Nozizwe Madlala Routledge
Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge is the founder of Embrace Dignity. Prior to leading Embrace Dignity, she served as the Chairperson of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Minister of Health, and Deputy Minister of Defence. Madlala-Routledge played a key role in the pre-1994 negotiations for a Democratic South Africa and was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drew up South Africa’s new Constitution.
Deputy Executive Director
Jeremy Routledge is a change manager, social activist, gender activist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, Gender Reconciliation facilitator and co-founder of Embrace Dignity. Prior to leading Embrace Dignity together with Madlala-Routledge, he served as Director of the Quaker Peace Centre and Zizwe and Associates.
Advocate Phumla Dwane-Alpman
Executive Director Designate
Advocate Phumla Dwane-Alpman is our Executive Director Designate and is one of the founders of the Cornerstone Anti-Human Trafficking Institute, which is based in East London in the Eastern Cape. She has extensive knowledge and experience of human trafficking issues and has been involved in conducting workshops and presentations on the legal provisions available to combat trafficking in persons for various stakeholders including civil society, faith-based organisations, the South African Human Rights Commission, and government departments like the SAPS and the South African Military College.
She previously served as a Board member of Embrace Dignity and headed up the Board as Chairperson up to December 2019. She has worked in the NGO, private and public sectors, focusing mainly on human rights. She first cut her teeth in the human rights space as a Violence Monitor and Investigator in KwaZulu-Natal in 1994 in the Network of Independence Monitors. She was also a Legal Researcher and Educator in the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) in 1996; an Evidence Analyst and Investigator for both the Amnesty Committee and Human Rights Violations Committee of NADEL; and a Classifier and Chief Classifier at the Films and Publications Board, ensuring that children were protected from harmful material. In addition, she has worked as a Prosecutor for the National Prosecuting Authority in her capacity as Senior State Advocate.
Advocate Dwane-Alpman holds a Bachelor of Social Science Degree majoring in Industrial Sociology and Politics (Africa) from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Law from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College, and a Master of Laws in Constitutional Theory, Law and Litigation. Her research thesis was titled “Mandatory Reporting: The Legal Protection of Child Victims of Trafficking for the Exploitation of Child Labour in South Africa (November 2014) and focused on child trafficking.
Chief Operations Officer
Sqhelo Tom was appointed as the Chief Operations Officer at Embrace Dignity with effect from 1 January 2020 to oversee the organisation’s operations, human resources and finance.
Tom has built up extensive experience in retail, strategic and business management through the numerous roles he has occupied as a manager, senior manager and as a franchise owner within the retail sector. He has a strong track record as a strategic leader.
He started his career in the Office of the Auditor-General and worked as an auditor for five years. During this time, he was mentored by private auditing firm Charteris and Barnes. After serving at Primedia for 10 years as a senior manager, he bought a marketing franchise from the company and later sold it. He then entered the petroleum sector and was trained by Engen as a retailer. He has been an Executive Director of a wholesaling, export, and trading company for more than 10 years.
Tom holds a BCom (Hons) degree from the University of the Western Cape and a number of management certificates and diplomas from among others Rhodes University and Buckinghamshire University College in the United Kingdom.
Operations and Admin Coordinator
Mickey Meji is a radical feminist and abolitionist, who fervently advocates for the recognition of the system of prostitution as one of the worst forms of men’s violence against women and exploitation. To this end, she has worked tirelessly to bring about the abolition of the entire system through the enactment of the Abolitionist Equality Law Model that was first pioneered in Sweden in 1999, and has since been implemented in seven other countries. She believes this is the only legal framework that will end this exploitative system and benefit those who are bought, sold and exploited in it by freeing them from the entrapment of prostitution. She focuses on office administration and fundraising and works hand-in-hand with management on various projects. Meji envisions a free and equal world, a world where no girl or woman are being objectified and commodified by being bought, sold and exploited in the system of prostitution.
Survivor Movement Coordinator
Thuli Mbete is a queer feminist and minister. Her role is to build a strong survivor voice in support of the Abolitionist Equality Law and to provide the necessary support to persons exiting the system of prostitution through referrals to suitable exit service providers.
Social Media and Communications Coordinator
Thabo Tshelane is a queer activist, a fallist and abolitionist. He has a background in movement building, mobilising and organising, queer theory, sexuality and gender politics. His role is to contribute to the development and promotion of radical feminist abolitionist advocacy through social media and to communicate Embrace Dignity’s advocacy goal, which is for parliament to enact an Abolitionist Equality Law, to the public.
Parliamentary Liaison Officer
Ursula Kotelana is passionate about gender equality. She has a background in magazine publishing having worked as a Features Editor for Drum magazine and Managing Editor at House & Leisure magazine. Further to this, she also has a strong background in strategic communications, marketing and public relations. Her role is to assist and support Embrace Dignity from a stakeholder relations perspective and also in implementing the strategy for the enactment of the Abolitionist Equality Law.
Kwanele Provincial Mobilisation Coordinator and Embrace Dignity Representative
Zinhle Goqo is a survivor of prostitution and a human rights, HIV/AIDS and Black Consciousness feminist residing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. With a background in mobilising and organising, Goqo’s role is to build a strong survivor voice in support of the Abolitionist Equality Law and represent Embrace Dignity in KwaZulu-Natal. Her dream is that one day we can live in a society that has equality for all, where women and girls can be seen as equals in all aspects of life.
Nicola Chapenduka is our amazing office cleaner. She has one of the most important roles within our team – maintaining a pristine working environment that contributes to staff efficiency and wellbeing – and has been with Embrace Dignity for two years now.