The Team

Staff 

STELLA KIF

STELLA KIF

Operations Administrator

Stella Kif is an accountant and administrative professional with over 10 years of experience providing support for national and international programmes in the areas of gender, education, and community-led projects.

STELLA KIF

Operations Administrator

Stella Kif is an accountant and administrative professional with over 10 years of experience providing support for national and international programmes in the areas of gender, education, and community-led projects. Prior to joining EJF she worked at the Jules Verne International French School and the New Zealand High Commission where she administered New Zealand’s Africa Development Fund which funded projects across the continent. The projects she worked on include being part of a research team for the “Gender and Water Policies in Africa” project. She also worked at the Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Pretoria. She is currently completing her advanced diploma in Business Management at Mancosa. Her passions are creative writing and historical fiction.

lisa chamberlain

lisa chamberlain

Executive Director

Lisa Chamberlain is an activist, attorney and academic with more than 12 years of experience working in the social justice sector in South Africa. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice Fund, she was Deputy and Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies…

Lisa Chamberlain

Executive Director

Lisa Chamberlain is an activist, attorney and academic with more than 12 years of experience working in the social justice sector in South Africa. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice Fund, she was Deputy and Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, a public interest law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). She is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Wits Law School and a Research Associate at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. She has worked in private practice as an attorney and clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She has a BA LLB (Wits) and an LLM (University of Michigan). Lisa is passionate about environmental justice, and how it intersects with gender equality. She has particular experience working with communities affected by mining in South Africa. Lisa is interested in supporting activism which enhances well-being and is currently researching resilience-building amongst human rights defenders in South Africa.

Vuyolethu Mntonintshi

Vuyolethu Mntonintshi

Activist Support Coordinator

Vuyolethu Mntonintshi is a seasoned activist and is committed to promoting social justice and dedicating his efforts to fulfilling the promise of quality life for all. He was based at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at…

Vuyolethu Mntonintshi

Activist Support Coordinator

Vuyolethu Mntonintshi is a seasoned activist and is committed to promoting social justice and dedicating his efforts to fulfilling the promise of quality life for all. He was based at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University for 6 years, where he undertook research, advocacy and litigation in the Gender Justice; and Home, Land, and Rural Democracy Programmes. In this role, he has advanced fundamental human rights for marginalised communities and worked on projects about child abuse, evictions, rural democracy, assisted survivors of GBV with access to shelters, and has supported other social justice and community-based organisations. Vuyolethu holds an LLB degree from Walter Sisulu University and is currently pursuing an LLM in Environmental Law at the University of the Western Cape.

Florence Morongoenyane Nkholise

Finance Associate

Florence Morongoenyane Nkholise has over 21 years of experience in the NGO environment providing technical support in financial management, financial accounting, grant management, human resources development, administrative policies and procedures, and risk management. She has worked both with international NGOs such as CARE, Child Fund International, and FHI360 and with South African organisations like the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Association for Water and Rural Development. She has extensive experience working with the requirements of specific donor agencies such as the Global Fund, World Bank, USAID, DFID, UN, and EC/EU/ECHOs, and has also supported subgrantees in grants implementation. She has worked in countries in Southern, East, and West Africa. Florence is passionate about sound financial management and enjoys using her skills to assist organisations to advance social justice.

Philisiwe Precious Mazibuko

Philisiwe Precious Mazibuko

Communications Facilitator

Philisiwe Precious Mazibuko

Communications Facilitator

Philisiwe Precious Mazibuko is a human rights activist from the South of Durban who is interested and affected by air pollution and all environmental injustices. Philisiwe is a believer in youth participation and works with youth activists ensuring continuity in environmental justice work locally and nationally. Philisiwe is the co-founder of Waste for Change NPC and a popular education facilitator at the Durban South Community Peace Builders where she is working towards building a united and cohesive civil space inclusive of people particularly in middle to low income communities. She is currently an Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity based at Tekano and a Community Scholar at the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

