24 Oct

On Monday I received a notification regarding the arrest of one of our South African warriors, Sibongile Ndashe. On 17th October 2017, she was one of twelve other people to be arrested in Tanzania. She was in a meeting with twelve lawyers and defenders who were discussing a potential lawsuit on the obstruction of access to health services for certain populations.

According to a report from http://www.ewn.co.za, written by Mia Lindeque:
‘Police raided their meeting venue last week and detained 13 people including two South Africans before releasing them on bail. But that bail has now been revoked, they were both detained early on Friday afternoon. Shortly before her phone was taken away by Tanzanian police, Sibongile Ndashe, the executive director for Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa, told Eyewitness News authorities were trying to frighten them. “That is an offence that does not exist under Tanzanian law, for starters. So there is nothing like that in the penal code.” Ndashe says she was told that the preliminary findings by the police have been rejected by the authorities and now they’re back behind bars. “We were supposed to be re-interviewed by another unit. Just as that process started, they stopped it and said that bail has been revoked and that we need to go to the police cell.”


I felt that I needed to write about this so we can all collectively support her work and thus campaign to get her release.
Please share and sign this petition to have them released:


Here is some insight into who Sibongile Ndashe is and what she does.
Sibongile Ndashe is the founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Strategic Litigation Africa, ISLA. ISLA is a Pan- African and feminist led initiative that uses the rule of law and African domestic and regional courts to advance women’s human rights and sexual rights.
Sibongile studied law at the University of the Western Cape. She is a feminist who has worked as a public interest lawyer for the past 18 years. She started her legal career as an Article Clerk in South Africa, working for the Legal Resources Centre (1999-2000). She moved to the South African Constitutional Court as a Research Clerk in the chambers of Justice Kriegler and Justice O’regan (2001). She then worked as an attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre, leading the work on women’s property rights and women’s access to resources (2002 – 2007). Sibongile later worked as the lead lawyer on equality in Africa at Interights. Her focus was on litigating women’s human rights and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (2007 – 2013). In 2014 she founded ISLA.
Sibongile’s three objectives are; to see the development of jurisprudence of gender and sexuality before the African Human Rights Systems; to develop a pool of feminist litigators with expertise on gender and sexuality; and to equip and support social movements as they make decisions about litigation, including whether to litigate or not.
Sibongile’s work focuses on litigating gender and sexuality cases before the African Human Rights Systems. She litigates before the African Commission and the African Court. She also works with domestic lawyers from a range of African countries to provide technical legal expertise on litigating gender and sexuality cases before domestic courts. She has designed capacity strengthening programmes for lawyers working in public interest litigation such as; ‘litigation surgeries’, ‘litigation institutes’ and ‘in-depth seminars’. She teaches and has published on gender, sexuality, and strategic litigation. Sibongile works with the law but believes in justice.
Please see information on ISLA, taken from http://www.the-isla.org
The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a Pan-African and feminist led initiative that aims to contribute to the development of jurisprudence on sexual rights and women’s human rights on the continent by providing expertise on strategic litigation. We began operations in July 2014 and were incorporated in February 2015. The need for an organisation like ours was born out of a concern of the dearth of jurisprudence before the African Human Rights Systems and domestic courts, which focus on the violations of women’s human rights and sexual rights.
Despite persistent and visible human rights violations based on gender and sexuality, current legal efforts to hold states accountable for the violations of human rights have not produced a lot of jurisprudence. At ISLA, we believe that a sustained investment in local institutions and individuals is the key to creating a critical mass of domestic lawyers who can engage in strategic litigation. This method is used to bring about significant change, via taking carefully selected cases to court and using them to change law, practice and public awareness. We work side-by-side with targeted institutions and individuals to provide ongoing capacity strengthening programmes. We aim to create a network of African women’s rights organisations, sexual rights and legal practitioners, who will identify and engage with issues at a regional level with the end-goal of social transformation.
Why We Exist
We seek to revolutionise the way that strategic litigation is used to enable broader access to justice and support those who seek to hold states accountable for violations of women’s human rights and sexual rights.
We want to develop jurisprudence before domestic courts, the African Human Rights Systems and UN treaty bodies on ISLA’s thematic areas of focus areas.
We want to nurture and facilitate a critical mass of lawyers who can do strategic litigation and support a culture of social justice lawyering. We provide the necessary training in strategic litigation that is needed for lawyers to contribute to strategic litigation cases. We provide quality and long-term support to partner institutions to provide individual and institutional support, an essential component of successful legal outcomes.
We believe that an enabling environment needs to exist to facilitate strategic litigation. We work with our partners to change laws and practices that constitute barriers to strategic litigation. These laws include restrictive amicus curiae provisions, adverse cost orders against complainants in human rights cases and prohibition of Non-Governmental Organisations from providing legal representation.
Ultimately, we want to hold states accountable for human rights violations.

Please share this information as much as possible, after all their arrests are arbitrary and they need to be released now.

Please sign this petition:



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