Are you Stateless?

What is statelessness?

The international legal definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”. In simple terms, this means that a stateless person does not have a nationality of any country. Some people are born stateless, but others become stateless.

Free legal assistance for stateless

Lawyers for Human Rights in collaboration with UNHCR launched its Statelessness Unit in 2011 working on statelessness and access to nationality in South Africa through direct legal assistance, strategic litigation, advocacy, training and most recently, launching the Southern African Nationality Network (SANN) in collaboration with the Right to Nationality in Africa Coalition and UNHCR. 

Women and children are vulnerable groups who are particularly affected by statelessness. LHR prioritises these groups in its work and collaborates with the Global Campaign on Equal Nationality Rights to ensure gender equality in laws in Africa. LHR is also an active member of the UNICEF-UNHCR Coalition on Every Child’s Right to Acquire a Nationality. 

To get in touch with LHR’s Statelessness Unit, email Thandeka Chauke (Unit Manager) or call the Johannesburg LHR office on 011 339 1960. 

The Statelessness Unit provides legal advice in both the Pretoria and Johannesburg law clinics (visit the Legal Assistance section for contact details).

Key statelessness partners:

Northern Cape Provincial Office:Provincial Manager: Chantelle Williams
Mobile Contact: 079 439 5557
Telephonic Contact:  (054) 332 3993
Eastern Cape Provincial Office:

Provincial Manager (Acting):  Loyiso Mpondo
Mobile Contact: 0820556430
Western Cape Provincial Office:Provincial Manager:  Zena Nair
Tel: 021 426 2277
Limpopo Provincial Office:Provincial Manager:  Victor Mavhidula
Mobile Contact: 071 566 5188
Free State Provincial Office:Provincial Manager:  Thabang Kheswa Intake Officer: Ms Alinah Khompeli
Tell: 051 447 1130
Cell: 073 258 8009  (Calls and WhatsApp)
Email: [email protected]
Mpumalanga Provincial Office:Provincial Manager:  Eric Mokonyama
Mobile Contact: 078 670 4360
North West Provincial Office:Provincial Manager:  Osmond Mngomezulu
Telephonic Contact: (014) 592 0694
Mobile Contacts:
Betty Mabusela (Intake Officer) 079 127 2528
Zamathuli Luthuli (Senior Legal Advisor) 067 173 8817
Thabang Mabule (Human Rights Officer) 076 084 9284
Gauteng Provincial Office:

Provincial Manager:  Buang Jones
Telephonic Contact: 082 059 6520 (You can send WhatsApp messages on this number)
E-mail: [email protected]
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Office:Provincial Manager:  Lloyd Lotz
Mobile Contact: 071 446 2333

Ministry of Home AffairsCivil Services Department

Births, Marriages & Death (BMD) – Xolile Ntaba
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: ? 012 402 2264
Mobile: ? 082 893 8313

Travel documents and citizenship – Kgomotso Shilubane
E-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: ? 060 976 7521

Amendments – Marilyn Ndlovu
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: ? 012 402 2263
Mobile: ? 082 894 7450

Smart ID Cards – Steven Nchabeleng
E-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: ? 076 810 8371


To contact UNHCR in South Africa dial our toll-free Refugee Helpline number 0800 100 030.

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