Meet our newest team member- Odwa Bentswana

Odwa Bentswana has joined the Wits Justice Project as a legal intern, assisting attorney Egon Oswald in Port Elizabeth with the Bradley McCallum case. Welcome Odwa!

My name is Odwa Bentswana, I was born and bred in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. I am the fourth born of five girls. I am married to a wonderful man and I have two daughters who are my world.  I did my law degree with Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape. I completed my legal practice with Lead School for Legal Practice in Port Elizabeth (NMMU). I am currently working for the Wits Justice Project under the leadership of attorney Egon Oswald.

First impressions last, that was my first thought on my way to the airport when I realised I had missed my flight to Johannesburg. I am the kind of a person who overanalyses things. I thought to myself that this is my first visit and I am late, I hoped my boss would understand. I arrived safely at O R Tambo airport; I was a bit nervous but hoped that everything would work out fine.

When I arrived at the office I was introduced to everyone. I was still nervous but their warm hearts assured me that there is nothing to be nervous about. I attended my first meeting with the Wits Journalism Department staff. They had invited two guest speakers, Jackson Mthembu and Keith Khoza, the ANC’s media spokesmen. I was quite intrigued with the conversation and the concerns that were put on the table. I was surprised that there is actually a platform between the ANC and journalists in this country. I always thought that that platform does not exist at all. My visit to Wits was an eye opener to me as a person who studied law, not journalism, in that I could see how different fields can be merged together and form a system that can work not only for this country but for the generations to come.

The team of the Wits Justice Project have shown me that through team work and hard work nothing is impossible. One can even do what other people think or perceive as impossible. In this case it is being the voice of the silenced and unheard. It has been always my prayer that the poor may have someone to advocate on their behalf since they are always the victims in this country.

I face the challenge that I don’t have journalism background and I get frustrated when I am clueless about certain things. I am the kind of a person who wants to know everything about everything. I get even more frustrated when I can’t be productive at what I do. I always strive to do the best in everything I do.

My motto in life is that one must hurt in order to grow, fail in order to know and lose in order to gain. The best lessons in life are best learnt through pain and hard work.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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