Piers Pigou

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Piers Pigou has been the director of the South African History Archive since January 2006.

"Piers Pigou was born in the UK and grew up in the Republic of Zambia. He studied in the UK at the Portsmouth Polytechnic between 1985 and 1989, where he completed his B.A. Honours degree in Politics. In 1991 he completed his M.A. in Southern African Studies at the University of York.

"Piers came to South Africa in July 1992 as a volunteer with Quaker Peace & Service to work at the Black Sash advice office in Johannesburg, before joining Peace Action in 1993, a violence monitoring organization, as a case worker. He moved on to work for the Independent Board of Inquiry (IBI), where he monitored and conducted research into political violence on the Reef. In May 1994 he initiated and participated in a massive investigation into torture allegations against the South African Police in the Vaal Triangle and Johannesburg.

"In October 1995 he joined a Legal Aid clinic in the Vaal, where he ran a human rights legal aid project, financed by the Royal Dutch Embassy. In April 1996, Piers was approached to become an investigator in the Johannesburg office of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he worked on a number of cases dealing with a range of gross human rights violations.

"In 1998, Piers joined the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE), an applied research NGO based in Johannesburg. Whilst at CASE he worked on a number of projects, including an assessment of the general population's human rights knowledge on behalf of the European Union Foundation for Human Rights, research into refugee rights for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and several projects assessing public participation and research capacities in South Africa's provincial legislatures. He was also part of a team working with the South African Human Rights Commission to monitor the implementation of socio-economic rights.

"During 2000, Piers also began to work on a part-time basis for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), where he was responsible for the co-ordination of their Violence & Transition Project (VTP). He joined CSVR on a full-time basis in November 2001, where, in addition to managing the VTP he worked in a number of other CSVR programme areas, including the Criminal Justice Policy and Transition & Reconciliation Units.

"Between January 2003 and December 2004, Piers worked on several projects in South Africa, Zimbabwe and East Timor. In East Timor he worked for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation as an international advisor to the Commission's Truth Seeking Division. He subsequently completed a detailed assessment of the Commission's unique Community Reconciliation Process. In Southern Africa, Piers conducted a comprehensive review of Human Rights Defender initiatives in the sub continent for the Netherlands Institute of Southern Africa. He also spent six months conducting a review of Zimbabwean human rights initiatives and transitional justice options.

"During 2005, Piers has been working at the Zimbabwe Torture Victims Project, which he was instrumental in establishing. The Project provides medical, psychosocial, humanitarian and legal support to primary victims of organized violence and torture from Zimbabwe." [1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. SAHA: Appointment of new Director - Piers Pigou, South African History Archive, accessed April 29, 2008.