ELTON THOBEJANE

ELTON THOBEJANE

Activist Support Coordinator

Elton Thobejane

Activist Support Coordinator

Elton Thobejane is from Sekhukhune in Limpopo and has been a mining and environmental justice activist since 2009. Having worked in this field for over 15 years, Elton possesses an abundance of knowledge and skills in organising, mobilising, administration and community capacitation through advocacy. The roles he has served in include as former national chairperson of the Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa, field organiser for the Climate Justice Coalition, paralegal for the local community advice office in Tubatse, and organiser for the legal advice offices in Sekhukhune district in Limpopo. Prior to his appointment as an Activist Support Coordinator at EJF, he also served as a member of EJF’s Grants Committee. Elton is currently also a member of the steering committee of the Southern African Human Rights Defenders Fund.

APIWE MDUNYELWA

APIWE MDUNYELWA

Activist Support Coordinator

Apiwe Mdunyelwa

Activist Support Coordinator

Apiwe Mdunyelwa is a water rights and environmental sciences activist dedicated to ensuring that the rights of the underprivileged are not only acknowledged, but also widely defended. Apiwe holds a BSc in Environmental and Water Science, a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management and a Certificate in Environmental Impact Assessment from the University of the Western Cape. She is a dynamic organiser who is passionate about working with communities to support them to strengthen their knowledge of rights and ability to influence policy. Apiwe previously worked as the Project Coordinator – Policy and Advocacy at the Environmental Monitoring Group and a Researcher at the Southern African Faith Communities’​ Environment Institute. Apiwe has published on ‘Hydropolitics in South Africa’ and ‘Inequality in Service Distribution’, and is committed – both personally and professionally – to relentlessly contribute to a world that is more just and equitable.

Unarine Emmanuel Ndou

Unarine Emmanuel Ndou

Intern

Unarine Emmanuel Ndou

Intern

Unarine Emmanuel Ndou is a social justice activist focusing on environmental justice, organic farming and African indigenous knowledge systems. He served as Programs Manager at Dzomo la Mupo for 3 years and has 6 years of experience as an office assistant at the Directorate of Community Engagement within the University of Venda. Unarine holds a Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (BIKS) and is currently completing his Masters of Arts in African Studies within the Department of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Heritage Studies at the University of Venda.

Board

Matome Kapa

Matome Kapa

Chairperson of the Board

Matome Kapa is an experienced human rights attorney and activist with a particular interest in environmental justice. During his legal studies at the University of Witwatersrand, his interest in the natural sciences, combined with a passion for social justice…

Matome Kapa

Chairperson of the Board

Matome Kapa is an experienced human rights attorney and activist with a particular interest in environmental justice. During his legal studies at the University of Witwatersrand, his interest in the natural sciences, combined with a passion for social justice, led him to focus on environmental law. Matome was admitted as an attorney of the High Court in 2015. At university he participated in the Street Law programme which focused on teaching legal remedies to vulnerable communities. He also completed a stint as a public defender for Legal Aid South Africa. Today, Matome leads the Activist Support & Training programme at the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) as programme head. He is also a steering committee member for the South African Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund, and a coordinator for the Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA).

Gugulethu Makhubo

Gugulethu Makhubo

Gugulethu Makhubo is a pan-African strategic marketing, communications, and stakeholder engagement specialist. Her industry experience extends over 17 years and has worked in African Markets for over eight years. In the past, she has worked for and collaborated…

GUGULETHU MAKHUBO

Gugulethu Makhubo is a pan-African strategic marketing, communications, and stakeholder engagement specialist. Her industry experience extends over 17 years and has worked in African Markets for over eight years. In the past, she has worked for and collaborated with SOS Children’s Villages (Eastern and Southern Africa region), The Palladium Group, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Institute for Economic Justice, City of Tshwane (South Africa’s administrative capital) and the Department of Social Development. Her academic background is in marketing communications and business management.

