Lindsay joined LvA in September 2014. She holds a law degree from Harvard Law School (2014) and a B.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles (2007). Before joining LvA, Lindsay worked with NGOs in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines addressing gender-based violence and other human rights issues. She also has experience working with victims of domestic violence and sexual violence in both the criminal and civil legal systems in the United States and is admitted to the New York Bar.
Senior Staff Attorney
Rethabile joined LvA in July 2015. She holds a BSocSci majoring in law and psychology and a LLB (2012) from the University of Cape Town. Prior to joining LvA, Rethabile served her articles of clerkship with the University of Pretoria’s Law Clinic. Rethabile is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa in Gauteng. Her particular interests lie in constitutional and human rights law.
Therapist & Psychosocial Programme Coordinator
Noluthando joined LvA in March 2017. She is a registered social worker and has over 10 years experience working with victims of gender-based violence in communities. Prior to joining LvA, Noluthando worked with partner organisations Childline Gauteng and Afrika Tikkun in Diepsloot. Her passion is to empower women who are otherwise disempowered and believes that therapy provides a conducive space where a client can be both vulnerable, yet empowered.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Thalitha joined LvA in January 2016. Thalitha is a registered social worker with over seven years experience living and working in Diepsloot. Before joining LvA, she worked with Afrika Tikkun, handling cases involving orphans and vulnerable children, and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), where she provided counseling services and outreach at local clinics. Thalitha’s connections to and knowledge of this community are invaluable.
Community Outreach Officer
Phumzile joined LvA in January 2016. She holds a Bachelors in Development Studies from the University of Limpopo. Prior to joining LvA, Phumzile worked with the Department of Social Development as a field worker and with Kruger National Park, leading sessions to educate visitors around preservation issues. Phumzile enjoys community-based work where she has an opportunity to engage with and to educate individuals.
Beverly Sanelisiwe Gumede joined LvA in August 2017. She holds an LLB from University of KwaZulu Natal, Howard College (2016). Before joining LvA, Beverly was very involved at University, serving as the Community Services Coordinator of Students for Law and Social Justice; a subcommittee member of an anti-human trafficking group; the Treasurer General for Black Lawyers Association student chapter; and Secretary and later, President, of Every Nation Campus. Beverly is passionate about the liberation of women and children from an unjust system.
Bandile Seleme joined LvA in July 2017, first as a drama therapist staff intern, and then as a full-time Drama Therapist in April 2018. He holds a National Diploma in Musical Theatre from Tshwane University of Technology; read undergrad Psychology modules with University of South Africa; Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Masters in Drama Therapy with University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). In 2007, Bandile was selected by Wits to be part of an exchange cultural program at the University of Tuebingen (Germany). Bandile is interested in how drama therapy may be applied from an African perspective to achieve social transformation and justice through critical reflexivity and praxis. Possibly, ubuntu may advocate for a dialogical self to reimagine alternative ways of becoming a protagonist within her/his social context.
Bonita Meyersfeld is LvA’s founder and Board Chairperson. She is currently the Director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of Witwatersrand, and an Associate Professor at the Wits School of Law, where she teaches international criminal law, as well as business and human rights. Prior to her work with CALS, Bonita served as a legal advisor in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, and as a gender consultant to the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in New York. She obtained her LLB from Wits University, and both her masters and doctorate in law from Yale Law School. She is the author of Domestic Violence and International Law and the Editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights.
Sheetal Vallabh is a founding member of LvA and serves as the Board Vice-Chairperson. She is a clinical psychologist, as well as a family and divorce mediator working in private practice. She also consults at the Family Life Centre, where she facilitates mediation training. Sheetal has a special interest in working with families in conflict to ensure that final agreements reached are in the children’s best interest. Prior to her work as a clinical psychologist, Sheetal practiced as an attorney at two of South Africa’s leading law firms.
Michelle Sampson is a founding member of LvA and serves as its Treasurer. She is currently the Chief Finance Officer of Primedia Broadcasting, a division which holds all of Primedia’s radio assets. Michelle also holds a board seat at Kaya FM (Pty) Ltd and is active within the broadcasting industry. Prior to her current role, Michelle worked in finance and auditing for Cinemark, Eskom, and KPMG. She earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree and post-graduate accounting diplomas from the University of Cape Town.
Lilian Chenwi joined LvA’s Board in July 2012. She is currently an Associate Professor of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand. Previously, Lilian served as the head of the Socio-Economic Rights Project of the Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape. In 2012, she was co-recipient of the Vera Chirwa Human Rights Award for her contribution to the development of economic, social and cultural rights. Lilian was also voted amongst the Top 35 Under 35 Young African Leaders in International Affairs by the Young People in International Affairs (YPIA), as well as the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans Who are Doing Extraordinary Things. Lilian currently serves on the boards of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the United States, as well as the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa.
Nataly Woollett is a founding member of LvA. She is a South African therapist and researcher, trained and registered in the fields of psychology, play therapy and art therapy. Her clinical expertise is in trauma and traumatic bereavement; as well as the intersection of mental health, HIV and violence. She has worked with and studied multiple traumatized populations both locally and internationally and has a particular interest in the wellbeing of children, adolescents and their caregivers. Nataly received her doctorate in Clinical Medicine from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and her Masters in psychology and art therapy from Lesley University, USA.
Claire Veitch is a founding board member of LvA. Claire has worked in the Marketing and Advertising Industries for the past 16 years. After working with Ogilvy Johannesburg, Tiger Brands, and South African Breweries, Claire began working as a freelance Marketing and Strategy Consultant in 2011. Claire has a Bachelor of Business Science Degree with Honours in Marketing and a diploma from the IMM. She is passionate about positioning and building strong brands, developing business strategy and leveraging brands for profitable growth.
Robin Pearse joined LvA’s Board in August 2016. Robin is a member of Advocates Group 621 where he conducts a private and public law practice, advising and litigating in fields which include general commercial, corporate, competition, administrative and constitutional law. In May 2016, he was recommended by the Johannesburg Bar Council for the conferment of senior counsel status. Robin and his wife, Tricia, have two children and informally foster a third. On account of their son’s autism, Robin has an interest in remedial and special needs education, serving as chairperson of the national executive committee of Autism South Africa and as member of the board of trustees of Crossroads School.
Vasintha Pather joined LvA’s Board in March 2017. Vasintha is an organisational development, whole systems change, and leadership development specialist. Much of her work involves working with organisational leaders and teams to enable and strengthen diversity & inclusion, collaboration and effective thinking. She works with depth principles which seek to explore the deeper patterns and structures that inform cultural and behavioural experiences. As an interning Drama Therapist, Vasintha specialises in the application of arts-based methodologies in facilitating individual and group change. She has worked at / consulted to several organisations in the Government, NGO and private sectors, and is on the faculty of Henley Business School SA where she facilitates leadership development engagements.