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Ms Lindiwe Faith Mokate
Commissioner (Full time)
Date of appointment: October 2009

Commissioner Lindiwe Mokate was appointed to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in October 2009. She was previously Chief Executive Officer of the SAHRC for more than seven years.

Commissioner Mokate spent 18 years in political exile in Africa and the United Kingdom where she schooled and worked.

On her return to South Africa, she worked with the National Children’s Rights Committee, an umbrella body for children’s organizations, prior to joining the Presidency in 1994 where she established the Children’s Desk in close collaboration with UNICEF.

The Children’s Desk during President Nelson Mandela’s administration working with other stakeholders championed the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the development of South Africa’s first National Programme of Action for Children. This was followed by the publication of the first country’s situation analysis on children titled, “Children, Poverty and Disparity Reduction – Towards fulfilling the rights of South Africa’s Children”

Commissioner Mokate also worked on the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) on the Poverty Eradication Programme,  located in the Presidency during the President Nelson Mandela’s administration.

Following the changes that led to the closure of the RDP office she joined the Department of Trade and Industry as a Ministerial Adviser where her focus was largely on the development and nurturing of small and medium business development.

As Chief Executive of the SAHRC Lindiwe was at the forefront of the establishment of a regional body for National Human Rights Institutions on the continent. Under her leadership the SAHRC grew from a head office and a satellite office based in Cape Town to a national institution with eight Provincial Offices.

A former member of the International Board of the Global Reporting Initiative, an off-shoot of the UN Environmental Programme promoting non-financial reporting  among  companies .  Former member of the panel of judges on the ACCA  (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Awards, assessing Sustainability Reporting among companies in South Africa.

Her last posting prior to being appointed a Human Rights Commissioner was that of Head of International Relations for the Parliament of South Africa where she oversaw Bilateral, Multilateral and Africa relations.

She is associated with the these publications, (1) Children, Poverty and Disparity Reduction – Towards fulfilling the rights of South Africa’s Children; (2) Equity and Child Rights – A Statistical Analysis; (3) A Charter of Basic Education Rights for Children; (4) Poverty Traps and Social Exclusion among South Africa’s Children.

Lindiwe holds a BSc(Hons) Economics, MA Economics and MA Education.


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Since its establishment, the SAHRC has dedicated itself to:
•  Raising awareness;
•  Monitoring and assessment;
•  Education and training
•  Addressing human rights violations

How can the SAHRC help?

The SAHRC promotes, protects and monitors human rights in South Africa. It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implemen-
tation of PAIA.


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