Dr Aninka Claassens

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Biography

Dr Aninka Claassens has been engaged in land issues in South Africa for 25 years and leads Rural Women's Action Research Project at the Centre for Law and Society. She began her working life as a trade union organiser. During the 1980s she worked closely with rural communities resisting forced removals. From 1990 she was senior researcher in the Land Rights Project at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University. During South Africa's transition Aninka participated in working groups that developed proposals pertaining to legislation dealing with restitution and the protection of labour tenant and farm worker rights. She was a member of the ANC's land desk and was a technical expert to the Constitutional Assembly on land rights and the property clause.

From 1997-1999 she was an Advisor to the Minister of Land Affairs. At the Ministry she was engaged in the process of drafting and negotiating legislation pertaining to land rights on white farms and in developing proposals for tenure reform. From 2000-2003 she undertook various research projects with PLAAS at UWC, and also worked on urban land issues.

From 2003-2009 she worked for the Legal Resources Centre, where she co-ordinated the rural consultation and research process pertaining to a legal challenge to the Communal Land Rights Act and other customary law related cases. In 2009 she moved to the Centre for Law and Society at UCT and founded the Rural Women's Action Research Project (RWAR) there.

 

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