Commendations

Theodore Kamwimbi

Theo is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is passionate about human rights, which stemmed from the atrocities he both witnessed and personally experienced in his home country. Theo established PAHRO Cape Town in 2008 – this was no easy feat, but he was driven by a strong desire to ensure that the human rights of others are realised. After three years at PAHRO, Theo was granted the opportunity to do a sponsored fellowship in Canada. We were sad to see him go, but happy for his good fortune.

Lyndon Metembo

Lyndon was the Social Justice Coordinator from 2009 to 2011. He established the excellent working relationship with Bonnytoun at the time when the centre was still located in Wynberg. The decision taken by the Correctional Services Department to move Bonnytoun all the way to Kraaifontein resulted in most organisations withdrawing the services which they had been providing to the boys due to the distance. Lyndon, however, encouraged PAHRO to continue with the workshops, further strengthening the relationship with Bonnytoun which we still maintain to this day. It is now one of our most popular Social Justice projects.

Sanjay Hora

Sanjay is a qualified solicitor/barrister from the UK. He first came to PAHRO as a Pro Intern in February through to April 2011.

Sanjay’s experience in Human Rights proved to be a great asset, and he was instrumental during the restructuring of the office.

He was later employed as the Two Week Special Co-ordinator, where he greatly improved the standard of the program for the benefit of the young interns. Sanjay later became the Legal Services Co-ordinator, a post he held from September 2011 until August 2012. He attended to our very first Refugee Appeal Board Hearing (still awaiting results from RAB), which was then followed by attending to our first hearing concerning rights for refugees who were in fear of persecution due to sexual orientation.

Sanjay recommended that a special award should be given to those interns whose work has been over-and-above expectation, and who could be relied upon to assist their peers in the absence of staff. This is now the Commendation award, given only to select interns.

Sanjay will be remembered most for his role in the case of Claudine De Ruiter. Claudine was raped several times by her former manager at her place of work. This matter was reported and taken to court, however the Prosecutor in charge of the case failed to adequately lead evidence and conduct a thorough cross examination. Through Sanjay’s efforts, and in conjunction with the SAHRC, the case was re-opened and a new prosecutor was assigned. The perpetrator was found guilty and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.

Ciara O’Loughlin

Ciara was a Pro Intern from the UK. She interned at our office for 2 months, in that time she carried out a great deal of research on various aspects of South African law.

Through this research, Ciara was able to inform both staff and interns about different ways of dealing with cases, which proved to be highly valuable to our clients. She also managed the Lavender Hill Legal Clinic where she supervised the work done by others.

Ciara took on a huge case load and was both efficient and effective in her case management and responses to clients.

Ciara went way above her call of duty and the staff at PAHRO were so impressed with her efforts. It is because of her exemplary work that the Commendation award was established and she was its first recipient.

Savika (Kitty) Kukreja

Savika, better known as Kitty, was a final year law student when she interned at our offices. Kitty participated in both the Legal Services and Social Justice departments of the office.

Kitty took on technical cases related to refugee law. The first involved a client from Mali who had obtained special qualification as a gynaecologist. He had obtained a special skills work permit, but this was limited to a three year period and was not up for renewal. The client was informed he would have to leave the country. Kitty’s research brought to light an African Union Policy, to which South Africa is a signatory, which prevents RSA from employing a doctor whose skill is vital and needed in his country of origin. At about this time, civil war broke out in Mali. With Kitty’s assistance, we made a submission to the Department of Health making a case for our client based on the principle of non-refoulement. In response, the Department of Health offered the client a post in the North West Province; he was overjoyed and has since relocated.

Kitty also assisted with the preparation of representations for a criminal case relating to intimidation in the Regional Magistrates Court in Cape Town on behalf another client a refugee from Congo-DRC. He had been in a road accident which had left him severely injured with part of the bone flap of his skull removed. The client was assisted by attorneys to make a claim against the Road Accident Fund for the personal injury – they were successful and the client was awarded R1.8 million. The attorneys then advised that, due to the severe head injury he sustained, the client would not be in a position to manage his finances and so should have a curator bonis appointed by the High Court. However, he did not understand the implications of this. He was denied access to the money awarded to him and he had no income as he was unemployed following his injury. The client was subsequently given notice of eviction from his residence, and he had no food for himself and his family. He protested his situation at his former attorneys’ office – they responded by opening a case of intimidation against him. The client was fearing charges that carried a sentence of 5 years or a minimum fine of R40 000.00 or both.

As a result, the of the Representations submitted, the matter was mediated and the charges against the client were dropped.

Kitty was also instrumental in the preparation of several workshops for Bonnytoun, a Social Justice Project she enjoyed and attended faithfully. She could be depended upon to coordinate ideas and come up with projects that had profound effect in the lives of the young offenders.

