University in New York, and an LLD from the University of Western Cape. He taught at the University of Western Cape from 1993 to June 2009 and held a Professorship at that institution from 2001. Prof de Vos is the co-editor of South African Constitutional Law in Context and serves on the advisory council of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), and a member of the board of PEN South Africa. He writes a Blog on social and political issues from a constitutional law perspective called ‘Constitutionally Speaking’.
Tessa Dooms is a sociologist and political analyst with extensive experience in the youth mobilisation and development sector. She is a Social Development Practitioner inspired by the values of participation, social justice, human-centred design. Her goal is to capacitate organisations and individuals with the skills to build and implement programmes that have developmental outcomes for national and global communities they serve. She has worked across Africa, engaging youth, governments, politicians, corporations and non-government actors. Tessa has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology, Honours and Masters of Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Panel 3C: Naming Perpetrators: Legal Challenges and Conundrums
Erica Emdon, an attorney of over thirty years, has a particular interest in gender and how to use the law to protect victims of GBV and discrimination. In her years of practice she has strived to find ways of making the legal system work better for victims. In her early work as an attorney she assisted children prepare their cases for courts as a volunteer at the Teddy Bear Clinic, hoping if they were better prepared their cases against perpetrators might succeed. At ProBono.Org she established domestic violence help desks at courts and NGOs so that pro bono attorneys could assist abused women get protection orders. She has prepared various submissions over the years aimed at improving the situation of victims of GBV and on improving the economic circumstances of women. Most recently she has developed sexual violence misconduct policies for a number of organisations that aim to enable people (mainly women) in the workplace or at institutions of higher learning make complaints against perpetrators of sexual misconduct, and that ensure there are consequences for those found guilty.
Chriscy Blouws is a social justice and gender activist, and human rights lawyer who was born and raised in Cape Town where she obtained her LLB from the University of the Western Cape. Chriscy is an attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre which was admitted as an amicus curia in the case of Booysen vs Dolley in the Western Cape High Court and is currently representing other women who have chosen to speak publicly about abuse and name their perpetrators.
Mandisa Khanyile is the a Gender Activist who hails from KwaZulu Natal. She is the Director of an organisation called Rise Up Against Gender Based Violence, The Co-Convenor of the Generation Equality Gender Based Violence Action Coalition in South Africa and sits on the Secretariat of the Call to Action Collective. Mandisa was part of the National Task Team for The Total Shutdown Movement which was a protest movement that lit the spark to change the tide against GBV with the historic record breaking March on 1 August 2018 and the first ever Gender Summit in November 2018 that committed to accelerating and coordinating the national response to GBV resulting the National Strategic Plan for Gender Based Violence we see being implemented today. She is also the founder of an afro-centric social media platform called DotAfro. She believes and lives the principle of driving progress through action.
Plenary: The role of donors in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic: The future of funding for public interest law work
Thokozile Madonko, also known as Thoko, is the International Politics & Perspectives Programme Manager at the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Making use of her MA in Political Theory, she has worked in the areas of international relations, political theory, public finance and social justice and human rights. She has undertaken research and analysis on national, subnational and parliamentary governance, transparency, accountability, corruption and public finance. While Thoko is a social justice activist by day, by night she parents an extraordinary rebel girl and writes poetry while plotting the feminist revolution!