The Wits Justice Project is an award-winning investigative team of journalists, lawyers and researchers based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. They focus on criminal justice and combine advocacy, education, journalism and law to shed light on some of the most pressing issues facing the system, including individual cases of wrongly convicted and awaiting trial prisoners.
Since 2013, the Trust has partnered with Wits Justice Project (WJP) to produce cutting-edge human rights research and journalism. Through multi-lingual community radio shows, WJP is also active in providing legal information and education to a wide demographic, including prison inmates. Through research, WJP has found that many people are imprisoned for no good reason other than that they are too poor to access real justice. Additionally, failings in the system lead to gross human rights abuses. Bringing these issues to the fore, the project’s journalists have produced a consistently excellent standard of journalism, winning Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the year four times in a row.
Supported by the Trust, these journalists and researchers have also been instrumental in challenging miscarriages of justice that continue to permeate the South African legal system, such as in the case of Thembekile Molaudzi, who, following a relentless campaign against his wrongful conviction, was released in 2015 after 11 years in prison.