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Africa Regional Office

Kaajal

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh – Director

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh is a South African lawyer. She joined the ICJ in October 2020. She holds the B.Proc LLB degrees from the University of Natal (now University of Kwa Zulu Natal). She was employed at Lawyers for Human Rights (South Africa) from 2002- 2014 where she initially headed the Immigration Detention Monitoring Unit from 2002-2007 and thereafter as Manager of the Refugee and Migrants Rights Programme from 2007- 2014. She was the Executive Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre from 2015 – 2020 where she led many strategic litigation cases those focussing on various human rights issues and in particular judicial independence, rule of law, international criminal justice, freedom of expression and association. Kaajal was employed at the International Organization for Migration from 2001-2002. She has significant experience and expertise in the fields of asylum and refugee protection, migration, citizenship, and statelessness. She also has experience in international criminal justice and freedom of expression. Kaajal sits probono on several boards of non-profit organisations. She was previously Board Chair of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa from 2007-2011. She sat on the board of the Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network from 2017-2020. She currently sits on the boards of the Centre for Child Law, South African History Archive, Sonke Gender Justice and is the Board Chair of Freedom House’s Advancing Rights in Southern Africa Programme.

Nico

Nico Bezuidenhout – International Programme Manager

Nico joined the ICJ in July 2015. An experienced project management expert, Nico is responsible for supporting the development and strengthening of practices and tools that foster a results-based approach to how ICJ programmes and projects are run in sub-Sahara Africa. He supports the ICJ Africa legal advisers to develop, implement, monitor and report on projects that seek to protect human rights through adherence to the rule of law. Nico’s career has been devoted to the promotion of democracy, good governance and human rights. Before joining the ICJ, he was an independent consultant for three and a half years, focusing on process design, facilitation and project management, with clients as diverse as the University of the Witwatersrand (School of Governance), City of Johannesburg, Lawyers for Human Rights, United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Law Society of South Africa. He worked for IDASA (an African democracy institute based in South Africa) for sixteen years, where he managed projects aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of civil society organizations by building their institutional capacity, providing advocacy support and capacitating civil society leaders to organize their communities better. Nico also has wide experience in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, where he has previously worked in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Swaziland. Nico holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of Witswatersrand.

Tanveer

Tanveer Jeewa – Media and Communications Officer

Tanveer Jeewa joined the ICJ in October 2020 as a media and communications consultant. Her contribution to the ICJ involves coordinating the communications strategy between the ICJ Africa Regional Programme and the global ICJ teams. She is also a Mauritian LLM candidate in Public Law at the University of Cape Town and a Graduate Diploma of Law student at the University of Law, UK. She was previously a law clerk at the Constitutional Court for Justice Theron and prior to that, she interned at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (UN ICTY) and was a United Nations Delegate at the Youth Assembly. There, she was awarded the Resolution Project Fellowship “For Outstanding Dedication to Making Positive Change and Helping Others Today and For Lifelong Commitment to Sustainable Impact, Innovation, Collaboration and Social Responsibility”. Her work experience and research interests span across international and regional human rights law, as well as South African constitutional law. She has also previously worked at the UCT Intellectual Property Unit and the Refugee Rights Unit. She is also currently a reporter for the International Law in Domestic Courts at Oxford University Press and a managing editor and researcher at the African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII).

Khanyo

Nokukhanya (Khanyo) Farisè – Legal Adviser ESC & Women’s Rights

Nokukhanya Farisè joined the ICJ in September 2019. She is a Legal Adviser for the ICJ working on various Africa regional projects, including on judicial development and reform, and ESC rights including but not limited to Right to Education, Disability Rights and Right to Health, Women’s rights including SGBV. Khanyo is a multi-skilled South African lawyer with a blend of experience in private, public and non-profit sectors in the areas of international law, human rights and corporate law, with work experience in South Africa, Italy, The Netherlands and Ethiopia. Prior to joining the ICJ, she worked as a Senior Lawyer at the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa in a range of African countries to provide technical legal expertise on litigating human rights cases and the use of courts to advance human rights. As an Associate Legal Officer at the African Union Commission, Khanyo, interpreted and implemented organisation rules, policies and procedures and gave legal advice on the structure, functions and activities of the African Union Commission and represented the Commission in various member states of the AU as well as in other countries wherein partners of the AU are present. Khanyo also worked as a health law researcher at the International Development Law Organisation in Rome and The Hague where she conducted legal research using various research methods in order to provide research support to the various programs and departments of the organisation. She began her legal career working as a corporate labour lawyer at Bowmans, a premier law firm in South Africa, where she specialized in corporate employment law. She obtained her LLB degree at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. She holds an LLM degree in International and Comparative law from the University of Dublin, Ireland and an LLM in Rule of law for development from Loyola University Chicago.

