Human rights lawyer Priscilla Jana has died

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Priscilla Jana, speaking at a conference at the Landsdowne Road Hotel in Belfast on 10 December 2007.
Priscilla Jana, speaking at a conference at the Landsdowne Road Hotel in Belfast on 10 December 2007.
Paul Faith - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
  • Human rights lawyer Priscilla Jana, described as one of SA's "most distinguished daughters who served her nation with distinction", has died.
  • Her clients included former president Nelson Mandela and freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu.
  • Jana served as an MP from 1994 to 1999.

Celebrated human rights lawyer Priscilla Jana has died.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement on Saturday night: "The passing of Priscilla Jana has robbed the liberation movement and the people of South Africa of one of its most distinguished daughters who served her nation with distinction. From an early age, Priscilla Jana developed an awareness of the brutality and injustice of apartheid."

Jana served as an MP from 1994 to 1999, was South African ambassador to the Netherlands and Ireland, and served as the deputy chairperson of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). She was also one of former president Nelson Mandela's attorneys while he was imprisoned on Robben Island.

She also represented Solomon Mahlangu and played a role in creating international awareness about Mahlangu's execution.

"Her clients included some of the key political figures as well as the defenceless and downtrodden. Her determination to fight the vicious and evil system of apartheid saw her joining the underground networks of the ANC," Mabe said.

The SAHRC said in a statement on Saturday: "South Africa has lost a giant, who sacrificed herself selflessly for us all to enjoy the fruit of the constitutional democracy that we enjoy today... She continued to give of herself, well up until the age of 76, still labouring tirelessly to substantively turn South Africa into a country where all people who live in it are equal, enjoy their freedom and innate human dignity.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1277 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 6416 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 4450 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 431 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.