Janet Love has been an anti-apartheid activist since 1974 and was involved in the Trade Union movement and the African National Congress prior to and during the 10 years she spent in exile and, thereafter, in the four years she worked clandestinely inside South Africa as a member of the ANC Underground.
From 1991 to 1994, Janet was involved in negotiations for a settlement in South Africa from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), through the Multi-Party Process to the establishment of the Transitional Executive Council (TEC). Becoming a Member of Parliament in 1994, she served as Chairperson of the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water Affairs and Forestry and of the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry, following April 1999 elections. She was involved in the negotiation and drafting of the final Constitution of South Africa and was a member of the 22-person Constitutional Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, the body responsible for steering of the constitution-making process. She left Parliament to take up the position of Special Advisor to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry.
Janet has post-graduate qualifications from universities in Johannesburg and London in public administration, development management and economics. She worked in the South African Reserve Bank for five years as head of strategic analysis and support in the currency department.
She took up her current position as National Director of the Legal Resources Centre in January 2006. In this capacity she is responsible for the overall management of this public interest, human rights law clinic employing up to 65 members of staff in four offices around the country. She is actively engaged in networking activities inside South Africa and abroad in the interests of achieving the human rights mission of the LRC.
In October 2009, Janet was appointed as one of the Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission.
The late Arthur Chaskalson was appointed by President Nelson Mandela in June 1994 to be the first President of South Africa's new Constitutional Court and was the Chief Justice of South Africa from November 2001 until his retirement in 2005. He was a consultant to the Namibian Constituent Assembly in connection with the drafting of the Constitution of Namibia, a Consultant to the African National Congress on constitutional issues, and served as a member of the Technical Committee on Constitutional Issues, appointed by the Multi Party Negotiating Forum in May 1993 to give advice on constitutional matters to the Forum (which negotiated the transition to democracy in South Africa), and to draft on its behalf the transitional constitution, which was finalised and adopted in December 1993.
From 1978-1993 he was the Director of the Legal Resources Centre, and was the leading counsel in several cases in which challenges were launched by the LRC against the implementation of apartheid laws. He also appeared as counsel on behalf of members of the liberation movements in several major political trials between 1960 and 1994, including the Rivonia Trial in 1963/1964, at which Mr. Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the African National Congress were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
He was the President of the International Commission of Jurists, was the Chairperson of a committee of senior judges appointed by the United Nations Environmental Programme to promote and develop judicial education on environmental law in all parts of the world, was the first chairperson of the Southern African Judges Commission, an association of the Chief Justices of Southern Africa, and chairs the Eminent Jurists Panel appointed by the International Commission of Jurists to enquire into the impact of terrorism and counter-terrorism on the rule of law, human rights law, and where relevant, international humanitarian law.
Arthur received numerous awards for his work in promoting human rights, is the recipient of 9 honorary doctorates, and the award of Supreme Counsellor of the Baobab [gold], a national honour, for his service to the nation in respect of constitutionalism, human rights and democracy. On his retirement in 2005 he was described by President Mbeki as a "giant among the architects of our democracy".
He passed away on 1 December 2012 in Johannesburg.
Geoff Budlender was one of the founders of the LRC in 1979. He served as Director of the Johannesburg office and Deputy National Director, and as National Director from 1994 to 1996. In 1996 he was appointed Director-General of the Department of Land Affairs. He held that post until January 2000. He then re-joined the LRC, where he was Director of its Constitutional Litigation Unit until the end of 2004. Geoff then went into private practice and currently is still a practising senior counsel at the Cape Town Bar.
Geoff was one of the founders of the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net). He is currently co-director of the Sigrid Rausing Trust, a London-based philanthropy which supports human rights work in various parts of the world. He has acted as a judge of the High Court of South Africa in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Bongani Majola served as National Director of the LRC from 1996 to 2003. From January 2003 to the present, he has been Deputy to the Chief Prosecutor on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania.
Before joining the LRC, Bongani was a public prosecutor and later, a district court magistrate in KwaZulu-Natal. He was also a dean and professor of public law at the Faculty of Law, University of the North, Limpopo. He is a member of the Johannesburg Bar.
Vincent Saldanha matriculated from St Barnabas College in Johannesburg. Afterwards he studied for his BA (Law) at the University of Durban-Westville and completed an LLB at the University of Cape Town in 1982. Vincent Saldanha completed his Articles of Clerkship at the firm of Mtjila & Mokgoatlheng in Johannesburg and was admitted as an attorney in 1985.
Among his early professional assistantships was his attachment to E.Daniels & Company - whose senior partner, Enver Daniels has since served as special advisor to the Minister of Justice and is the present Chief State Law Advisor. Saldanha has been a key figure in the transformation processes of both NADEL (the National Association of Democratic Lawyers) and the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). He served as the Western Cape's Secretary, Vice-Chairman, and continues his service to NADEL as its National Secretary.
Vincent has served on several Boards, e.g. the SADC Legal Association, and represented the LRC on the External Advisory Committee on Civic Engagement, Empowerment & Respect for Diversity (CEERD) of the World Bank.
Vincent is renowned for having represented a number of detainees and accused who were held under apartheid security laws for serving on the Presidential Commission of Enquiry into the border disputes between Taung, Kuruman and Kudumane and assisting the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry in investigating certain matters pertaining to the Truth & Reconcilliation Commission. He was a member of the NGO Task team on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. He was actively engaged in the drafting of the Legal Practice Bill as a member of NADEL and the LSSA; and was even a Member of an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee (for a transport plan) that formed part of the 2004 Olympic Games Bid.
Steve Kahanovitz first started working in an LRC supervised law clinic as a student and joined the LRC full-time in 1986 as an attorney in the Johannesburg office. His tireless efforts on behalf of the LRC's clients have earned him an excellent reputation as lawyer and defender of human rights. Steve served as National Director of the LRC in 2005 and is currently an attorney in the Cape Town office.
After many years representing clients facing an oppressive apartheid state, his primary work since the adoption of a democratic Constitution with a Bill of Rights has been in the realisation of socio-economic rights on behalf of the LRC's poor clients. Several of these cases have become important precedent-setting cases in relation to housing and evictions. He has often acted as the attorney for amici curiae in the Constitutional Court, particularly for the Centre of Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and for the Community Law Centre of the University of the Western Cape.
Steve is a graduate of the University of Cape Town (BA), the University of the Witwatersrand (LLB) and the London School of Economics (LLM). He was the recipient of a British Council scholarship and has been a visiting fellow at Harvard and NYU Law Schools. Steve also taught briefly at the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
Sir Sydney Kentridge QC SC
The Honorable Justice Lee Bozalek
The LRC's Benefit Committee was established around the organisation of an Art Auction to benefit the LRC in August 2008.