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HRDA Alumni News

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    On 8 December 2019, following an Alumni Symposium held at the University of Pretoria's Future Africa Campus, the Centre for

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    This publication commemorates 18 years of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA). It gives a

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  • On 9 December 2011, the Alumni Association welcomes 30 new members who will be awarded the LLM in Human Rights

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  • Issues of the Alumni Newsletter provide more comprehensive reports on various engagements of alumni in the field. Righting Wrongs: Alumni Newsletter

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  • The Centre for Human Rights has learned with alarm of the arrest and continued detention of a prominent Swazi human

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There should be no concern that we are increasingly been referred to as the “Pretoria Mafia” by other human rights and democracy actors in Africa and beyond. Yes, we should be proud to be mentioned as who we are: A human rights mafia. Our headquarters are at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa and we have now established country chapters in more than 15 African countries. More chapters are expected to operate in the rest of the 25 other countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe where our alumni are originally from or are based.
(Excerpt from the Editorial)

pdfDownload Issue No 6 - December 2012

For 12 years, the Master's programme has strictly been an LLM and as such only law graduates were eligible to apply. However, this year, there is a new development. The Master's programme is now LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. Why “MPhil,” you might ask? The answer to this question must necessarily begin with an understanding of what the realisation of human rights entails. While on the programme, I personally observed that when we talk about human rights and democratisation, we talk of disciplines beyond our legal comfort space. We talk about politics when we begin to access the benchmarks for democracy. We speak in scientific languages when we demand states to provide essential medicines. We segue into the figures of economics when we assess the argument of budgetary
implications for the realisation of socio-economic rights. We rely on journalism to provide details on the information we cannot personally gather.
(Excerpt from the Editorial)

pdfDownload Issue No 7 - June 2013

There is an emerging intrigue to the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition that we all need to begin to watch out for and hopefully in the near future we would premiere a documentary about the active participation of alumni in the annual moot court competitions.

Significantly, at this year’s moot, four of our alumni led teams to Cape Town. Alumnus Jean-Desire Ingang-Wa-Ingange led the team from Université Libre de Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Alumna Lungowe Matakala Chishinga led the team from the University of Zambia; Alumnus Johannes Buabeng-Baidoo led the team from the University of the Gambia; while Alumnus Roopanand Mahadew led the team from the University of Mauritius. Université Libre de Kinshasa donned various glamorous hats at the moot! The team had the third best French oralist; the third best French memorial and was the second-best French team in the Moot Competition, making it to the final round. The three English teams also did well. Not only were they among the top five English speaking teams of the competition, they also had students in the top fifteen best English oralists. The University of Mauritius was among the top ten English memorials. We cannot but commend our alumni in the training of these teams.

(Excerpt from the Editorial)

pdfDownload Issue No 8 - October 2013

Sometime last year, there was a story of a ‘standing man’ in Turkey; a man whose lone protest not only inspired many but also kindled worldwide curiosity and became a symbol of defiance to repressive rule. When the police detained a number of others who joined in for literally doing nothing, this act served to show some of the excesses in the use of state power.

One significant lesson which the story of the standing man teaches is that doing something in protest against an unpleasant situation, no matter how insignificant it may appear, can make an impact. Staring at the image of the founding father of Turkey did not unseat the government in Istanbul but it was enough to draw the eyes of the world, through the media, to a situation that required attention.

Sometimes it is that little thing that counts; that lone stand against oppression, that little advocacy on righting human wrongs, that little decision to bring about the change we desire to see in the world. The little which seems insignificant may be just about sufficient to withstand one of those wrongs on our continent.

However, the big question is: are we ready to do that little?
(Excerpt from the Editorial)

pdfDownload Issue No 9 - June 2014

In April this year, global outrage rang heavily when over 200 girls were abducted in Chibok, Nigeria by the extremist Boko Haram sect. Placards with internet-tags saying ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ from the streets of Abuja to the Red Carpet in Hollywood saturated the internet. The movement was feisty. The campaign was unwavering enough to touch a nerve with political figures.

In no time… Governments sprang to action! The beauty of international cooperation flustered! Accountability was suddenly not an illusion! Political will sailed on the mast of reality! Human rights became a movement! But in the beginning, it was not so. Boko Haram had killed scores of individuals, bombed various places including the United Nations building and international outrage was not of the same magnitude as when Chibok girls were abducted.

What happened differently? Thoughts may vary. Answers may differ. But one thing is clear: some people demanded that the girls must be brought back!
(Excerpt from the Editorial)

pdfDownload Issue No 10 - October 2014