Conference speakers

Charmaine Morris

Charmaine obtained her Senior Paralegal Diploma in 2004 and is currently completing her LLB at UNISA. She is employed at the Legal Advice & Training Project at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women & Children as the Paralegal Advisor.

She manages the Legal Advice and Training Project, provides legal assistance to Centre and shelter clients. In addition, she engages in legal advocacy & research and participates in the development and presentation of information and training workshops on various aspects of the law.


Collet Ngwane

Collet Ngwane is a researcher for the Gender Based Violence Programme. She joined CSVR as a research intern in 1999 whilst studying toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at Wits University. Collet has conducted gender-based violence research on various issues; including a study monitoring the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and a study on the nature and extent of Intimate Femicide in Gauteng Province. She has also conducted training workshops for men and women on domestic violence, sexual violence and violence against women with disabilities, as well as on the intersection between violence against women and HIV/AIDS.

In 2003 Collet left the organisation to work as a consultant for various public interest organisations including the Freedom of Expression Institute, Social Surveys and Community Agency for Social Change. She rejoined the CSVR in 2006 to work on a project tracking rape survivor’s cases through the criminal justice system to identify where attrition occurs.

Currently, she is continuing her studies with the University of South Africa and aims to qualify as a Public Health Psychologist.


Fatima Ismail

Fatima obtained her Degree and Honours in Psychology in 2005 and is presently employed at Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women & Children as a Psychological Counsellor. Her connection at SBC started in 2005 when she started her internship. She has a passion for working with womens’ issues and sees to the physical and emotional well-being of survivors of domestic violence. She fulfils this through empowering shelter residents through conducting individual sessions, support groups and psycho-educational workshops enabling clients to reach a state of independence via a holistic approach.

Since October 2008, she has been promoted as Co-ordinator and thus manages the Prevention & Awareness Programme. Her core work will take place in surrounding schools by providing community outreach and awareness around Domestic Violence to learners, educators and the corporate sector.


Fiona Nicholson

South Africa's VEP recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, although many argued that they have little to celebrate. Certainly, in terms of implementing the policy aimed at supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, our achievements have been nominal. Yes, the DV Act has been promulgated, and we finally have a Victim’s Charter, but to date there has been an absence of the political will necessary to ensure that these instruments are appropriately resourced and monitored. The DV Act has been similarly constrained – minimal implementation, minimal – and largely ineffective - monitoring.

One of the primary goals of Victim Empowerment is to reduce secondary traumatisation, and it is even acknowledged that much of that secondary traumatisation is caused by inadequate or inappropriate responses from the police, health, and social workers. Ironically, however, the people responsible for monitoring and evaluating those services are the providers themselves.

The traditional role of civil society, i.e. that of providing oversight and ensuring that victim's rights are realised, is generally met with outrage from these agencies, which has led to TVEP being regarded, at least in Limpopo Province, as being "Public (Service) Enemy No.1". Frequently our "right" to challenge poor service delivery is itself challenged, and we are accused of going beyond our mandate by trying to address such issues. The need for civilian oversight is not just being overlooked, it is being denied!

Currently, VEP's role is interpreted as being confined to the provision of lay counselling and referral services for victims of crime. Ironically, volunteers used for this purpose are not even trained on victim’s rights, let alone on what to do if they are violated by state agencies. Furthermore, the current structure of the VEP requires volunteers to report to committees led, and thus controlled, by representatives of those same agencies.

Through this address, TVEP will suggest that the restructuring and realigning of VEP, and the retraining of VEP volunteers as Victim Advocates, is imperative if we are to ensure that Victims Rights are realised in a sustainable and practical manner.


Heléne Combrinck

Heléne Combrinck is a senior researcher at the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape, and coordinates the Centre’s Gender Project. The Gender Project does research, education and advocacy in the field of gender-based violence, and its current work includes a focus on sexual assault law, access to housing for women experiencing domestic violence, firearm-related domestic violence, the intersections between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS and the rights of women with disabilities. During 1997-1998 Heléne was a member of the South African Law Reform Commission’s subcommittee responsible for drafting the Domestic Violence Act. She has published extensively on gender equality and women’s rights.


Jeffrey Monakisi

Jeffrey Monakisi has worked as a lead facilitator for a life skills training organization, Youth Empowerment Network for 3 years. He was also involved in some work with treatment Action Campaign, Love life and Ipelegeng youth leadership.  His initial work involved volunteering his social work services for Tshwaranang Youth Organization in 2001.

In 2007 he was one of the representatives from EngenderHealth that attended the 2007 Africom conference in Ethiopia. Jeffrey Monakisi currently works for EngenderHealth South Africa, Men as Partners program as Program assistant.


Linda Fugard

Linda Fugard got involved at Sisters Inc a shelter for abused woman and children and women who are pregnant and considering placing baby for adoption in 1994 starting as a volunteer, then becoming a counsellor, then assistant to the manager and in 2000 she became the manager.

She is also the chairperson of Western Cape Network on Violence against Women Managers Shelter Focus Group and this year was voted in as an Executive Representative of the National Shelter Movement of South Africa.

