Who are we?
SLSJ: Maties is a society on Stellenbosch campus that strives to protect human rights, prevent discrimination and promote social justice and the rule of law. The society has been formed in partnership with students of the various universities of South Africa, with the aim to transform legal education and access to justice.
National Mandate: community service
The SLSJ is founded upon the following principles:
- Advancing the constitutional values of human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms;
- a commitment to non-racialism and non-sexism as well as the supremacy of the Constitution of South Africa and the rule of law;
- the need for a progressive and united student voice – across universities, faculties, and disciplines – to address the challenges of our society.
Our commitment to justice is founded upon an understanding of the material conditions of our society, including the following:
- South Africa has a history of injustice and dispossession, in which law was used as a tool in the hands of the oppressive state.
- Lawyers, often in conjunction with mass movements, used the law to resist injustice and to open spaces for political and social progress.
- There remains great inequality between rich and poor in South Africa. Responding to this must be a priority for all in order to make freedom meaningful for the majority of our people.
- Divisions of race, class, national and ethnic origin, language, sex, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, economic position, culture, age, belief, an opinion must be confronted so that we can unite around a common progressive political vision for our society.
A copy of the SLSJ Constitution can be accessed here: SLSJ Constitution as amended.
What We Do
SLSJ Maties has a number of projects and events running throughout the year, giving it’s members the opportunity to be informed, be inspired, and be the difference in the local community.
SLSJ Maties runs a Community Service Portfolio (previous Student Advice Programme) which was established to promote access to justice to the local community. Members of the program receive training in order to provide free, basic advice and to refer clients to the correct areas if necessary.The programme consists of a family law clinic, workshops at local schools and court visits with students and pupils. Please contact Masi for more information: Details under the contact section
Research and Education is an important component of SLSJ. The aim for this term will be directed towards the implementation and gathering of research with regard to the National Campaign. The National Campaign is co-ordinated largely through the National Committee. We understand the need for substantial research on this issue in order to make it a viable proposition. The National Committee Research and Education Chair thus co-ordinates all the research done by the Research and Education portfolio positions at all the respective branches in pursuant of the goals. Contact Tasnim to be involved: Details under the contact section
Throughout the year SLSJ Maties hosts a number of functions for members and non-members alike, on topical and relevant issues relating to social justice. The goal of these talks and discussions is to instigate dialogue about social justice amongst students, and to get people thinking more about social justice issues in our communities and South Africa as a whole. These functions also serve as a platform for the annual election of a new committee. Please contact Senamile for more information ion: Details under the contact section
Once a year the national SLSJ has a National Seminar, which happens over a weekend in September. The weekend seminar, brings together legal activists, academics and leaders of the bench and civil society to share their ideas, concerns and experiences with some 200 students from across the country. Through facilitating discussion and debate, these seminars have stimulated the growth of young lawyers and leaders in South Africa that are committed to furthering human rights, social justice and social transformation. Chat to Ines about this!