In conversation with Advocate Pansy Tlakula and Hlengiwe Dube
On 11 September 2023, the Centre for Human Rights Africa Rights Talk Podcast hosted Advocate Pansy Tlakula for a discussion on the 10th anniversary of the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa. The session was moderated by Hlengiwe Dube from the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit.
The podcast is based on Advocate Pansy Tlakula’s role as the former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa and her current role as the Chairperson of the South African Information Regulator. She outlines the significance of the right of access to information and the normative standards that the African Commission developed to enhance the protection and promotion of the right of access to information in Africa. Specifically on the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa, she discusses the African Commission’s rationale for developing such a normative instrument, its impact, and major developments, including challenges in the access to information landscape in Africa. Regarding her current role, Advocate Tlakula explains the establishment and role of the Information Regulator, including its advocacy strategies, challenges, successes and collaborations with like-minded institutions in Africa and beyond.
Advocate Pansy Tlakula is the Chairperson of the Information Regulator of South Africa. She has held several other influential positions throughout her career. She was a member of the South African Human Rights Commission between 1995 until 2002. From 2002 until 2011, she was the Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa and later served as its Chairperson between 2011 and 2014. In 2005 she was appointed as a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), until November 2017. During her tenure at the ACHPR, she served as the Chairperson (2015 and 2017), Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, and Chairperson of the Working Group on Specific Issues related to the work of the African Commission. In January 2020 she started her four-year tenure as a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. She holds a Bachelor of Law (B.Proc) from the University of the North (now University of Limpopo), Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Masters in Law (LL.M) from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Legal Studies (Honoris Causa) from the Vaal University of Technology. She was the Chancellor of the Vaal University of Technology from 2010 until 2014.
Hlengiwe Dube is the Project Manager of the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.
This conversation was recorded on 11 September 2023.
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