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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

The Secretariat

The Secretariat is entrusted with the implementation of the organisational strategy of the Commission, and is led by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Advocate Tseliso Thipanyane. As the head of the executive, the CEO, with the support of approximately 150 staff members, executes the mandate of the Commission. The secretariat has offices in all nine provinces, and a Head Office in Johannesburg.

Adv. Tseliso Thipanyane, B.Sc, LL.B and LL.M (Human Rights) LL.M (Corporate Law)

Chief Executive Office (CEO)

Chief executive officer of the South African Human Rights Commission and former chief executive officer of the Safer South Africa Foundation. Spent over 13 years in the SAHRC as head of research, mainly responsible for the monitoring of economic and social rights and access to information rights, before becoming the chief executive officer.  Former researcher on criminal justice at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a former law lecturer at the University of the Western Cape (criminal procedure), Columbia University Law School, New York (African human rights systems), Ramapo College of New Jersey (African politics and Human Rights). Has numerous publications on human rights issues and has presented conference papers in over twenty countries in Africa, Europe, America and Asia.  Admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Lesotho and South Africa and served on the project committee on child justice of the then SA Law Commission. Advisory Board member of the Executive Committee of the Council for the Advancement of South Africa’s Constitution (CASAC) and former board member of the Open Democracy Advise Centre (ODAC) and Children’s Institute.

Chantal Kisoon

Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Chantal Kisoon is an attorney and former senior researcher of the Constitutional Court of South Africa having participated in the certification of the SA's Constitution.

She obtained sum cum laude post graduate qualifications in International Financial Trade Relations, Environmental Law and European Human Rights Law in Holland. She was a senior lecturer of law and Deputy Director of the Centre of Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. Working through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights she was instrumental in bringing together African NGO's and CBO's when South Africa held the World Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia during 2001 - its first world conference after apartheid. She has written extensively on human rights both nationally and internationally.

Chantal headed the Access to Information programme at the South African Human Rights Commission and thereafter its provincial office in Gauteng. During this time she was part of the African expert working group which drafted the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa adopted by the African Union. Learning the art of managing an organisation grew incrementally through skilled mentors and courses in business management, but started in her youth working for a world famous fast food chicken outlet as a student and thereafter working in the banking sector. She cites her time working with the Constitution, and multiple level of stakeholders in the region as the “gas which feeds her curiosity for learning” and her work at the Commission as “sustenance toward achieving the ideal of universal respect for dignity”.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

27 Stiements Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)