Usha Jugroop - Director of Litigation

I joined SECTION27 on 1 August 2017 as the Director of Litigation.

I was attracted by the outstanding public interest law work that they are doing, focusing primarily on the constitutional right to basic education and health services.

Before joining SECTION27, I was a member of the Johannesburg Bar. Prior to doing pupillage, I clerked for Justice Kate O’ Regan in 2008.
Before embarking on my legal career, I worked for close on 10 years as a journalist, mainly in radio and television news as a current affairs producer and writer.

I hold a BA degree from Rhodes University and an LLB from Unisa.

Kuda Chimone - Head of Finance

I started working at SECTION27 on the 24th of July 2017

I am the Head of Finance, responsible for the full Finance function.

I stick around because I am passionate about human rights and social justice. Being part of the team at S27 gives me a platform to make my contribution towards issues close to my heart.

Before SECTION27 I worked as a senior manager- finance in the same field, and I was responsible for the full accounting operations , before that I was in corporate.

I have a Bachelor of Accountancy honours degree from the University of Zimbabwe. I am a chartered global management accountant (UK) and an associate member of CIMA(UK). I also have a master in Business leadership degree from Unisa-School of Business Leadership.


I started at SECTION27 on the 8th of May 2017 as an attorney in the education team. 

I am involved in litigation, advocacy and education/awareness campaigns in the areas of education with a specific focus on learner teacher support material and sexual violence in schools.

I believe in the right to education as means of self-actualization and with which one can realize other important rights. I am committed to eliminating the complex and systematic challenges to the fulfillment of the basic right to education.

Admitted as an attorney in Kwa Zulu Natal I moved to Johannesburg in 2013 to pursue my interests in human rights litigation. Prior to S27 I spent four years heading the Freedom of Expression Law Clinic with a short stint as Acting Executive Director. I hope to contribute meaningfully as a social justice catalyst.

ZUKISWA PIKOLI - Communications Officer


I started working at SECTION27 on the 1st of June 2017 as a Communications Officer. I focus specifically on the Friends of SECTION27 portfolio which includes online and offline fundraising campaigns as well as cultivating a database of people who would like to volunteer their services and skills to SECTION27’s Social Justice mandate.

I stick around because being part of an effective social justice movement is infinitely rewarding.

My background is in Online Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship, I have worked in the publishing and tourism industry but have always had a passion for civil society work, so here I am!


I started working at SECTION 27 on the 9th of January 2017.

I am an SLSJ (Students for Law and Social Justice) /SECTION 27 Fellow. I really love helping out people, and the work I do at SECTION 27 with the Public Health team is making a remarkable difference in many people’s lives.

I stick around because I have a burning passion for the development of indigent communities, as part of my involvement with SLSJ, I was one of the fellows that volunteered their Saturday mornings to offer their services to an NGO called the “Book Reading club” in East London. This is where we visited one of the local informal settlements and taught children from the ages of 6 years to 8 years how to read and write in English. I really enjoyed doing this; as a result, I implemented the same project in my own rural community.

I was also involved in the University of Fort Hare’s Know Your Constitution Campaign, we conducted the campaign at the Kei Road Community Advice Centre (King Williams Town). This is where we informed the elderly about the fundamental rights entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. I completed my LLB Degree at the University of Fort Hare.

KIRSTEN WHITFIELD - Communications Officer

I’ve worked as Advocacy/Communications Officer since 16 January 2017.

Most of the work I’m doing at the moment is centred on sprucing up SECTION27’s website – making it more user friendly, adding content where it’s needed, shifting things about – I’m also doing social media upkeep and working on a few campaigns (Know Your Constitution, Sexual Violence in Schools, etc.) and otherwise just anything the Comms/Advocacy team throws my way. I’m still learning and enjoying the process of getting to know the organization and all the great people who work here.

I stick around because I love the work we do here, because it’s amazing to me to see people coming together to affect actual material change in people’s lives. I think a lot of people dream of making a difference but there is so seldom any concrete sense of what that means and I feel like I’m getting a chance to see that here.

Prior to coming here, I was studying Linguistics at UCT for what feels like a hundred years and doing various writing and editing jobs as well as tutoring at UCT. It was during my years at UCT that my belief in social justice started to take shape and during the years of #FeesMustFall that it began to find real direction. That was the first time that I really saw what collective action could do and just how much work needed to be done to begin improving the lives of the country’s majority.