Tim

Timothy Fish Hodgson – Legal Adviser, ESC Rights

Tim joined the ICJ in October 2017. He is responsible for designing and implementing ICJ’s work around Economic, Social and Cultural rights in Africa and assists with ICJ’s global work on ESC rights and has worked in a range of countries including South Africa, Swaziland, India, Myanmar and Uzbekistan. Before joining the ICJ, he worked as a Senior Researcher at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (2016-17); as a Legal Researcher at SECTION27 (2013-16); and as a law clerk for Justice Zakeria Yacoob at the Constitutional Court of South Africa (2011-12). Tim has published various opinion pieces, book chapters, research reports, submissions to state and institutions, and peer reviewed journal articles. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Cape Town. He also holds a Master of Laws from the University of Michigan (2013) and a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford (2017, with Distinction). Tim’s Master’s dissertation for this programme is titled ‘The Right to Inclusive Education in South Africa: Recreating Disability Apartheid through Failed Inclusion Policies’’. Twitter: @TimFish42.

Blessing

Blessing Gorejena – Senior Legal Adviser & Team Leader Zimbabwe

Blessing Gorejena, is a human rights lawyer with over 15 years post qualification experience. She joined the ICJ in May 2020 and leads the Zimbabwe team. Her career has been devoted to advocating greater respect for human rights and observance of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Blessing has spearheaded the coordination of the human rights agenda in Zimbabwe through human rights monitoring and documentation for evidence based reporting, public interest litigation, transitional justice and human rights advocacy with the aim of improving and redressing the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. Blessing has extensively engaged with national and international mechanisms for human rights protection. She has also conducted extensive trainings for lawyers and human rights defenders within the SADC region on the use of the African Human Rights systems and human rights protection and security. Blessing is the former Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, a network of 22 leading human rights organizations in Zimbabwe, which advocates for greater protection and promotion of all human rights for all. She practiced law as an attorney in a private law firm and as a Public Prosecutor within the then attorney General’s office in Zimbabwe. Blessing was awarded the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship in 2015 to study for a Masters in the United Kingdom. She holds a Masters of Laws in International Law (LLM) from the University of Westminster, United Kingdom; Bachelor of Laws (Honors) (LLBs) from the University of Zimbabwe; Certificate in Capital Defense Practice (Mkwanyane Institute Fellow) Cornell University, New York; Dealing with the Past Fellow (Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs), Strategic Peacebuilding Processes through Dialogue and Mediation, Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), Sweden. Blessing is also a US International Visitors Leadership Program alumni.

Brenda

Brenda Mabuto – Logistician

Brenda Chido Mabuto joined the ICJ in December 2018. She is responsible for all financial monitoring, tracking, and reporting during implementation of ICJ projects in Zimbabwe up to audit. She works to ensure compliance with organizational policies and guidelines as well as contractual obligations of donors. She prepares financial reports for internal and external use, ensuring the accuracy between narrative and financial reports to facilitate smooth audits. She has formerly held the position of Logistician at the ICJ. Before joining the ICJ, she worked as a Finance & Admin Officer with Hamilton Insurance, Accounts Officer with AFM in Zimbabwe, Zimre Park and an Assistant accountant with the Kenya Embassy in Harare. Brenda is a CIS graduate with more than 7 years’ experience in Logistics, Finance, Administration and Human Resource Management.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Mangenje – Legal Adviser

Elizabeth joined the ICJ in July 2018. She excels in legal and policy research and analysis in various areas including health, disability rights and access to justice for minority groups; and has a keen interest in business and human rights and has been engaged in various researches in this area. Elizabeth leads on work to do with business and human rights for the ICJ Africa programme. Before joining the ICJ, she was a project lawyer at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. She has also worked as a legal researcher for various independent legal and political consultants. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Zimbabwe. She was awarded the prestigious Chevening scholarship in 2016 and went on to study for a Masters in the United Kingdom. She holds a Masters of Law in International Human Rights Law (Economic Relations) from the University of Essex (2017, with Distinction). Her thesis for this Masters was under the title, “The human rights implications of net neutrality violations during elections: A Proposal for a Binding Framework”.

