Human Rights lawyer Priscilla Jana dies

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Acclaimed human rights lawyer and Deputy Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Priscilla Jana, has died. She was 76. Jana played a significant role in protest politics against apartheid.

The Commission says on its website that she was especially known for opposing the apartheid 1984 Constitution. She represented Solomon Mahlangu in 1978 and played a pivotal role in highlighting raising international awareness against the execution of Mahlangu by the Apartheid regime. Jana also served as an MP in the first democratic government.

The 70’s Group, an organization which represents activists from that decade, has hailed Jana as a brave, compassionate and caring lawyer, friend and comrade. Jana was a founding member of Group along with Dr Saths Cooper.

“There’s been a great degree of sadness but also fond memories. I think the lawyer that has represented the most political prisoners is Priscilla Jana there can be no other who has done what she has done fearlessly and tirelessly in fact she specialized in political cases she didn’t do anything else that was her life commitment.”

Human Rights Commission Chairperson, Bongani Majola, says South Africa has lost a leading light in the battle against injustice with the passing of acclaimed human rights lawyer and Deputy Chairperson of the commission, Jana. Majola says the Jana will be sorely missed.

Cooper says Jana’s passing has come as a great shock.