PAMELA CHOGA - SLSJ Research Fellow

I started working at Section 27 on the 9th of January 2017. I am a SLSJ (Students for Law and Social Justice) Research Fellow for the Education Team. I work under the supervision of an attorney and I assist with research and drafting for literary projects, and upcoming litigation. I also consult with clients, who are mostly schools and this entails a lot of travelling. My job also encompasses community outreach programmes such as conducting sexual violence workshops in communities.

Section 27 has a lovely environment and the people are super friendly. I applied for this job because I want to contribute to the wonderful work Section 27 is doing for communities in both the health and education sectors.

I did my LLB in 2015 and I’m about to complete her LLM in International Economic Law at Wits University. I was a member of the Students for Law and Social Justice.


I’ve been an Attorney in the Education work area since 1 September 2016.

I conduct litigation on behalf of interest groups, learners and school governing bodies on cases aimed at achieving equality in the public education system.  I am working on cases involving learners with disabilities, and on school funding and resources.

I am at SECTION27 because I believe in strengthening the State while making it more accountable and effective.

I started working 2010 and have worked in private practice and in the non-profit sector.  Before joining SECTION27, I worked primarily on litigating housing and property cases, representing protestors, and working on behalf of Western Cape farmworkers.


I joined SECTION27 on 11 May 2015. I am office the Office Assistant.

I look after everyone and ensure we work in a happy and clean environment. I also keep the ship running, i.e. I make sure we have coffee.

I stick around because there are some really cool people working here, who are saving the world one soul at a time, and it’s great to be a part of that team.

Before I joined SECTION27, I worked at CARE International as a Research Assistant where I did work in TB, HIV/AIDS and the ARV roll out in different provinces. I am the mother to two lovely children whom I love very much and I am currently studying to be an accountant.

VUYOKAZI GONYELA - NSP Review Advocacy Officer

I started working in January 2016. I work as the NSP Review Advocacy Officer.

My job is to create wider strategic awareness about National Strategic Plan on HIV,TB and STIs. I am also responsible for identifying advocacy issues within the NSP through monitoring implementation of this plan. I also provide capacity building and technical support for provincial civil society forums within aids councils and through activists engagement, particularly focusing in Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Kwa Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

I stick around because SECTION27 is a great and cool organisation to be part of. The organisational commitment towards advocating for the realisation of the Bill of Rights gives a human touch to the lived realities of most poor and vulnerable populations which are mostly undermined by those in power.

Before SECTION27, I was working for Treatment Action Campaign as a Provincial Organiser in Eastern Cape and also part of the National Capacity Building team that was running national and regional training. My provincial responsibilities included monitoring implementation of the Provincial Strategic Plan and identification of advocacy campaigns,  supporting TAC branches through prevention and treatment literacy information, identification and execution of district and provincial advocacy campaigns. I worked for TAC for at least 12 years from branch level to Provincial positions which included leadership roles in governance structures giving political leadership to the province.

TENDAI MAFUMA - Researcher

I’ve been working as a Legal Researcher with the Public Health Team since 11 January 2017.

I do everything from researching issues of law and human rights, interviewing and taking statements from deponents, developing partnerships with other human rights organisations to policy research.

I applied to SECTION27 because I’m passionate about social justice and legal literacy. The biochemist in me could not resist SECTION27’s descriptor “catalyst for change”.

Before joining SECTION27, I completed a Master of Science in Biochemistry and LLB degreed at Rhodes University. I also clerked for Justice Madlanga at the Constitutional Court.


I started to work at Section27 on 10 June 2013. I worked as an Intern while busy with studies until I got employed as a Researcher in 2016.

Among other thing, I do field research (visit schools to monitor challenges), advocacy training to community members and school governing bodies, and engaging with Limpopo Department of Education about challenges in the schools.

There was nothing much I was doing before I joined Section27 besides concentrating on my LLB degree studies. My time was dedicated to my studies and doing some church work, like administration.


NTSIKI MPULO - Senior Communications Officer

I’m a Senior Communications Officer. I’ve been working here since 1 August 2015.

My role is to facilitate communications from our organisation to our key constituencies through various media including social media, mainstream media and our website. I also provide stories and content for the SECTION27 and TAC publication, Spotlight. I draft media statements and field media queries, as well as assist with organising events and manage the branding and merchandise for our organisation.

I stick around because no day is the same.  I’m involved in work that shapes the future of our country and make meaningful input into activities that make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable communities in South Africa.

I’m accidental activist.  Prior to working for SECTION27, I left corporate South Africa because I wanted to write more about health and education which have been my passion for decades. I did a stint as a journalist at a weekly magazine in the Media24 stable. Before that, I was involved in the tourism industry in various organisations from the private sector to an agency of government.  I hold a Bachelor of Commerce from Wits University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.

