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Staff Profile

Associate Professor Ntombizozuko Dyani-Mhango

QualificationsLLM, LLB, SJD
Phone 0117178476
Organisational Unit School of Law

My research interests are in the areas of international law, constitutional law and public power. 

I am an associate professor of law at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Oliver Schreiner School of Law. I joined the School of Law in July 2004 as an associate lecturer, and I have since moved up the rank to my current position. I hold an LL.D degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and LL.B and LL.M degrees from the University of the Western Cape. I am a former intern (Legal Researcher) in the Chambers Section of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. I have also clerked for Justice Sandile Ngcobo, the former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. I am a member of the South African Civil Aviation Authority Board since October 2014. I lecture in Constitutional Law: Structures of Government; Constitutional Law: Bill of Rights; and Public International law. I publish in the areas of international law and constitutional law. My interests in international law cover the aspects humanitarian law and criminal law especially the states' obligations in the protection of women in armed conflicts. I am particularly interested in the African region and the African Union's right to intervene and the debates surrounding this topic. In Constitutional Law I have an interest in, and I have published on the rights of women and children from the perspective of the South African Constitution. I am also interested in the interface between public power and governance. Recently, I have developed a keen interest in critical and gender theories, and how these relate to South Africa's transformative constitutionalism.

Public International Law; Constitutional Law: Structures of Government; and Constitutional Law: Bill of Rights


In Accredited & Peer Reviewed Journals

2015 (forthcoming): Journal of African LawThe Consent of the First Wife in a Polygynous Marriage as a Requirement for the Validity of her Husband’s Subsequent Marriage under South Africa’s Recognition of Customary Marriages Act: Mayelane v Ngwenyama’ 

2013: 28 (1) SA Public Law ‘The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision on Malawi regarding the failure to arrest and surrender President Al Bashir of Sudan: An opportunity missed’ 106-120.

2012 - 56(2) Journal of African Law ‘Extending the Death Benefits to Cohabitants under Section 37C of the Pension Funds Act: Hlathi v University of Fort Hare Retirement Fund’ 296-306.

2012 - 45 (1) Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa ‘Pension death benefits under the Malawi pension bill no 14 of 2010: reflections from South Africa and Australia’ 18-41, co-authored with Mtendeweka Mhango.

2011, “Reflections on Recent South African Pension Jurisprudence on Death Claims” 32 Industrial Law Journal 2385, co-authored with Mtendeweka Mhango

2010 24(1) Speculum JurisDistribution of death benefits in terms of section 37C of the Pension Funds Act – Rejecting the dominant-servient test in cases of cohabitation’ 28-42.

2010 – 13 (2) Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal 162-204 ‘How can the Pension Funds Adjudicator Get it so wrong? A Critique of Smith v Eskom Pension and Provident Fund’ co-authored with Mtendeweka Mhango

2009 – 12 (2) Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal 144-168 ‘The Duty to Effect an Appropriate Mode of Payment to Minor Pension Beneficiaries under Scrutiny in Death Claims’ co-authored with Mtendeweka Mhango

2009 72 THRHR 486-502 ‘Case note on the Constitutional Court Decision Pillay v MEC Education, Kwazulu-Natal’ co-authored with Mtendeweka Mhango.

2008 - 52 (2) Journal of African Law ‘An Opportunity Missed for Male Rape Survivors in South Africa: Masiya v Director of Public Prosecutions and Others’ 284-301.

2007-16 (2) African Journal of Comparative and International Law ‘Sexual Violence, Armed Conflict and International Law in Africa’ 230-253.

2006 – 6 (1) African Human Rights Law Journal ‘Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa: Protection of Women from Sexual Violence during Armed Conflict’ 166-187.


Book Chapters

2012 ‘Is the International Criminal Court Targeting Africa? Reflections on the Enforcement of International Criminal Law in Africa’ in Africa and the Future of International Criminal Justice (Vincent O. Nmehielle Ed.) 185-220


Other Peer Reviewed Publications

2012- 38(1) Brooklyn Journal of International Law ‘Reflections on the African Union’s Right to Intervene’ 1-48

2009 – ‘Constitutional Values and State Obligations regarding  HIV and AIDS and Disclosure in South Africa’ in A Best Practice Guide to HIV Disclosure, (Open Society Foundation for South Africa) 1-28.