Bobby Peek

Bobby Peek

Bobby Peek is Director of the groundWork Trust: Friends of the Earth, South Africa. He grew up on the fenceline of south Durban’s Engen oil refinery, co-founded the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, was national campaign coordinator for the Environmental…

Bobby Peek

Bobby Peek is Director of the groundWork Trust: Friends of the Earth, South Africa. He grew up on the fenceline of south Durban’s Engen oil refinery, co–founded the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, was national campaigns coordinator for the Environmental Justice Networking Forum, and in 1998 received the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa. He was on South Africa’s first National Environmental Advisory Committee to the South African Minister of Environment. From 2008 to 2012 he was on the international executive committee of Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest federation of grassroots organisations fighting for environmental and social justice. He serves on the International Board for the Global Greengrants Fund. He advises on various national and international environmental justice strategies. He has received an honorary PhD from the Durban University of Technology. In December 2020 he was appointed by South Africa’s President to serve on the Presidential Climate Commission.

Eric Mokuoa

Eric Mokuoa

Eric Mokuoa is a human rights and social activist who has been part of campaigns against injustice faced by communities at the hands of big corporations. Over the years, he has traveled extensively gaining huge insights and experience in working with many community-based…

Eric Mokuoa

Eric Mokuoa is a human rights and social activist who has been part of campaigns against injustice faced by communities at the hands of big corporations. Over the years, he has travelled extensively gaining huge insights and experience in working with many community-based organisations in Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga, and the Free State. He has worked with both local and international networks and organisations. On the continent, Eric has served on the steering committee of the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA). He has spent much of his time as a community researcher, campaigner and activist, providing support to grassroots organisations. He currently works for Bench Marks Foundation as a program officer. Eric holds four academic qualifications from the University of Johannesburg: BA in Politics; BA Honours in Politics and International Relations; PostGrad Diploma in Social Research; and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

lisa chamberlain

lisa chamberlain

Executive Director

Lisa Chamberlain is an activist, attorney and academic with more than 12 years of experience working in the social justice sector in South Africa. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice Fund, she was Deputy and Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies…

Lisa Chamberlain

Executive Director

Lisa Chamberlain is an activist, attorney and academic with more than 12 years of experience working in the social justice sector in South Africa. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice Fund, she was Deputy and Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, a public interest law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). She is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Wits Law School and a Research Associate at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. She has worked in private practice as an attorney and clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She has a BA LLB (Wits) and an LLM (University of Michigan). Lisa is passionate about environmental justice, and how it intersects with gender equality. She has particular experience working with communities affected by mining in South Africa. Lisa is interested in supporting activism which enhances well-being and is currently researching resilience-building amongst human rights defenders in South Africa.

Phindile Khulu

Phindile Khulu

Phindile Khulu has contributed her finance expertise to the social justice sector in South Africa for seven years. She is passionate about community wellbeing. As a result, she is a mentor to many students. She also provides support to the South African Journal on Human Rights…

Phindile Khulu

Phindile Khulu has contributed her finance expertise to the social justice sector in South Africa for seven years. She is passionate about community wellbeing. As a result, she is a mentor to many students. She also provides support to the South African Journal on Human Rights. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Accounting) (Monash University), a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialised Accountancy (Wits), a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, and a Master of Business Leadership (both from UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership). Phindi is a project accountant at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Wits Law School. She also sits on the board of Lawyers Against Abuse.

Grants Committee

EJF is a fund by activists, for activists. We adopt a participatory grant-making model which means that decisions on who gets support are made by a group of activists from the environmental justice sector who serve on EJF’s Grants Committee.

Bulelwa Klaasen

Bulelwa Klaasen

Chairperson of the Grants Committee

Bulelwa Klaasen is a youth activist who has worked on climate change and just transition with a particular focus on anti-nuclear work in Gqeberha, South Africa…

Bulelwa Klaasen

Chairperson of the Grants Committee

Bulelwa Klaasen is a youth activist who has worked on climate change and just transition with a particular focus on anti-nuclear work in Gqeberha, South Africa. She is a founder of the Siyanqoba Feeding Scheme which has supported many hungry and child-headed families. Bulelwa serves on the Eastern Cape Environmental Forum and is part of a group of activists from Earthlife Africa providing advice to the Presidential Climate Commission. She serves on the Water Crisis Committee that is spearheading accountability from the government on the water issues in Nelson Mandela Bay and is a member of a movement called #the!shIsReal that deals with the sewerage that runs through townships. Bulelwa is passionate about bringing a change to her community and continuously works to ensure that the state respects its people by addressing their basic and environmental needs.

