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Meet our Board of Directors

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Yana Van Leeve

Interim Chairperson

Yana commenced her career in constitutional litigation at the renowned Legal Resources Centre, founded by Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson. She later specialised in education law and policy. Following a year of clerking at the Constitutional Court for Justice Edwin Cameron, Yana joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as an associate in 2016 and worked there as a senior associate until 2021. She then moved to Ilifa Labantwana, an organisation
that focuses on early childhood development, as their Policy, Advocacy, and Communications Director. Yana recently completed her LLM from Queens University, Belfast and is now an executive in ENSafrica’s public law practice. Yana is also the
former Chairperson of Equal Education.


Rejane Woodroffe


Réjane is an economist and a CFA charterholder. She completed her undergraduate degree in business science at the University of Cape Town and her master’s degree in development economics at the University of Sussex, UK. She has previously held the positions of Chief Economist and Head of International Portfolio Investments at Metropolitan Asset Managers and Research Analyst at US investment bank Merrill Lynch in the economics and fixed-income sales and trading departments. Réjane was a Trustee and the National Treasurer
for TCOE, the Trust for Community Outreach and Education. She has previously served as a volunteer counselor and a member of the Board of Directors of the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust. She is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) and the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN). Réjane is a founding member of the Bulungula Incubator.

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Megan Bryer


Megan is a Director in the Economic Policy Division of South Africa’s National Treasury. She has worked since 2012 in development economics, in the private sector for Genesis Analytics, in the academic space for the Universities of Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand, and as an independent researcher. Though she had the misfortune of studying economics at the height of the neoliberal project, she has been on a journey of recovery, wading into feminist economics, economic history, and heterodox
economic ideas. Her work for the Equality Collective shifts her away from her focus on urban poverty, inequality, and joblessness to a rural expression of these challenges; re-orientating her from the abstractions of policymaking to the practice of community-centred change. Megan has an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of

Lunga Siyo

Lunga was admitted to the Eastern Cape Society of Advocates, Grahamstown, where he began his career in December 2013. He was admitted to the Johannesburg Society of Advocates in 2015. He holds an LLB and an LLM in Constitutional Law. Lunga is a member of Thulamela Chambers. Lunga is also in-house counsel at the Constitutional Litigation Unit of the Legal Resources Centre. His areas of interest include constitutional law, administrative law, land rights, mining law, customary law, medical negligence, personal injury law, and general litigation. He has appeared in the High Court, Land Claims Court, and the Constitutional Court.

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Tess Peacock

Executive Director and Founder


Tess has a BSocSci in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics as well as an LLB from UCT and an LLM from Harvard University. She completed her articles at Webber Wentzel Attorneys before moving to the Legal Resources Centre for human rights experience.
She also spent a year clerking at the Constitutional Court after being appointed by Justice Skweyiya. Tess has experience working in the education and early childhood development sectors at the grassroots, grant-making, and policy levels (having worked at the Bulungula Incubator, for Tshikululu Social Investments, and as a consultant for Ilifa Labantwana and the Nelson Mandela Foundation). She serves as the Treasurer of Equal Education, is a 2019—2020 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, and a Salzberg Global Fellow.


Hombakazi Mercy Nqandeka

(Advisory Member)

Hombakazi was born in Mqele location in Elliotdale (Xhorha) in the Eastern Cape. She is a driven young woman who takes pride in the betterment of the preservation and promotion of Xhosa culture. She is passionate about rural development and Africa at large. She has authored and published three books: The Dissonant Rainbow (2019), To My Young Self (2020), and Don’t Upset ooMalume: A Guide to Stepping Up Your Xhosa Game (2022). She founded and leads a bead-making business, Homba Crafts. She holds a double master’s degree in agricultural climate change transition from the National University of Ireland, Galway and SupAgro Montpellier, France. She previously worked for Viva con Agua on their water and sanitation projects in local schools in the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area. Hombakazi is now a PhD candidate at Stellenbosch University

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