Noluthando Ntlokwana

Human Rights activist

Noluthando Ntlokwana is where she is because of a feeling that there were way too many human rights violations, even after the Constitution was introduced. And as assistant director of the Centre For Constitutional Rights (CFCR) South Africa, she's able to do something about it. Her work at the CFCR involves promoting the Constitution, interacting with government and Parliament on constitutional issues, monitoring developments that might affect the Constitution and informing South Africans of their constitutional rights, as well as helping them to claim them. Ntlokwana, who studied law at the University of the Western Cape, was admitted as an attorney in 2006, the same year she started working at the Women's Legal Centre (WLC) in Cape Town as a legal advisor and later as an attorney. "I've been working for NGOs that do not charge for legal representation,� says Ntlokwana. "That's why I chose to be a human rights activist; I wanted to assist the poor.� She may have started off as a feminist fighting for women's rights but her interests have grown. Her master's thesis focuses on the intersection between customary law and human rights, how some aspects of customary law violate human rights and the way a balance can be achieved between the two. "It's important because in South Africa a lot of communities still practise customary law and believe in it,� she says. "Now we have a Constitution and we need to find a balance that accommodates both. The approach is that we should try to develop customary law to bring it in line with the current Constitution.� � Vuvu Vena

Lunch spot : Marcos, Cape Town