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Meet the SAJHR's five 2023 Postgraduate Top-up Bursary holders

Nonzukiso Mbana is a 24-year-old law graduate from Willowvale in the Eastern Cape. She is pursuing a master’s degree in labour law at the University of Johannesburg, while working full-time as a legal graduate at Bidvest Bank in Johannesburg. She chose labour law because she wants to have an expanded capacity for independent research, and to build the abilities that are essential to handling employment-related challenges, bridging the gap between employers and their employees.

She is a well-rounded individual with an outstanding academic and extra-curricular background. She has a wide range of skills, such as critical thinking, legal writing and public speaking. She is committed to using her skills and expertise in order to make a positive impact in the world and contribute to the advancement of society. She aims to continuously develop herself and keep abreast of legal developments in this ever-changing legal landscape.

Born and bred in Elim, Limpopo, Musa Shawn Ntaben is a law graduate of the University of South Africa. He obtained 17 distinctions. Musa has been involved with and engaged in trying to assuage poverty in society and give hope to the hopeless. He is affiliated with Carnival of Love, a community-development organisation founded by law students in Pretoria. The plight and the socio-economic challenges of the less fortunate motivated him to pursue a master’s degree in human rights at the University of South Africa. Naturally inquisitive, his thirst for knowledge is seen through his consumption of books, not only for academic purposes but also for personal development.

Oda Ramusekene was born and raised in Lwamondo, a village outside Thohoyandou, Limpopo. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and LLB degrees from the University of Venda. He served his articles as a candidate attorney at Tshikovhi Attorneys Inc and works as a junior examiner at the Johannesburg Deeds Office. He is currently pursuing an LLM in human rights at the University of Venda. Oda received an award of academic achievement for the best performing student in law research upon his LLB graduation. He is a former student activist at the University of Venda and continues to be an activist in society. Oda was the chairperson of the Law Students’ Council, forming part of the Student Representative Council at the University of Venda. He was also the Secretary of the Postgraduate Student committee at the University of Venda. Oda is passionate about human rights with a particular focus on environmental rights. He aims to make valuable contributions to the knowledge of the current and ongoing environmental crisis emanating from the extraction of natural resources, with little care given to environmental protection. He draws inspiration from institutions such as Centre for Environmental Rights and other non-governmental organisations that understand the need to preserve the environment while encouraging sustainable development for current and future generations.

Patience Thandeka Sithole hails from the City of Coal, also known as Emalahleni. She holds a BA (in law and psychology) and an LLB degree from the University of the Witwatersrand.

She is currently studying towards her LLM by coursework and research, with a particular focus on intimate partner killings. She also doubles as an academic staff member in constitutional law and public international law at Wits. Thandeka is passionate about all things concerning mental health and God. She will take every chance she gets to encourage people to go to therapy and join a local church. When Thandeka is not writing, grading scripts or teaching, she enjoys baking and developing recipes for her small business called All Things Lactose Free, which enables people with food allergies to enjoy a good dessert without the drama. 

Anako Tungwana is enrolled for and LLM in constitutional law and human rights at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha. She is passionately researching the impact of Covid-19 and mandatory vaccination in the workplace in South Africa. Her career goal is to become a scholar and researcher so that she can assist those who have less knowledge, especially about human and constitutional rights.

She was inspired to become a researcher when she saw that, during Covid-19, many South Africans suffered in the sense that their human rights were infringed, and they were unable to air their views because of they lacked knowledge. Therefore, educating people about their constitutional rights is one of Anako’s goals. She also wants to become a lawyer and assist those who face injustice. She applied for the South African Journal on Human Rights bursary to pursue her goal, allow her to broaden her career in human rights, conduct additional research and help her interact with scholars from a variety of professions. She has a clear plan to turn her passion into a lifelong career and is looking forward to bringing innovative ideas to the field of law.

About the bursary

The South African Journal on Human Rights provides ‘top-up’ funding to postgraduate students. Every year, the SAJHR will award one or more top-up bursaries to the value of R30 000 to LLB graduates pursuing LLM studies dealing with constitutional, human rights and/or justice-related issues in any field at any South African public university. The bursary award is a once-off payment to assist eligible students to cover their costs of study. The call for the 2024 bursary will go out in the first half of the year.

About the journal

Founded in 1985 by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) and housed at the School of Law, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, the South African Journal on Human Rights (or SAJHR) is the leading South African public law journal, publishing scholarship of the highest standard for a worldwide readership. The journal is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship on human rights, constitutional and justice-related law in South Africa.