Kitty is the second intern to be awarded a Commendation.

Andrea Ludwick

Andrea interned at our office for a period of 3 months. She spearheaded the Social Justice projects during this time, focusing especially on the Vredelus Centre for young female offenders. She fostered a friendship with the young inmates which enabled her to be highly effective in her workshops with them. Andrea participated in each of the Social Justice projects, as well as attending to case work in the Legal Services department. She took on a large work load from the Manenberg Legal Clinic and was exceptional at updating her clients on the status of their cases. It was a joy to go through her files at the conclusion of her internships as they were up-to-date up until her departure from our office.

Andrea also participated in a workshop at the female section at Pollsmoor prison through Young in Prison. She prepared for and assisted with different activities which were geared towards educating young offenders who had recently been transferred to Pollsmoor.

Andrea is the third intern to be awarded a Commendation, having fully participated in both Legal Services and all Social Justice projects.

David Reuther

David is from Germany and interned at our offices in August until October 2012. He demonstrated a tremendous aptitude for working under pressure by taking on a high case load, his desk being covered in case files to such an extent that no other interns could utilise any space thereon. He assisted new interns with their case work, in addition to his own case load, when they were unsure of what step was to take next.

David’s research was always thorough and on most occasions, almost flawless. He always consulted numerous sources of law before producing any argument or legal opinion, thus eliminating any possible doubt that could otherwise be attributed thereto. His passion for assisting clients was clearly demonstrated in his work ethic and persistence in respect of ‘getting the job done’.

Towards the conclusion of his internship, David could be entrusted to conduct consultations unassisted and we regularly relied on him to help new interns with their consultations and case matters.

David was the fourth intern to receive the highest award for our office since 2008. His dedication and hard work has changed the lives of our clients, on whose case files he worked on, which is what we strive for at PAHRO.

Pippa Mulvey

Pippa, from the UK, was a Public Relations student. Although she did not have legal qualifications, the manner in which she conducted her work was outstanding. This was noted in both her workload which she took on, as well as the manner in which she balanced her time between her cases. All of Pippa’s files were well up-to-date until her last day of work. She attended to our first cases involving female refugees who had applied for asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation. Her affidavits and Heads of Argument were very impressive. Towards the end of her internship, Pippa conducted consultations unassisted and was relied upon to assist other volunteers with their consultations and their clients. During the absence of the office PA, she adopted this role in addition to the work she was already handling. Pippa was always eager to take on more work and had a true desire to make a difference in the lives of those whose cases she handled.

Loredana Carta

Loredana applied as a Pro Intern from Italy and worked at PAHRO for 3 months. She handled a case load of over sixty files, all of which she kept well updated until her last day of work. Loredana could be entrusted to manage her own cases and supervise other interns, and she conducted consultations independently. During her internship she gained a firm grasp of South African Refugee Law, which enabled her to be highly effective in assisting people. On certain occasions she attended the Department of Home Affairs with clients, enabling them to obtain permits which they had previously been denied. She was most instrumental in assisting clients who had been forced to return to the area where they first obtained asylum permits as opposed to renewing them in Cape Town. Loredana went over and above what was expected of her.

Upon her return home to Switzerland, Loredana continued to carry out research relevant to her clients’ cases, which allowed her to continue to make an invaluable contribution to the work carried out by PAHRO. Her excellent work, enthusiasm and eagerness were greatly appreciated.

Gary Taylor

Gary is a President of Online Volunteering in Australia. Gary did his internship with PAHRO for one month specialising in the Social Justice Department. Gary is the first intern at PAHRO to receive a Commendation award for the work he has done in Social Justice. He recommended and implemented new structures that have enabled greater effectiveness in the department and have provided room for growth.

Gary developed a website enabling interns to give positive feedback and map out ideas, plans and goals for Social Justice Workshops. In this way a greater deal of structure has been ensured.

Jakob Winther Kjærsgaard

Jakob did his internship at PAHRO for three months, specialising in the Social Justice department. He was the second person to receive a Commendation for work done in this area. Jakob oversaw all workshops and ensured that all of the programmes ran successfully. He organised pre-planning meetings with all volunteers and interns, and delegated work so that everyone knew their individual roles and responsibilities. He also made sure that all necessary materials were made available in order to carry out the workshops.

Jakob was indispensable to Shuan throughout his internship, as Shuan knew that he could depend on him completely.

Cecilie Lindstrøm

Cecilie, from Denmark, interned with PAHRO for six months in 2013. During her time here, she participated in both Legal Services and Social Justice. Cecilie was always consistent in her work and excelled at following up with both clients and third parties. She was able to manage an exceptionally large amount of case work, and was entrusted to oversee and manage her own cases, and to hold consultations with clients unassisted. Furthermore, she was highly instrumental in both the preparation and running of our workshops in shelters for abused women.