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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Office of the Commissioners

Commissioners provide guidance in developing the vision of the institution by setting its priorities and ensuring that its policies, programmes and allocated resources are consistent with their vision. This is done through exercising good corporate governance and providing leadership and guidance on the professional work of the Commission. Commissioners hold fortnightly performance reporting meetings with the CEO to oversee the quarterly plenary reporting processes.



The Commissioners are the public face of the Commission, representing the organisation at national, regional and international fora. They also interact with local communities and stakeholders at the national level in order to address human rights issues. In addition to the policy and legislative mandates of the Commission, Commissioners have adopted a document called the Human Rights Matrix.

The Human Rights Matrix tracks the various human rights obligations of South Africa at the international, regional and domestic levels. It is a tool that assists in identification of the Commissioners’ strategic focus areas and priorities. It assists in identifying the unique role of the Commission as a national human rights institution.

The strategic priority areas in the Human Rights Matrix were identified, discussed and integrated into the Strategic Plan. Each Commissioner is assigned a specific province and United Nations treaty body.

Professor Bongani Christopher Majola

Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission

Professor Bongani Christopher Majola holds a Masters of Law Degree (LLM) from Harvard Law School, USA.  Before graduating with an LLM from Harvard Law School in 1988, Prof. Majola obtained a Public Service Law Diploma in 1975, a Public Service Senior Law Certificate (Diploma Legum) in 1977, B. Iuris Degree in 1980, and a Bechelor of Laws Degree in 1982.  All qualifications before the Professor’s LLM were obtained at the University of Zululand. 

Devikarani Priscilla Sewpal Jana

Deputy Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission

Priscilla Jana was granted a Government of India Scholarship to study Medicine in India where she completed studies in Inter-Science and returned to South Africa in 1965. Mrs. Jana completed a Bachelor of Laws Degree at the University of South Africa (UNISA). In 1979 Mrs. Jana opened her own law practice with a focus on civil liberties and human rights. 

Advocate Bokankatla Joseph Malatji

Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission

Advocate Bokankatla Joseph Malatji made history by being the first black, blind student to be admitted at the University of the North in 1971 and then the first black, blind person to be admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1977. Advocate Malatji, during his first seven year term as a Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission, was very active in the field of disability rights as this was one of his Focus Areas. At international, regional and domestic level, Advocate Malatji has participated in numerous platforms. In 2014, Advocate Malatji was invited to be part of the United Nations Working Group on the Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNPRPD).

Adv Mohamed Shafie Ameermia

Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission

Adv Mohamed Shafie Ameermia was appointed Commissioner in 2014. His focus areas are: Access to Justice and Access to the Right to Housing. Prior to joining the Commission, he served in various senior executive managerial positions in the education sector.

Advocate Andre Hurtley Gaum

Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission responsible for Basic Education 

Advocate André Hurtley Gaum obtained the BA, (Law) LLB and LLM (in Constitutional Law) degrees from the University of Stellenbosch.  He was admitted as an Attorney and thereafter as Advocate of the High Court of South Africa.

Advocate Gaum’s work relating to the Constitution of South Africa started at its inception, when he was involved in an advisory capacity in the final stage of the negotiation process that led to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996. He has been a member of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee from 1999 to 2000, 2005 to 2009 and 2011 to 2014. 

Matlhodi Angelina Makwetla

Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission

Matlhodi Angelina Makwetla holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Work from the University of the North, a Management Certificate from the Arthur D Little Management School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and an SMME Management Certificate from Galilee College in Israel. Ms Makwetla has received much publicised recognition for her work as a social entrepreneur. In August 2001, she was a finalist in the Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year Award, in the Media and Communications category. During the same month, she also received a Woman of Strategy Award from the Soweto Empowerment Development Project.

Advocate Jonas Ben Sibanyoni

Part-Time Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission

Advocate Jonas Ben Sibanyoni obtained a B. Proc degree from the University of Zululand in 1981 and was admitted as an Attorney on the 10th July 1984. In 1995, the High Court of the Republic of South Africa granted him a Right of Audience. In March 1998, he served as a Member of the Amnesty Committee, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), until February 2001.

Andrew Christoffel Nissen

Part-Time Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission

Andrew Christoffel Nissen holds a Joint Board Diploma in Theology from the Federal Theological Seminary in Pietermaritzburg obtained in 1980. He then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours degree from the University of Cape Town in 1988. His dissertation: An Investigation into the supposed loss of Khoikhoi Traditional Religious Heritage, earned him his Masters of Arts degree in 1990. Due to his work, Mr. Nissen has been honoured by having streets named after him as well as a school in Knysna.

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.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

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 implementation of PAIA.