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Navi Pillay: Up Close And Personal

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Chapter Summary

The author first met Navi Pillay in 1984 when he was sent to work as her intern in Durban. Navi was working on the front lines of the legal battlefront, and during his stay she was involved in an appeal on behalf of a number of children in the Orange Free State who had been tortured in detention. He learned with wonder of the many cases Navi Pillay had undertaken, uniquely combining legal creativity, political skill, and personal determination. When her husband was detained and held incommunicado she had used his power of attorney to bring an action in his own name asking the courts to order his protection from torture in custody. She went out of her way to educate me on the realities of apartheid, and the internship was a gift of the learning. Navi's contribution to the women's rights movement has been monumental.

Keywords: Navi Pillay; Orange Free State; realities of apartheid; women's rights movement



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