Taryn Pereira

Taryn Pereira

Deputy Chairperson of the Grants Committee

Taryn Pereira is an activist researcher, based at the Environmental Learning Research Centre, at the university currently known as Rhodes…

Taryn Pereira

Deputy Chairperson of the Grants Committee

Taryn Pereira is an activist researcher, based at the Environmental Learning Research Centre, at the university currently known as Rhodes. She coordinates the Coastal Justice Network, a knowledge action network of small-scale fishers and other community-based ocean defenders, researchers, and civil society organisations, working collectively to bring about environmental justice in the coastal context.

Lizeka Ntsikeni

Lizeka Ntsikeni

Lizeka Ntsikeni is a youth environmental activist from Bizana in the Eastern Cape which falls under Amadiba Administrative Area, Eastern Pondoland….

Lizeka Ntsikeni

Youth environmental activist

Lizeka Ntsikeni is a youth environmental activist from Bizana in the Eastern Cape which falls under Amadiba Administrative Area, Eastern Pondoland. She is the founder of a growing NPO called Imbo of Mpondoland, which focuses on women's rights, protecting biodiversity, climate change, agroecology, and the protection of medicinal and indigenous plants. Lizeka has worked as a research assistant with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and is a graduate of the Rights and Remedies Course run by the Centre for Environmental Rights. Lizeka loves her community and its environment and believes that we need to treat the environment well so that it can also treat us well.

Samson Mokoena

Samson Mokoena

Samson Mokoena was born in the Free State Province and grew up in Evaton Township in the Vaal Triangle. He matriculated at E.D Mashabane Secondary School…

Samson Mokoena

Samson Mokoena was born in the Free State Province and grew up in Evaton Township in the Vaal Triangle. He matriculated at E.D Mashabane Secondary School. Samson become an environmental justice activist in 1999 when he was a founding member of the Steel Valley Crisis Committee. He was later a founding member of the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) in 2004 and continues to serve as Coordinator of VEJA.

lisa chamberlain

lisa chamberlain

Executive Director

Lisa Chamberlain is an activist, attorney and academic with more than 12 years of experience working in the social justice sector in South Africa. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice Fund, she was Deputy and Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies…

Lisa Chamberlain

Executive Director

Lisa Chamberlain is an activist, attorney and academic with more than 12 years of experience working in the social justice sector in South Africa. Prior to joining the Environmental Justice Fund, she was Deputy and Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, a public interest law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). She is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Wits Law School and a Research Associate at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies. She has worked in private practice as an attorney and clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She has a BA LLB (Wits) and an LLM (University of Michigan). Lisa is passionate about environmental justice, and how it intersects with gender equality. She has particular experience working with communities affected by mining in South Africa. Lisa is interested in supporting activism which enhances well-being and is currently researching resilience-building amongst human rights defenders in South Africa.

AMANDA RINQUEST

AMANDA RINQUEST

Amanda Rinquest is the National Education and Training Manager at Black Sash, where she works on rights-based education, training community-based paralegals, and various aspects of social security in South Africa including the campaign…

 

AMANDA RINQUEST

Amanda Rinquest is the National Education and Training Manager at Black Sash, where she works on rights-based education, training community-based paralegals, and various aspects of social security in South Africa including the campaign for Basic Income Support. During her time at university, she was involved in various organisations involved with the work of racial inequality, including volunteering for the student chapter of the Treatment Action Campaign, which fought for anti-retrovirals for people living with HIV. She completed her Bachelor of Social Science in 2009 and LLB in 2011 at the University of Cape Town. After completing her articles at the Equal Education Law Centre, she was admitted as an attorney of the Western Cape High Court in February 2017. She has since completed her LLM in Environmental Law.

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