Mogoeng and deputy chief justice hopeful agree that black female lawyers are marginalised
Naledi Shange | 2017-04-03 13:57:30.0
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. File photo.
Image by: VATHISWA RUSELO
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and the judge that President Jacob Zuma has nominated to be his right hand share the same sentiments that black lawyers‚ particularly black female lawyers‚ aren’t being given enough opportunities to progress in the legal sector.
This emerged on Monday while deputy chief justice hopeful‚ Judge Raymond Zondo‚ was being interviewed by the Judicial Services Commission for the Deputy Chief Justice post.
He told the commissioners interviewing him that during his time as Judge President of the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court‚ he had initiated a program to develop black labour lawyers and judges.
“The reality was that a lot of black lawyers did not have much knowledge on labour law‚” said Zondo.
“In order to know labour law‚ you need to be given labour law work. A lot of black labour lawyers were not getting that work. A lot of women were not getting that work‚” he said.
He brought in experienced black female lawyers whom he believed were “sound in law” and tasked them to cases.
Zondo did the same with judges. He approached qualified‚ black female judges of the High Court and requested that they be acting judges in labour law matters in order for them to get the experience they needed.
“At a certain time‚ I was criticized for bringing in people who did not know any labour law. My position was that if we were to wait‚ there would never be any change‚” said Zondo.
He agreed with Mogoeng‚ that black female lawyers were not getting enough lucrative work‚ in comparison to their white counterparts‚ especially in government entities.
“With government and parastatals‚ I don’t know what their excuse is‚” Zondo added.
Mogoeng has long been vocal about transformation in the legal sector. In 2013‚ he said black women were encouraged to study law but once they qualified‚ many abandoned the profession because of a lack of quality work.
– TMG Digital