Wandisa Phama is the Centre for Environmental Rights’ Deputy Director. She is an admitted attorney who is passionate about human rights and social justice. She holds an LLB and LLM in Social Justice from the University of Cape Town. She is also an alumni of the Bertha Foundation Justice Fellowship. Prior to joining the CER, Wandisa served at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Wits as an acting co-deputy director, and headed the CALS Business and Human Rights Programme. With over a decade of work holding various roles in the Public Interest Law and Social Justice Sector, her work has included led litigating for the inclusion of community voices formulating the South African Mining Charter, the protection of the right to social security or access to social grants, holding the financial institution accountable for their role in human rights abuses of projects they finance and defending activists from victimisation and intimidation by private actors. While at CALS, Wandisa also taught a number of courses at the Wits Law School, including postgraduate courses in Law and Sustainability, Human Rights and the Market Place, and an undergraduate course in Environmental Law. Wandisa believes in using human rights-based solutions to challenge social inequality and to advance social justice struggles. She is committed to leadership development and the transformation of the legal profession and the broader South African society and creating resilient social justice institutions that value health and well-being in the manner they go about doing their work.
Wandisa currently serves on the Board of Ndifuna’Ukwazi and its litigation committee as well as the Risk Committee of the Centre for Environmental Rights.