NADEL NEC set to demand amendment of Constitutional Court judges term of office

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) held its first National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting for 2019 on 19 January 2019 at Kempton Park.

The President, Mr. Mvuzo Notyesi set the tone for the meeting with opening engagements on current legal political situation in the country.

The key point of the discussion was how as conscious, activist lawyers how do NADEL lawyers ensure the enjoyment of or at least respect for basic human rights for all South Africans. Lawyers had a key role to play in ensuring access to justice. This requires us to shape the current trajectory of the Legal Practice Council, to ensure that the new system of governance for lawyers ensures a unified system that is responsive to the citizens of our country.

NADEL also reflected upon the current economic crisis in Zimbabwe. The NEC took the view that the South African government must intervene to assist with the economic crisis and to ensure the protection of Human Rights.

The NEC confirmed some of the provincial nominees that would be participating in the Legal Practice Council provincial elections in the nine provinces. NADEL has nominated the following female comrades: Zenobia Wadee, Eunice Masipa, Seehaam Samaai, Emily Simenya, Leona Smit, Jane Perdasai, Yethu Lushaba and Ugeshnee Naicker. Its nominations for male candidates include: Lesley Nkwana, Abdul Osman, Machini Motloung, MM Mokoena, Lloyd Fortuin, Vusi Zoko and Asif Essa. A number of advocates were also nominated including the NADEL Deputy President Advocate Lawrence Manye, Advocate Anishe Coetzee, Advocate Lucky Zwane, Advocate Sandile Lubisi, Advocate Mnqobi and Advocate Mtshabe. A final list of nominees will be formally issued once all provinces have finalised their lists.

NADEL had very serious deliberations over the Attorneys Development Fund (ADF) in a statement released in December last year NADEL reported that the amount of TWENTY-TWO MILLION RANDS (R 22 000 000,00) was missing from the coffers of the ADF. The money should have gone to fund young lawyers who are struggling to open their practices. It was reported that part of that money went to buy the late CEO a house in Saxonworld.

The NEC was extremely dissatisfied and incensed by the decision of the ADF to continue with operations like it is business as usual. The NEC was extremely perturbed that there are several uncoordinated investigations underway, without any substantial findings to date. Therefore NEC resolved that:

a) The Attorneys Development Fund Board members must resign forthwith;
b) The Attorneys Development Fund must be dissolved;
c) The funds held in all ADF investments must be preserved and moved to the LSSA who will administer the funds and continue to dispense funds to struggling attorneys who require funding desperately.

NADEL also announced the date of its National Policy Conference. The theme of the conference is “Poverty, Inequality and Corruption are Signs of a Failed State.” It is to be held on 14-17 March 2019 at Emperors Palace.

The conference will also be engaging in discussions about the term of Constitutional Court judges. The problem we are faced with is that our Constitutional Court Judges serve a term of twelve (12) years as opposed to a term of fifteen (15) years as served in other courts or until the age of sixty five (65) years. NADEL will also be discussing the number of judges that may be short-listed for interviews, the number of short-listed candidates may be too few resulting in positions remaining vacant after judges interviews are concluded. Other topics for discussion include topical issues of land redress and economic inequality that permeates South African society.

BY: The Office of NADEL National Secretariat,
Ugeshnee Naicker ,