Mel holds a Masters in Human Rights Law (2010) and a LLB (2008) from the University of Cape Town. A human rights specialist with 10 years’ experience, she has undertaken extensive work aimed at promoting the human rights of vulnerable groups, primarily in Southern Africa, but also in East and West Africa.

Prior to joining Just Share in 2018, Mel was Research and Project Officer at the African Policing Oversight Forum, where she trained South African government officials, including magistrates, judges, police officers and civil society organisations on human rights issues; and provided technical assistance to the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Policing at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. During this time, she also drafted the initial set of normative standards which she successfully defended at the Commission as part of a regional Civil Society Coalition initiative. She was frequently featured as a panellist during the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission.

Previous positions held by Mel include: Researcher at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit; Human Rights Officer and Team Leader at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC); and Project Lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). Mel, who has travelled extensively throughout East, West and Southern Africa, is deeply committed to advocating for marginalised groups.