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2014 Most Influential Africans – Politics and Public Office

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Navi Pillay, Human rights defender – South Africa

As her six years as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights came to a close this August, Navi Pillay, South Africa’s first non-white female judge, did not let up one bit in fearlessly challenging heavyweights on their human rights records. In her last few months in the job, she warned of mass surveillance violating privacy rights, and condemned the UN Security Council’s repeated failures to prevent conflict. The daughter of a Tamil bus driver leaves behind some huge boots to fill.

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