Justice

Dr Justice Alfred Mavedzenge – Legal Adviser Africa IJL

Justice Alfred Mavedzenge joined ICJ in November 2019. He is a pan African constitutional lawyer and scholar, with a demonstrable commitment towards promoting human rights and the rule of law across the African region. Before he joined the ICJ, Justice Mavedzenge was working as one of the lead researchers at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit and as a constitutional law part-time lecturer at the University of Cape Town. During his tenure at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit, he worked as a resource person for the Southern African Chief Justices Forum and the Judicial Institute for Africa, contributing towards the development of training materials and co-facilitating training for judicial officers. He is also acclaimed for spearheading consensus building efforts which resulted in the progressive reform of the judicial selection and appointment procedures in certain Sothern African countries. He participated in numerous High Level Fact Finding Missions to East and Southern African Countries, which successfully addressed certain urgent serious threats to the rule of law and judicial independence. Before working for the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit, Justice Mavedzenge worked at Freedom House first as the Zimbabwe Program Country Manager and later as the Senior Program Manager covering the Southern and East Africa region. Before then, he worked as a Democracy and Governance Advisor at PACT in Zimbabwe. A registered legal petitioner at Maja and Associates, Justice Mavedzenge has litigated on key public interest issues in Zimbabwe. He has also worked as a researcher in the Supreme Court of Namibia. Justice has several peer reviewed publications in the form of journal articles, books and book chapters, some of which have been cited with approval in court judgments. He holds a PhD in Constitutional law (UCT), LLM in Constitutional and Administrative law (UCT), LLB (UNISA) and a BA (Midlands State University).

Constance

Constance Vimbai Mukarati – Human Resources & Administrative Officer

Constance joined the ICJ in 2009. She is currently the human resources and administrative officer responsible for the Africa Programme. She contributes in finance, administrative, grant management, office management, human resource management and all logistical matters of the Africa Regional Programme to ensure compliance with organisation systems and policies as well as donor requirements. With a 14 year professional background in Business Management and Administration, and Accounting she has worked in different roles for the ICJ starting off as an administrative intern, then rose to an administrative assistant and then administrative officer. She has also completed Events Management and Human Resource Management (University of Cape Town) She worked in the Finance and Administration field in the private sector prior to joining the ICJ.

Vimbai

Gamuchirai Vimbai Mutandwa – Legal Adviser

Vimbai joined the ICJ in 2015. She began as a graduate researcher and elevated to associate legal adviser for the Africa Regional Programme in 2016. She has a keen interest in issues of democracy, gender equality, human rights and international development. Before joining the ICJ, she worked in the legal and development field at UNICEF, Action Against Hunger (ACF-UK), Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). She holds an LLB (Hons) from the University of Birmingham, UK; a postgraduate degree in Human Rights and International Politics (MSc) from the University of Glasgow, Scotland; and an undergraduate degree in Political Science (BA) from the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Rumbidzai

Rumbidzai Muyendesi – Associate Legal Adviser

Rumbidzai joined the ICJ in September 2018 as a legal intern soon after completing her studies. In June 2019 she became an associate legal adviser with roles in projects aimed at strengthening the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe and the protection of human rights for all. Before joining the ICJ, she undertook internships during her college days at various law firms and the Magistrate’s Court in Zimbabwe. Rumbi graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in 2018. In 2019, she was registered as a legal practitioner, notary public and conveyancer.

Nomah

Nomah Zibengwa – International Finance Officer

Nomah joined ICJ in August 2018. She prepares financial reports for internal and external use and ensuring the accuracy between narrative and financial reports to faciliate smooth audits for the ICJ. She has extensive experience in financial monitoring and tracking during implementation of projects to ensure compliance with organizational policies and guidelines as well as contractual obligations as per agreements with donors. Prior to joining ICJ, she has committed over 15 years of her career in serving the NGO sector in different capacities in the financial and grants management roles. She has worked at the International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV /AIDS (INERELA+) Secretariat in South Africa from 2011 to 2018 where she rose to heading the network’s financial and compliance functions. Between 2002 and 2010 she worked in Zimbabwe for the UZ-UCSF Research Programme, RfH and SIRDC. A member of the Institute of Risk Management South Africa, she holds a Bachelor of Accountancy Honours Degree and is in the final stages of completing an international qualification in corporate governance and company secretaryship.

Chiedza

Chiedza Magadza – Logistician

Chiedza Magadza joined the ICJ in January 2021. She has the role of assisting in ensuring financial and administration systems and controls are adhered to; ensuring payments have full supporting documents and are signed before being processed; ensuring accuracy of all invoices; assisting in posting transactions in the accounting system; preparing source documents for accounting and generally supporting with administrative and all logistical work in the Zimbabwe office. Before joining the ICJ, she worked as Assistant Accountant-Revenue for ZARNet Pvt Ltd and Accounts Clerk Intern at the Central Vehicle Registry. She has also provided maternity cover as a Logistician for the International Commission of Jurists. She is a holder of a Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree in Accounting, Midlands State University and currently pursuing a professional course with Institute of Chartered Secretaries Administrators in Zimbabwe.