FARANAAZ VERIAVA - Senior Researcher

I started working at SECTION27 on 1 September 2014 as a Senior Researcher and Legal Counsel working primarily in the field of education rights. 

I provide guidance and strategic support to the Education Team at SECTION27.  I work closely with other members of the team in developing and building the education cases at SECTION27.  I assists in the drafting of legal papers and occasionally appear in court as counsel for SECTION27.  I’ve also written academic articles and produced research reports and other articles on the work of SECTION27.  Most recently, together with other SECTION27 staff, I compiled and edited a Basic Education Rights Handbook to make basic education law and policy easily accessible.

I work at Section27 because I am committed to improving the education system to ensure a quality basic education for all South African learners.

Before coming here, I worked at Idasa and headed the Western Cape office of the South African Human Rights Commission. I was a founder of the Education Law Project at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University. I also worked as an advocate of the Johannesburg Bar.

ELINOR KERN - Grants Coordinator

I’ve worked as Grants Coordinator from Monday to Wednesday since 1 May 2015.

I’m responsible for reports and proposals to donors.

I stick around at SECTION27 because social justice is important to me.

Prior to working here I studied languages and librarianship but have been working in the funding and fundraising sector for the past 16 years. I’ve worked for the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Sacred Heart College and Tshikululu Social Investments and in various other consulting positions.


NOMATTER NDEBELE - Communications Officer

I started working on SECTION27’s Communications Teams on 1 June 2015

My duties include media liaison, advocacy work and writing content for the organisation.

I stick around because I enjoy being part of a team that’s as dedicated to changing the world as I am.

Before I joined SECTION27 I was just another young thug trying to get off food stamps. I kid, I was a journalist at a news agency that was always looking for something a little more meaningful than daily market reports, but now I’m here and I am doing the things.

BASETSANA KOITSIOE - Executive Assistant

I have been Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Director of Litigation at SECTION27 since 25 January 2016.

My duties are to manage and maintain the Executives’ schedules, appointments and travel arrangements, to arrange and co-ordinate meetings and events, and record, transcribe and distribute minutes of meetings.

I stick around because my work offers me a great deal of learning experience and I enjoy working with the team at SECTION27.

Before I came to SECTION27, I got a BA degree in Political Science and English Literature and an LLB both from the University of the Witwatersrand. My human rights and social justice involvement began in 2014, when I joined Student for Law and Social Justice. I was portfolio head for legal education and we ran constitutional literacy service initiatives in high schools in the inner city of Johannesburg. In 2015, I interned for a year, at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies for the Access to Information Programme and then I came here to SECTION27.

LUVO NELANI - Legal Researcher

I started work at SECTION27 on 18 January 2016. I work as a Legal Researcher in the Private Health Team.

I have primarily worked on the Health Market Inquiry and Access to Medicines. I am involved in advocating for intellectual property reform to broaden access to quality and affordable medicines.

I first became aware of SECTION27 while I was a student and I thought and still think the use of strategic litigation and advocacy is impactful in driving access to healthcare services.

I worked at Hogan Lovells before joining SECTION27.


I am researcher and I co-run the legal advice office. I started working at SECTION27 on 11 of January 2016.

I consult members of the public, take statements and do research on any legal issues they have. If their issue falls outside of the mandate of SECTION27 I refer them to one of our partner organisations and ensure that they receive help. I also do research and advocacy work on a few health matters such as TB and School Health.

I have only worked here for a little over a year but I have been exposed to so many opportunities and so many more are coming my way. I have gained so much experience in many different things and this is one of the reasons that I’m going to turn out to be a well-rounded human rights lawyer one day. This organisation is the only one of its kind and holds a special place in people’s hearts. It really does feel like being around family every day when you’re in the office.

THABANG POOE - Legal Researcher

Thabang Pooe graduated from the North West University in 2011 where she obtained her LLB degree. Nthabi, as she is commonly known was extremely involved in student politics and served on the Student Representative Council. She was also involved and served in organisations such as the Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and through her work for SLSJ she continued to work on projects aimed at equipping law students with the necessary skills to enter the legal profession; and on access to justice campaigns like the compulsory community service for law students campaign, student advice programme and research around legal education in South Africa.

She joined SECTION27 in January 2012 as part of a fellowship programme with SLSJ before working as a legal research assistant in 2013 focussing on cases related to the right to basic education, which includes work on sanitation in schools, provision of learner teacher support material in schools, school infrastructure and sexual violence in schools. Thabang clerked for Justice Madlanga in 2013-2014 before returning to SECTION27 as a legal researcher.