The Mail & Guardian recently published their annual ‘200 Young South Africans’ list. Released annually in June to coincide with South Africa’s Youth Month, the list consists of 200 South Africans under the age of 35 who have done exceptional work in their fields and who also aim to uplift their society. The Open Society Foundation for South Africa is proud to announce that 12 of our grantees have team members featured on 2018’s list of changemakers.


Anjuli Maistry – Senior Attorney, Centre for Child Law

“At the Centre for Child Law she says plans to continue work that addresses the legal loopholes that prevent the disadvantaged access to documentation and education. She’s currently litigating strategically to ensure that children’s constitutional rights are protected and promoted.” – Read more about Anjuli here.


Ariane Nevin – National Prisons Specialist, Sonke Gender Justice

“Nevin has also worked on the Pollsmoor Prison overcrowding case, partnering with Lawyers for Human Rights, to eventually win a court victory against the government that lead to a drastic reduction in overcrowding levels at Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility. Her professional and academic pursuits have allowed her to work with vulnerable groups, particularly incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.” – Read more about Ariane here.


B Camminga – Post Doctoral Fellow, African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University

“Camminga joined the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand as a postdoctoral researcher in 2018. Their research interests in rights, migration, asylum and diaspora as they relate to transgender people from the African continent make them an invaluable contribution to ensuring the human rights of the trans community are not infringed upon.” – Read more about B here.


Carol Mohlala – Media and Communications Manager, Lawyers for Human Rights

“In her role at LHR [Lawyers for Human Rights], Carol has been instrumental in communicating and facilitating debates around the Hate Crimes Bill and offering training to individuals in the NGO sector on effective media strategies and enhancing their understanding of the best tools to use in the media. Mohlala also offers commentary on broadcasting regulations, ethics and policies in South Africa.” – Read more about Carol here.


Christine Reddell – Attorney and Acting Head of the Corporate Accountability and Transparency Programme, Centre for Environmental Rights

“Reddell is one of South Africa’s leading access to information experts, and has submitted, tracked and analysed hundreds of requests under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, resulting in the release of large amounts of information essential for protecting the right of all South Africans to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.” – Read more about Christine here.


Khuraisha Patel – Legal Researcher, Open Secrets

“Khuraisha Patel is a human rights lawyer and legal researcher at the non-profit organisation Open Secrets. Open Secrets is an NGO that uses investigation, strategic litigation and advocacy to promote private sector accountability for human rights violations. Patel conducts legal research on, strategises around and uses legal and quasi-legal interventions to operationalise investigations on historic and contemporary domestic and transnational corporate economic crimes.” – Read more about Khuraisha in the list’s printed version.


Lesego Tlhwale – Media Advocacy Officer, Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)

“This role allows Tlhwale to use communication and media in raising awareness about the human rights of sex workers and advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. She is unapologetic in her activism for the issues of women, especially black queer women.” – Read more about Lesego here.


Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane – Policy and Advocacy Fellow, Sonke Gender Justice

“He will be working at Sonke Gender Justice from June 2018, where he will use his knowledge and experience with queer theory, Black feminist theory and critical race theory to challenge a system that continues to plague the marginalised bodies of queer people and Black womxn.” – Read more about Letlhogonolo here.


Liesl Muller – Attorney and Head of the Statelessness Project, Lawyers for Human Rights

“Liesl Muller heads the Statelessness Project at Lawyers for Human Rights, one of the only projects of its kind in South Africa and the region. The project is geared towards helping people without nationality and therefore without legal identity before the law to obtain recognition of their human rights. Stateless people are people are not recognised as a citizen in any country in the world; a plight Muller considers one of the most horrific human rights abuses of our time as it is key to accessing every other human right.” – Read more about Liesl here.


Lwazi Mtshiyo – Senior Political Organiser, Ndifuna Ukwazi

“Today, Mtshiyo is a senior political organiser for Cape Town-based land and housing rights organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi. Mtshiyo’s understanding of the land question also comes from the work he previously did with shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali BaseMjondolo in KwaZulu Natal — for whom he has the greatest respect. With the recent debates around land expropriation going around, Mtshiyo has his hands full. He says the long struggle fighting for land and housing rights has been disappointing and taxing.” – Read more about Lwazi here.


Michael Marchant – Researcher: Investigations and Advocacy, Open Secrets

“As a researcher at Open Secrets, a non-profit that promotes private sector accountability for economic crimes and human rights violations in Southern Africa, Marchant is interested in how power and politics is organised and the impact this has on the world. Powerful corporations, as much as governments, should be criticised and held accountable for corruption and failures at the expense of human rights, Marchant says.” – Read more about Michael here.


Mpho Ndaba – Chairperson of the Campaigns Subcommittee, SOS Coalition

“‘I currently form part of SOS Coalition’s legal advocacy subcommittee, focusing at advancing efficient and independent public media. As the Western Cape convener for the organisation, my mandate is to bring young people into the area of media policy and advocacy, enabling an environment in which public policy can be alternatively be formulated and implemented.’ says Ndaba.” – Read more about Mpho here.


Nicole Loser – Attorney, Centre for Environmental Rights

“Considered one of the leading experts in public interest climate law, 30-year-old Nicole Loser was at the forefront of a number of key environmental justice battles. An easy-going person, Loser has a strong sense of justice and was instrumental in the landmark victory in the case around the impact of proposed coal-fired power station in Thabametsi, Limpopo. The Thabametsi case is South Africa’s first climate change litigation, important because it recognises the significance of climate change and its impacts.” – Read more about Nicole here.


Sasha Stevenson – Attorney and Head of Health, SECTION27

“Today, Stevenson works with SECTION27 in a role she loves. It allows her to use the law in creative ways to solve problems affecting the most vulnerable people in society. She is an activist, organiser, researcher, spokesperson, advisor and lawyer every day.” – Read more about Sasha here.


Sumeya Gasa – Investigative Journalist, Wits Justice Project

“In her day job, Gasa is an investigative journalist and multimedia producer at the Wits Justice Project. She also teaches a writing course at the Market Photo Workshop, and teaches video editing at Wits School of Film and Television . . . Gasa is committed to advocating for social justice through her creative work and research, and her work appears in influential publications including The Daily Maverick, News24 and the Socio Economics Rights Institute’s Media.” – Read more about Sumeya here.


Wandisa Phama – Acting Deputy Director, Centre for Applied Legal Studies

“She is now an attorney and acting deputy director at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Cals), where she heads the business and human rights programme. ‘I don’t know how to translate the feeling of what it’s like to work as an acting deputy director at Cals at this age; it is nothing shy of a blessing,’ she says. For Phama to be in a leadership position at Cals while it is undergoing a leadership transition is exhilarating, proving that there’s always been black, capable people who can lead public interest organisations.” – Read more about Wandisa here.