As an attorney at the Right2Protest Project, Stanley Malematja is committed to using the law to make a change in the lives of the most marginalised people in South African society. His goal is clear: “The respect, protection, promotion and realisation of human rights. Poor service delivery must be an issue of the past.”
Malematja’s achievements have been accomplished through hard work and no shortage of talent. This was entirely evident during his studies, when he was named as the overall winner at the 6th Annual Child Law Moot Court Competition in 2015, and when he received the prestigious Danie en Chrissie Dörfling Floating Trophy from the University of Johannesburg for the next year’s edition.
Now, as a sessional lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand, and through his work at the Right2Protest Project at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Malematja is committed to changing paradigms surrounding protests, and helping them to become more effective.
This is achieved by providing legal assistance to community groups and protesters across the country, running workshops on how to protest peacefully and legally, filing bail applications for arrested protesters, and referring matters to member civil society organisations when cases go to trial.
“Peaceful protest actions must be seen as an effective method of public participation, key to any democratic state, as opposed to being perceived as an anti-government movement,” Malematja says.
With global events in 2020 illustrating the necessity and effectiveness of peaceful protest movements to enact real change, the work that Malematja and Right2Know do could not be more relevant and important.