Book Reviews

2007 - 20 (3) South African Journal of Criminal Justice,  (2005) Noélle N R Quénivet Sexual offenses in armed conflict & international law, Transnational Publishers, Ardsley, NY  372-376.

2007- 7(2) African Human Rights Law Journal, (2006) John Quigley, the Genocide Convention: An International Law Analysis, Ashgate 585- 589.


Conference Presentations

2014 November, ‘The Nkandla Project, the Public Protector and Power: The influence and the power of the President in the upgrade of his private residence’ at a Workshop on “Constitutional Rights, Judicial Independence and the Transition to Democracy: Twenty Years of South African Constitutionalism,” Friday, November 14, 2014 – Sunday, November 16, 2014

2014 October, ‘The Nkandla Project and the Powers of the President: Is South Africa heading towards presidentialism?’ Wits School of Law Conference, 29 October 2014.

24-26 June 2013, I Presented a paper ‘The right of the first wife to consent to her husband’s subsequent marriage on the basis of her equal status: Mayelane v Ngwenyama, Symposium: Public Law in Three Nations, Wits Rural Facility, Mpumalanga, South Africa

25 June 2012, I presented a paper ‘Does the AU have a legal duty to intervene in a member state for cases of sexual violence during armed conflict?’ School of Law Annual Staff Conference

3-9 June 2012, I presented a paper “The Re-Emergence of the “Discarded” Wife in Customary Law Marriages in South Africa”, the 2012 International Conference on Law and Society, June 5-8 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, HI, USA

1 December 2011: I presented a Public Lecture on "Some Thoughts on the Link Between Sexual Violence During Armed Conflict in Africa and the African Union's Right to Humanitarian Intervention" as part of the speaker series on "Laws Response to Consequences of Violent Conflict," sponsored by Global Legal Studies Center, African Studies, The Center for Research on Gender and Women and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

5 November 2011, I participated as a discussant in the Sawyer Seminar, titled Framing Women’s Rights: Globalization and Political Discourse” with the subtheme “Global Gender Politics: How Local and Global Discourses Influence One Another”, run by the Center for Research on Gender and Women, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

June 2010, I presented Winter Law School Programme, Wits University/Seattle University, USA.

September 2009, I presented a paper ‘Distribution of death benefits in terms of section 37C of the Pension Funds Act – Rejecting the dominant-servient test in cases of cohabitation’, at the School of Law Staff Annual Conference

July 2009, I presented a paper titled ‘Armed conflicts in Africa, international law and the protection of women’, at the International Conference on Peace & Reconciliation at the University of California Los Angeles, USA.

May 2009, ‘Feminists and International Law’, Guest Lecturer, Advanced International Law LL.M Course, School of Law, Wits University.

In February 2008 I was invited and agreed to speak at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, College of Law, Tennessee, USA.

  • I presented a paper titled ‘South Africa’s ‘Sexual Offences Act’: A Gender-neutral Law of Rape?’ The University of Tennessee College of Law Speaker Series, Law Women & Black Law Student Association, USA.

October 2007, I presented ‘An Opportunity Missed for Male Rape Survivors in South Africa: Masiya v Director of Public Prosecutions and Others’ at the Wits School of Law Annual Conference.

July 2007, I presented ‘Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict in Africa’, International Conference, Law & Society in the 21st Century, Transformations, Resistances, Futures, Berlin, Germany.

July 2007, I presented ‘The ICTR and Rape as Violation of International Criminal Law’, Winter Law School Programme, Wits University/Seattle University.

June 2006, I presented ‘Sexual Violence Armed Conflict and International Law in Africa’, Staff Annual Conference, School of Law, Wits University.

May 2006, I presented ‘Africa’s Contribution on the Development of International on Sexual Violence during Armed Conflict’, at the Institute for Legal Studies University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

September 2004, I presented ‘Marriage v Cohabitation: Is the institution of marriage fading away?’ at a Wits Workshop on Law and Society (2004) with a theme ‘Constituting Democracy: Law, Justice, and Constitutionalism in South Africa Ten Years On’, Wits University. 

Most of these presentations have been turned into published articles/case notes.