I am an international lawyer with a PhD from the Universite de Strasbourg in France, where I successfully defended my thesis in French. I established the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), a highly respected pan-African leadership academy at the University of South Africa (Unisa). I am the current Chairperson of the Board of the internationally respected Health Systems Trust (HST); served as Operations Manager at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and served as Project Officer responsible for Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and South Africa at the African Management Services Company (AMSCO) a project of the UNDP, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I served as Deputy Director at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria where I supervised student interns at the United Nations (UN) World Conference against Racism and supervised students from different parts of Africa on an excursion to the UN International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); and I was part of the Official Mission Delegation of the International Bar Association (IBA) to Malawi to investigate the threat to the rule of law in Malawi following attempts by the then ruling party to amend the Constitution of Malawi to allow then President Bakilli Muludzi serve a third term. I have strong executive and operations management experience after serving as a senior executive in the Government of South Africa as Chief Planner in KwaZulu-Natal; as Deputy Director at the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights; as the first Chief Operations Officer at the Department of Land Affairs (Rural Development and Land Reform); and Chief of Staff in the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs. My areas of expertise include strategic planning; stakeholder management; operational planning; annual reporting; as well as risk and compliance management.
I am a published author with research interests in human rights, gender studies, land rights, rights of indigenous peoples, self-determination, restitution, reparations and the negative impact of foreign military bases on the human rights of local communities. I served as research assistant to the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples, Prof Rodolfo Stavenhagen from Mexico. I presented papers and served as resource person in workshops organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Madrid, Spain; Gaborone, Botswana; and Nairobi, Kenya. I presented papers at the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in Brazil. I co-authored the Theoretical Framework document of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and Communities in Africa set up by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights that was adopted in Niamey, Niger in 2003. I was visiting scholar at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois and Florida International University in Miami, Florida; as well as present papers and participate in expert seminars at the City University of New York and Washington College of Law at the American University in Washington. The trip included meetings with staffers members of the Black Caucus of US Congress; staffers of Congresswoman; and speaking on Chicago Public Radio's popular World View Program.
My PhD thesis was on the right of the people of the Chagos Islands, now called the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) to self-determination and restitution (reparations) following their forcible eviction and exile to Seychelles and Mauritius to make way for the US military base on Diego Garcia, the main island on the Chagos Archipelago. Chagossians are mainly comprised of former African slaves. In December 2012 they lost their case at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France because the United Kingdom does not want them to return to their homeland and has never extended the application of the European Convention on Human Rights to the Chagos Islands nor the Human Rights Act to the Chagossians despite them being UK citizens in terms of the UK Overseas Territories Act. The Chagossians are currently preparing a case for the International Criminal Court to declare their forcible removal, deportation denial of their right to return as a crime against humanity.