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Centre News & Events: 2017
Invitation: Discussion Forum: Self-determination delayed: The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

6 February 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, together with the Embassy of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, cordially invites you to a brown bag lunch-hour panel discussion on the right to self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

Event details

Date: 27 February 2017 (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic National Day)
Time: 12:30 – 13:30
Venue: Exhibition Space, Engineering I, University of Pretoria (Hatfield Campus)
RSVP deadline: 23 February 2017
Enquiries: Ms Thuto Hlalele (012 420 3587 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


The following panelists will introduce in discussion:

  • Ambassador Radhi Bachir
    Ambassador of the Sahrawi Republic to South Africa
  • Ambassador Ebrahim Saley
    Deputy Director General: Global, Governance and Continental Agenda, Department of International Relations and Coorporation (DIRCO)
  • Mr Jose Nacimento
    Lawyer and International Law Expert


Deputy Public Protector welcomes students from all over Africa to the Centre for Human Rights

6 February 2017 - ‘One world; one people’. This is how Advocate Kevin Malunga, South Africa’s Deputy Public Protector, described those who inhabit Africa, as he welcomed Master’s students from all over the continent to the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria on Friday 3 February 2017.

Presenting the keynote address under the theme ‘Thoughts on the African lawyer’s role in globalising the rule of law, integrity and economic advancement and justice’, Advocate Malunga challenged students to become ‘rebels with a cause’. This cause, he proposed, should be to make a difference to a world where the forces of racism, xenophobia and the ‘othering’ of minorities are gaining increasing prominence. In making this challenge, he referred to developments in the Gambia and praised the long-awaited end to President Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year presidency.

During the question and answer session, Advocate Malunga observed with concern that a common theme in African leadership is the refusal to give up power. He gave the example of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 31 years. President Museveni in 1986 said ‘the problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people, but leaders who want to overstay in power.’ However, in 2016, Museveni departed from this view, saying he is not the servant of the people, and that they cannot ask him to step down.


Advocate Kevin Malunga,
South Africa’s Deputy Public Protector

The Centre for Human Rights is shocked and horrified at the death of 94 mental health patients in Gauteng and calls for immediate action to protect persons with mental disabilities under South African and international law

3 February 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria is shocked and horrified at the findings of the Health Ombudsman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, following an investigation into the circumstances in which more than 94 persons with mental disabilities died between 23 March and 19 December 2016 in Gauteng Province.

The Centre strongly condemns the high-level decision, to rapidly and hurriedly implement and execute a poorly planned deinstitutionalisation programme with disastrous consequences, taken by the Gauteng MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu, Head of Department, Dr Tiego Selebano and Director Dr Makgabo Manamela.  The decision to remove persons with mental disabilities from government health institutions to reduce spending on their healthcare and the manner it was conducted was cruel and inhumane and occasioned the deaths of 94 persons with mental disabilities. Not only was the decision grossly negligent, unwise and rushed, it also contravened the National Health Act (Act 61 of 2003), the Mental Health Care Act (Act 17 of 2002) and infringed on the rights of the persons with mental disabilities and their family’s human rights contained in the Constitution of South Africa.



Invitation: Seminar - The European Union and human rights in Africa

01 February 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a seminar on the EU in Africa.

Human rights, democracy and rule of law are high on the agenda in the relations between the European Union (EU) and Africa. However, despite slogans like ‘2 unions, 1 vision’ there are many deeply contested issues between the two regional blocs. This seminar that is held in the framework of the project ‘Fostering for Human Rights among European Policies’ (Frame) explores visions, practice and scenarios for the future of the EU’s relationship with Africa.

Date: Thursday 9 February 2017
Venue: Farm Inn, Silverlakes Road, Pretoria, South Africa
RSVP deadline: 6 February 2017
Enquiries: Prof Magnus Killander ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, expresses deep concern over the political situation in The Gambia, and calls for stronger South African engagement

19 January 2017 - With the inauguration of the President-elect of The Gambia scheduled for 19 January 2017, the situation in that country is of grave concern to us, as it is to many fellow Africans.

The Centre for Human Rights makes the following calls:

  • President Jammeh must accept the outcome of the results of the presidential election of 1 December 2016, and peacefully transfer power to the President-elect. Any form of power sharing should be avoided, as it is our position that this would be seen as rewarding a clear abuse of power and process.
  • ECOWAS should take all measures possible to ensure the safe inauguration of the President-elect. In the event that military intervention is part of the ECOWAS approach, maximum care should be taken to comply with human rights and humanitarian obligations, and to avoid loss of civilian life, in particular.
  • The government of South Africa should add its weight and voice to those of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). South Africa has an added responsibility, as a current member of the AU Peace and Security Council. All efforts should be taken to prevent the situation from escalating into loss of human life. It should be taken into account that this may easily become a situation in which the AU may invoke article 4(h) of its Constitutive Act, which allows it to intervene in a member state which is unable and unwilling to protect its own citizens, and where serious human rights violations in the form of crimes against humanity or war crimes occur. Raising this possibility, which is something enshrined firmly within the AU legal framework, should be part of engaging Jammeh.


The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a new Director

11 January 2017 - The University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights (an academic department and a non-governmental organisation at the University).


The University of Pretoria's commitment to quality makes it one of the top research Universities in the country.
This vacancy and the procedure to apply is available online: https://goo.gl/BILvxi

The successful applicant will be responsible for:

  • Handling the strategic, academic and operational management of the Centre for Human Rights, which is a department in the Faculty of Law;
  • Promoting, planning, organising and managing academic and research programmes and the Centre’s research profile;
  • Recruiting and managing personnel;
  • Overseeing externally funded projects, including reporting under various contracts;
  • Fundraising for the Centre’s externally funded projects and programmes;
  • Playing an active role as academic leader of the discipline at a national and international level;
  • Representing the Centre in international fora and with donors;
  • Marketing and growing the Centre on all levels;
  • Aligning the Centre with the strategic plans, goals and policies of the University and the Faculty;
  • Teaching on the Centre’s postgraduate programmes;
  • Supervision of master’s and doctoral candidates;
  • Conducting and publishing research outputs in line with Faculty policy.


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