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Mvuzo Notyesi and Ettienne Barnard

Mvuzo Notyesi (left) and Ettienne Barnard were elected as Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa on 22 March 2018.

About the Co-Chairpersons

Human rights lawyer and activist, Mvuzo Notyesi is the President of the National Association of democratic Lawyers (Nadel). He holds the BProc and LLB degrees from the University of Transkei, was admitted as an attorney in 1999 after completing his articles and attending the LSSA’s School for Legal Practice in East London. He has practised as director at Mvuzo Notyesi Incorporated since 1999 in Mthatha.

Mr Notyesi has been a Council member and a member of the Management Committee of the LSSA for a number of years. He represents the LSSA on the Judicial Service Commission. He has previously been a council member and acting President of the Cape Law Society, and a member of the Board of Legal Aid South Africa. Mr Notyesi has a passion for education and has been a part-time lecturer at the University of Transkei and an instructor at the LSSA’s School for Legal Practice in East London. He is also an examiner for the Attorneys Admission Examination. Mr Notyesi is Chairperson of the Notyesi Foundation, which awards bursaries to disadvantaged students to attend university.

Ettienne Barnard is the Vice President of the Cape Law Society where he performs duties on its Council, Magistrates’ Court and other committees. He holds the BA LLB degrees from Stellenbosch University and was admitted as an attorney and conveyancer in 1993. He is a director of the community-based commercial and litigation firm, Ettienne Barnard Attorneys in Somerset West. The firm also represents clients in human rights issues on a pro bono basis and has successfully defended pro bono clients’ rights to housing in the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal.

He serves the public as a Commissioner of the Small Claims Court and has assisted in the development of free manuals, on-line resources and an app on the Small Claims Court. He serves the profession as a Council and Management Committee member of the LSSA, and as a member of its Small Claims Courts Committee. Mr Barnard also contributed to the Small Claims Court Joint Venture Committee with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and Western Cape universities, and as a member of the Western Cape Advisory Committee to Sheriffs’ Board and Justice Minister regarding the appointment of sheriffs.

In the field of skills development, Mr Barnard is a mentor of young legal practitioners and has participated as a moot court judge in local and international Moot Court Competitions. He is an educator at heart and in addition to presenting practical training, drafts and lectures in court practice, commercial subjects and practice management for the LSSA Legal Education and Development (LEAD) division, he has chaired and held executive or other positions on the governing bodies of local and regional community organisations.