Several of our trustees retired in 2017. We thank them for their invaluable contribution to the Black Sash, and their continued dedication to making human rights real. 


Diana June Oliver
Di Oliver was a member of Black Sash from 1978 till the membership closed in 1995, and has been a trustee of the Black Sash Trust from 1995. She is a board member of several NGOs and an active parishioner of St George's Cathedral where she is a lay minister and the Coordinator of Caritas (the Cathedral's caring ministries). She served as chairperson of the Trust from 2005-2006. 
Jennifer de Tolly
Jenny de Tolly practices architecture part-time and is involved in her family's business. She joined the Black Sash in 1982 and has been a Trustee since 1988. Jenny was at various times Chairperson of the Trust, Chairperson of the Western Cape region of the Black Sash, and National President of the Black Sash. 

Margaret "Dolly" Jennifer Khumalo

Dolly Khumalo is the Manager of Museum Service in the Office of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal. She has been with the Black Sash since 2005. 



   Dr Hilary Southall
Dr Hilary Southall is a Director of the Joint Economic Aids and Poverty Programme (Jeapp). Her areas of interest and expertise are operational research, mathematical statistics theory, development statistics for policy and planning and health services. 

Mary Kleinenberg retired as a trustee of the Black Sash Trust in 2015 after twenty-four years of being an active, dedicated and valued member of the Board. 

An outstanding component of her service was as chair for twenty-two years of the Human Resources Committee (HRC) – a vitally important sub-committee of the Trust.  Mary had been ‘in on the ground’ of the work of this committee when, in 1993, the newly appointed national advice office coordinator convened a weekend workshop to address the need for parity among staff members in the various provinces in which the Black Sash had a presence.  The workshop was the springboard for the writing of the first staff manual and the birth of the HRC’s predecessor, the Standing Remuneration Committee (SRC).    Mary was present at that workshop from which time she guided and led the work of the committee until she retired.

Mary became a member of the Black Sash in 1980.  She worked in the Pietermaritzburg Advice Office on Saturday mornings and later chaired the Natal Midlands Branch of the organization and the Pietermaritzburg Advice Office Committee for some years.  She became a trustee of the Black Sash Trust in 1991.  The range of her experience placed her ideally to co-author the history of the Natal Midlands region of the Black Sash with well-known historian, Dr Christopher Merrett.  Their book, Standing on Street Corners, was published in 2015.

Aside from her leadership role in the Black Sash, Mary is known for being an avid writer of letters to The Witness over many years.  She was part of a small group of women in Rape Crisis that provided a 24 hour telephone service by carrying a pager for a week at a time.  After years of counseling and providing support to rape survivors by telephone, the organization also went out in crisis situations until Rape Crisis was taken over, by consensus, by Lifeline in the late 90s.  Mary also served on the Boards of Justice and Women (JAW) and the Church Land Project in addition to being an active member of the Women’s Coalition.  When the Women's Coalition dissolved in Pietermaritzburg, it became The Midlands Women's Group (MWG) which started operating in 1995.  Its initial focus was on on the local government elections, encouraging women to register and vote; stand for election; monitor gender-awareness of candidates and demand that they commit themselves to the principles laid out in the Women’s Charter. The mission of the MWG was “to facilitate women’s development and ensure that their rights are upheld and their achievements and resources recognized”.  Mary was actively involved in the MWG until it closed in March 2007.

Mary was also a founder participant in the formation of Ditikeni as an ethical investment platform that today benefits a range of NGOs, amongst which is the Black Sash Trust.

From 1989 to 2001, in her remunerated working life, Mary was the first finance officer of AFRA and later, its director. 

In her retirement, Mary is committed to improving the lot of the crafter community by encouraging them to sell their beautiful work to the Tatham Art Gallery shop in Pietermaritzburg where she plays an active role.

Betty Davenport was one of the first cohort of women who formed the Black Sash in the Western Cape, joiningin 1955 a few months after it was founded in Johannesburg. She was then newly married, and teaching at Herschel School, but was able to take part in the early protest demonstrations and picket stands. 

Betty served as a Black Sash Trustee from 1994 to 2005.

Her first child was born in 1956, and her Sash activities were somewhat curtailed for the next few years, until she and her husband Rodney moved to Grahamstown in 1965.  The Black Sash in the Eastern Cape had been through many difficult times, and branches and regions were closing, or becoming very small, as support for them dwindled.  Betty was among those who revived the Albany Region, and they devoted their energy to building up the Advice Office in Grahamstown, which re-opened in 1972.  She remembers with great warmth the older members who had never wavered, and were “great characters”, and the renewed energy with which they confronted the area’s many challenges over the next decades: social welfare issues such as pensions at first, then also the forced removals in terms of the Group Areas Act.

The Grahamstown Advice Office opened on Saturday mornings, and at first was staffed almost entirely by volunteers.  They came to know the area and its problems well, and to be known by the local community.  As tensions grew, the work expanded into the surrounding areas, where people were being subjected to detention without trial and repression of all protest and resistance.  The Black Sash was involved in support for detainees and their families, helping to arrange transport, working with other organisations to provide food and other assistance.  Betty had been teaching at DSG, but during the 1980s she worked as the regional manager for the Black Sash, together with Jonathan Walton who is still with the organisation 30 years later.

In 1990 the Davenports moved back to Cape Town, and once again Betty found in the Black Sash friends and fellow workers who shared her commitment and beliefs.  She dedicated herself to the Advice Office in Mowbray.

After 1994 and the installation of the new democratically elected government, Betty formed part of the Black Sash’s “Legiwatch Group”, established to monitor the changes in legislation taking place and to keep a watching brief over the protection of human rights.

In 1995 the Black Sash Trust was established, and Betty was appointed as a trustee. She has made an important contribution to the organisation for over fifty years.