Linda is passionate about women's issues and running a shelter with excellence. She has written and published a manual entitled "The A- Z of Opening and Running a Shelter" and has just overseen the start of an exporting jewellery business at her shelter.


Lorenzo Wakefield

Lorenzo Wakefield completed his LL.B degree at the University of the Western Cape. He started working at the Community Law Centre during 2006 as a research assistant on the Gender Project. His areas of research focusses, inter alia, on gender-based violence (more specifically,domestic violence and sexual violence against women), international humanitarian law, international criminal law (especially sexual violence perpetrated during armed conflict situations) and linking gender-based violence to the high HIV prevalence rates among women in Southern Africa. He is currently busy completing his LL.M thesis which draws a comparison between sexual violence as genocide and crimes against humanity at the University of the Western Cape.


Malose Langa

Malose Langa is a registered Community-Counseling Psychologist and Lecturer at the School of Community and Human Development, University of Witwatersrand, where he is teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students. He is also supervising Honours and Masters Psychology Students. He is coordinating internship programme for MA counseling psychology students.

Malose is a renowned scholar and researcher. He has published book chapters and journal articles on violent crime, substance abuse, problems facing former combatants and masculinity. His recent journal articles have been published in the South African Journal of Psychology, Psychology in Society and British Journal of Substance abuse. Malose is currently writing two books on child development in South Africa and identity commissioned by S& S publishing and Pearson Publishing respectively.

Academically, Malose holds BA degree and Honours degree from the University of Limpopo (popularly known as Turf). He has completed his Masters degree in Psychology at the University of Witwatersrand. Currently, Malose is completing his PhD in Psychology at Wits University and his thesis is entitled: Becoming a Man, Exploring multiple voices of masculinity amongst adolescent boys in Alexandra Township, South Africa.


Marieta de Vos

Marieta lives in Cape Town, South Africa and is the Executive Director of Mosaic. She has been with the organisation for 8 years and is committed to the fight against gender-based violence in South Africa. She studied demography at tertiary level and started her career in the Government in 1983 where she gained experience in the Departments of Education, Health and Social Development. She was particularly involved with policy development, training of development workers, gender issues, and funding of development projects. She joined the NGO sector in 1997 and has also managed a job skills training centre in Stellenbosch.

She now manages a staff of over 50 people and 4 main programmes focused on services for abused people, mainly women and female youth. Marieta serves on various national and local forums and working groups addressing women’s issues. She is married and has a daughter of 13 years.


Padayachee Venessa

Ms Venessa Padayachee is currently employed by the Head office of NICRO in South Africa, as the Manager: Research and Programme Design. She has been with NICRO for over 13 years. Her academic background includes a BA(Social work) Honors Degree through (University of Durban-Westville, now UKZN); National Higher Diploma in Human Resources Management (UNISA); and is currently completing a Masters in Social Science in Criminology (UCT).

Her areas of specialization are victim support, intimate partner violence, working with perpetrators of intimate partner violence, restorative justice, voluntarism and offender rehabilitation and reintegration programmes and strategies. She has presented extensively on these topics at both national and international conferences, and some of her work is published in national and international journals and books.

For the past 10 years Ms Padayachee has been guiding the organization around its work with perpetrators and victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). She initially lead the organization to pursue developing programmes for perpetrators of intimate partner violence in 2000. Her extensive knowledge and expertise around IPV and working with perpetrators of IPV is based on her direct service delivery experience, in programme design, training of NICRO staff, and having visited projects in many parts of the world. She is well networked around this programme internationally, is familiar with contemporary research and practice around work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence, and has presented many papers, run workshops and seminars on this programme to a range of organizations and forums. Ms Padayachee is currently finalising a review and subsequent Toolkit of resources for NICRO staff and clients for ‘NICRO’s Intimate Partner Violence programme'.

She believes that people who are affected by crime need ‘safe spaces’ where they can be provided with opportunities to heal, to reflect on the impact of crime and how it has affected their lives, to identify the root causes of crime, take responsibility for perpetration of crimes, and make full use of opportunities to change offending behaviour and find restorative solutions to repair the harm.


Sean T Olivier

Sean Olivier is a qualified Social Worker working for the Family and Marriage Society of South Africa (FAMSA), Western Cape Office. Sean has been employed at FAMSA since 2007 and is currently completing a Masters degree in Social Policy and Management at the Department of Social Development, University of Cape Town. Currently Sean is the Project Manager for the Domestic Violence Prevention Project at FAMSA. The project entails counselling both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, raising awareness in our wider community and training. Presently Sean is co-facilitator in FAMSA’s Men Stopping Violence Group (MSVG). The MSVG is a perpetrator rehabilitation group aimed at men who are violent and abusive towards their intimate partners. The group has been running since the early 1990s. In the group they help men focus on both stopping their abuse and beginning to address the underlying issues which led to their abusive behaviour. Prior to this current position, Sean worked as a Social Worker for the London Borough of Merton in the United Kingdom from 2004- 2006.