Mandisa Lusanda Shandu is a DPhil Law Candidate at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on inequality, urban land rights, and property law in South Africa, under the supervision of Professor Sandra Fredman. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science, a Bachelor of Laws, and a Master of Laws in Constitutional and Administrative Law (with Distinction) from the University of Cape Town.
Mandisa is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and has experience litigating in strategic impact cases involving constitutional-, property-, spatial planning- and housing law, administrative justice, access to basic services and movement lawyering. Prior to commencing her DPhil, Mandisa was the Executive Director and a practicing attorney at Ndifuna Ukwazi – an activist organisation and pro bono law centre that focuses on access to land and affordable, dignified housing in Cape Town, South Africa. Mandisa founded Ndifuna Ukwazi’s law centre in 2015 and was the first Black woman to establish a public interest litigation unit in South Africa. She is passionate about leveraging the law as a tool to improve the quality of life of people living in marginalised communities, and has been recognised on a number of platforms for her work to advance social justice – including the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans. She sits on the boards of the Land and Accountability Research Centre, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute and the Social Change Assistance Trust. Mandisa previously worked as an attorney at ENSafrica, Africa's largest law firm.
She is the current Chairperson of Oxford Pro Bono Publico, an Editor at the Oxford Human Rights Hub, the Deputy President of the Oxford Law Black Alumni Network and a Co-Convenor of the Decolonising the Law Discussion Group.