Brigitte Mabandla was born on the 23rd of November 1948. In the mid-1970s, she worked as a youth co-ordinator at the Institute of Race Relations in Durban but left South Africa for Zambia where she obtained her LLB degree. Between 1981 and 1983 she taught English and Law at the Botswana polytechnic and from 1983 to 1986 she taught Commercial Law at the Botswana Institute of Administration and Commerce. From 1986 to 1990 she served as the legal advisor to the African National Congress (ANC) Legal and Constitutional Affairs Department. During this time she specialised in Children’s rights, human rights and constitutional affairs.

After the unbanning of the ANC and other political organisations, she returned to South Africa as part of the ANC’s negotiating team and is currently a member of the party’s Constitutional Commission. She is the co-founder of the National Committee for the Rights of the Child and has travelled worldwide promoting children’s rights. In 1995 she became the Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and in 2003, she was appointed the Minister of Housing.

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