Board Members

Alice Brown

is an international human rights advocate and an expert on the use of the law for the public good. She worked for the Ford Foundation for nearly two decades – many of these years were spent in leadership positions – engaging in innovative grant making to support visionaries working in crucial areas such as human rights, social justice, constitutions and reconciliation. Brown has supervised funding programmes with cumulative grant making of over $US100 million.

Dr Brian Brink

is the retired chief medical officer of Anglo American and is acting treasurer on the SECTION27 board. He serves on the board of directors of the International Women’s Health Coalition,“Right to Care” in South Africa, “GrassrootSoccer” based in New York as well as Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has been at the forefont of galvanising support to treat and prevent these diseases. He is also closely involved with a number of non-governmental organisations that are fighting the AIDS epidemic. Described as ‘a rarity in the business world’, he has for many years been leading mining giant Anglo American’s efforts to ensure proper access to good health care for workers and their families. Brian is also an Independent Director of Discovery Limited

Justice Johann Kriegler

is a life-long human-rights lawyer and is at present the acting chairperson of the SECTION27 board. In 1994, as an Appeal Court judge, he headed South Africa’s transitional elections and was subsequently appointed a founding justice of the newly established Constitutional Court. Since completing his term in 2002 he has been engaged in some 40 countries on five continents on behalf of the UN, the AU, the Commonwealth and various international NGOs in electoral work, training judges and advocates, and conducting inquiries and arbitrations.

Justice Zak Yacoob

served as a Constitutional Court judge from February 1998 until his retirement in January 2013. Justice Yacoob has been a life-long human rights lawyer, rising to prominence during the apartheid years. He represented, among others, the Durban Six, the United Democratic Front in the Delmas treason trial, and the African National Congress in the Operation Vula trial. Justice Yacoob, who is himself blind, has also been closely involved in the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society, has sat on numerous school committees and has served as chairperson of the South Africa National Council of the Blind.

Dr Nic Spaull

Dr Nic Spaull is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) group at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He has recently returned from Paris where he was a Thomas J Alexander Fellow at the OECD, and before that a Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the United States. Nic has a PhD in economics and has published numerous journal articles on education focusing on assessment, accountability, literacy and education policy in South Africa. Nic is currently working on the Funda Wande project which is developing a certificate to teach Foundation Phase teachers how to teach early grade reading in african languages, funded largely by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment. He advises numerous NGO’s, policy-makers and grant-making bodies, and also regularly updates his website ( with new research and articles he finds interesting.

Brent Botha

is a corporate and commercial litigation lawyer based in Sandton, Johannesburg. He litigates in a number of commercial industries including telecommunications, banking, gambling and also private security. Brent also acts for clients with a global footprint. His practice has an extensive range and has seen him work on matters ranging from the application for the criminal pardon of a client to corresponding with the Security Council of the United Nations. A highlight of Brent’s career is that, in a relatively short period of time, he has been the lead lawyer in matters argued in the Supreme Court of Appeal and also the Constitutional Court.

Redi Tlhabi

is a SECTION27 board member as well as TV and radio presenter, author, activist, production company owner, columnist and ultra marathon runner… Redi has been a broadcast journalist for 15 years – her experience spanning some of South Africa’s most respected media and news brands. Redi holds a BA in Communication and BA Honours from the University of Johannesburg.

Nompumelelo Seme

is a SECTION27 and Centre for Applied Legal Studies board member with expertise is commercial litigation. Mpumi has been a legal advisor at Eskom where she honed her expertise in commercial litigation before her current position of lecturer at WITS University. She holds an LLB (cum laude) – WITS University, BA (English and Psychology) – WITS University and is currently pursuing her Masters in Tax Law – WITS University