Seehaam Samaai



I was admitted as an attorney in 2002 and bring over 20 years of practical experience to the legal field. I completed my articles at the Legal Resources Centre and currently hold the position of Director at the Women’s Legal Centre, an African Feminist Legal Centre dedicated to advancing the rights of women through strategic litigation, advocacy, and research. Our focus is on developing feminist jurisprudence that recognises and advances women’s rights. Established in 1998, the Women’s Legal Centre remains the only dedicated women’s rights legal centre of its kind in South Africa. Our objectives are shaped by the needs and rights of the women we serve, with strategic litigation playing a central role in our work. In the realm of public interest litigation, we represent individual women, civil society organisations, and undertake litigation in our own name on behalf of vulnerable women in society, achieving numerous progressive outcomes through our interventions.

Previously, I served as the Director of Legal Administration at the Western Cape Regional Office of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD). I provided strategic management, legal advisory, and administrative support services to the Courts. I was also responsible for facilitating the implementation of the outputs of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Service Delivery Agreement in the Courts, coordinating relations and activities between the JCPS departments and stakeholders. Before my tenure at DOJ&CD, I practiced as an attorney and served as the Director of the UWC Legal Aid Clinic. I have been and continue to be involved in various national, provincial, and community structures, providing strategic leadership, legal, programmatic, or organisational support.

I served as the president of the Association of University Legal Aid Institutions (AULAI) for six years and have been renominated to serve on the Aulai trust from 2019. I am a long-serving Board Member and Chairperson of Lawyers for Human Rights, as well as a Trustee of the Rural Legal Trust.
I am the current Western Cape NEC member of NADEL and chairperson of South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA) Western Cape.
I also spearheaded a project called Tipping The Scales – Gender transformation in the legal profession.

I have forged strong strategic partnerships and alliances within the legal sector, building effective relations between government, progressive legal organisations, the organised legal profession, and civil society organisations. I am confident that my experience at the senior management level, my track record of organisational collaboration, fundraising, networking, advocacy skills, and my ability to successfully deliver projects will contribute to the vision, mission, and objectives of any human rights institution.”  

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