Lesotho Delegation visits UKZN

A delegation of civic education teachers and administrators from Lesotho visited UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies to learn about the Centre’s Democracy for All and Street Law programmes.

The visit, which took place on 19 July, was organised by the Democracy Development Programme. The 30-member Lesotho delegation was addressed by Professor David McQuoid-Mason, Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and Ms Phumzile Xulu, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Street Law Co-ordinator.

McQuoid-Mason gave the delegation a brief history of the South African Street Law Programme that was established by the then University of Natal in 1986, when Professor Mandla Mchunu went out and taught Street Law at five African, Indian and White schools as a pilot project.

Mchunu was the first Street Law Co-ordinator, and later became the CEO of the Independent Electoral Commission for South Africa’s first democratic elections.

After the success of this project the Street Law programme was given funding by the Attorneys Fidelity Fund and eventually spread to 16 universities.

The Lesotho delegation raised a number of questions including;

  1. What are the hallmarks of a good civic educator?
  2. Apart from the Library, what other avenues exist for accessing Street Law publications?
  3. How does Street Law mobilise communities of different ages and backgrounds when they convene community events about any aspect of their programme?
  4. How does Street Law report their activities?
  5. Who are Street Law’s key audiences?
  6. What kind of programmes does Street Law run and how are they implemented?
  7. What kinds of community outreach programmes does Street Law do in KwaZulu-Natal and beyond?
  8. Who are Street Law’s partners?

Xulu and McQuoid-Mason responded to the questions.

Xulu mentioned that Street Law was planning to collaborate with local NGOs, CBOs and forge partnerships with Street-law students and legal professionals to teach communities, particularly those from the previously disadvantaged backgrounds, about the law, human rights, access to justice and democracy. The teaching will be done through interactive workshops and seminars, designed to be based on practical legal issues faced by these communities. The organisations that Street Law is approaching to collaborate with are based in Umlazi, Wentworth, Warwick Junction, Hillcrest, and Pietermaritzburg. Street Law will also be involved in the new Pro Bono Unit established on Mandela Day.

The meeting concluded with an undertaking by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and its Street Law programme to partner with the Democracy Development Programme to assist the Lesotho delegates in developing a civic education programme for Lesotho.

Words by: UKZNDabaOnline

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