National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Dr Nyameko Barney Pityana
Chair, South African Human Rights Commission

Dr Pityana was elected chairperson at the inaugural meeting of the Commission on 2 October 1995. All Commissioners were officially sworn in by Justice Arthur Chaskalson at the official launch of the Commission on March 21 (Human Rights Day) 1996.

After sixteen years in exile in both England and Geneva, Dr Pityana returned to South Africa in 1992. Whilst in Geneva he served as director of the World Council of Churches' Programme to Combat Racism. Dr Pityana is an ordained Anglican Priest and also an attorney. The University of Cape Town awarded him a PhD in Religious Studies in 1995.

Dr Pityana is the convenor of the Parliamentary and Government Liaison Committee, serves in an ex officio capacity in the SAHRC Trust and represents the Commission both nationally and internationally. He is a trustee in a number of grass-roots development bodies like the Eastern Cape-based Microprojects Trust and the Maths Centre for Professional Teachers in Johannesburg and is on the Board of the Geneva-based International Foundation for Human Rights Policy. He is also a member of the African Commission.

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Plenary Speakers