Female legal practitioners shine at WOZA Awards

August 28th, 2019
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From left: Acting Executive Officer of the Legal Practice Council (LPC), Charity Nzuza; Secretary-General of the National Democratic Lawyers Association and LPC council member, Nolitha Jali; Chairperson of the LPC and panellist of the Women in Law Awards, Kathleen Matlo-Dlepu; with Deputy Chairperson of the LPC, Anthea Platt SC; and the LPC council member, Noxolo Maduba-Silevu at the Women in Law Awards.


By Kgomotso Ramotsho

History was made as female legal practitioners were honoured at the first Women in Law Awards (WOZA). The event took place in Johannesburg on 3 August. Kgomotso Moroka SC – the first black woman to achieve silk status in South Africa (SA) – walked away with the Pinnacle award, the highest award bestowed on the evening. While activist and stalwart Priscilla Jana was awarded with the Directors Lifetime Achievement award for her contribution and role she played in the legal profession. Ms Jana dedicated the award to the people of SA. Other awards of the evening included:

Advocate, Kgomotso Moroka SC won the Pinnacle award, the highest award bestowed on the evening.

The Directors LegalPreneur award

  • Winner: Kai-lie Chen, Director at Kai-Lie Chen Attorneys.

Individual category awards

Alternative dispute resolution lawyer 

  • Winner: Yolanda Jacobs, Cape Bar Association;
    • First runner up: Pertunia Thulare, Managing Director at Maloka Thulare Attorneys in Limpopo; and
    • Second runner up: Nikita Lalla, Chief Executive at LNP Attorneys Inc in Gauteng.

Human rights activist/social justice/pro pono lawyer

  • Winner: Naledi Motsiri, Director in the Pro Bono department at Werksmans Attorneys in Gauteng;
    • First runner up: Natasha Wagiet, Pro Bono Coordinator ENS Africa in the Western Cape; and
    • Second runner up: Harshna Munglee, Director at H Munglee and Associates in KwaZulu-Natal.

Leadership and mentorship lawyers

  • Winner: Tasneem Crawley, Director at Knowles Husain and Lindsay Inc in Gauteng;
    • First runner up: Janine Kim Myburgh, Managing Director at Myburgh Attorneys Inc in the Western Cape; and
    • Second runner up: Tsakani Malueke-Shilangu, Head of Office at Legal Aid South Africa in Limpopo.

Labour law lawyer

  • Winner: Mpho Mabidi, Managing Director at MB Mabidi Attorneys in Limpopo;
    • First runner: Faathima Asmall, Director at Rooth and Wessels in Gauteng; and
    • Second runner: Natasha Moni, Director at Moni Attorneys in Gauteng.

Family law lawyer

  • Winner: Karen Botha, Director at Karen Botha Attorneys in KwaZulu-Natal;
    • First runner up: Nabeela Sheik Omar, Director at Sheik Omar Attorneys Inc in Gauteng; and
    • Second runner up: Tasneem Moosa, Director at Tasneem Moosa Inc in Gauteng.

Winner of the Women in Law Directors Lifetime Achievement Award category, Priscilla Jana, dedicated her award to the people of South Africa.

Mergers and acquisitions lawyer

  • Winner: Angeli Arora, Head of Private Equity and Investment Funds at Dentons in the Western Cape; and
    • Runner up: Samantha Hogben, Partner at Dentons in the Western Cape.

Thought leader/innovation and academia lawyer 

  • Winner: Dee Smythe, Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town;
    • First runner up: Lauren Kohn, Senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town; and
    • Second runner up: Doctor Noleen Leach, Coordinator of the Unit for Applied Law at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Corporate practising lawyer

  • Winner: Tshepo Shabangu, Trade mark and commercial specialist at Spoor and Fisher in Gauteng;
    • First runner up: Angeli Arora, Head of Private Equity and Investment Funds at Dentons in the Western Cape; and
    • Second runner up: Nicolene Schoeman Louw, Managing Director at SchoemanLaw Inc in the Western Cape.

Corporate (non-practising) lawyer

  • Winner: Wahida Parker, Managing Director at Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in the Western Cape.

Technology lawyer

  • Winner: Wendy Rosenberg, Managing Director and Head of Technology at Werksmans Attorneys in Gauteng; and
    • First runner up: Leah Molatseli, Managing Director at Lenoma Legal in the Free State.

Stephanie Brown Award for land rights/property/conveyancing lawyer

  • Winner: Bulelwa Mabasa, Director and Head of Land Reform and Restitution in Gauteng;
    • First runner up: Audrey Gwangwa, Registrar of Deeds Rural Development and Land Reform in Gauteng; and
    • Second runner up: Najmunessa Bawa, Partner at Bawa Abrahams and Associates in the Western Cape.

Back row from left: Elaine Schoeman (Kemp and Associates); Chantal Williams (Kemp and Associates); Samantha Bossenger (Kemp and Associates); Dominique Herbig (Kemp and Associates); Zama Ngcobo (LNP Attorneys); Thandeka Nene (LNP Attorneys) with the Vice President of the Law Society of South Africa, Denise Lenyai and Legal Practice Council member, Noxolo Maduba-Silevu at the Women in Law Awards in Johannesburg.

Future ambassador awards

Students change maker

  • Winner: Abongile Nkamisa, Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape;
    • First runner up: Mihlali Florence Tladi, Chief Executive Officer of Black Lawyers Matter in Gauteng; and
    • Second runner up: Deneska Theron, Varsity College in KwaZulu-Natal.

Candidate attorney top achiever

  • Winner: Sarah Jane Goldman (summa cum laude), Varsity College in KwaZulu-Natal.

Candidate attorney change maker

  • Winner: Jessica Schwenn, Schwenn Inc in KwaZulu-Natal.

Government category award

Dentons Award

  • Winner: Her Majesty, Madipoane Mothapo, Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee, National Parliament, Limpopo.

Director at H Munglee and Associates, Harshna Munglee with the National Treasure of South African Women Lawyer’s Association, Nomahlubi Khwinana at the WOZA awards.

Law firm category awards

Law firm established less than five years (women only)

  • Winner: Carolissen Attorneys Inc in the Western Cape;
    • First runner up: Karen Botha Attorneys in KwaZulu-Natal; and
    • Second runner up: Pam Mdanjelwa Attorneys in the Western Cape.

Kathleen Dlepu Award for five or less women lawyers in a law firm (women only)

  • Winner: Women’s Legal Centre in the Western Cape;
    • First runner up: Tasneem Moosa Inc; and
    • Second runner up: Charmaine Schwenn Inc in KwaZulu-Natal.

Six and more women lawyers at the law firm

  • Winner: SchoemanLaw Inc in the Western Cape;
    • First runner up: Livingston Leandy Inc in KwaZulu-Natal; and
    • Second runner up: Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc in Gauteng.

The WOZA were created by co-founders Rehana Parker and Asha Singhania, with the aim to transform the legal profession and to facilitate gender parity by honouring female legal practitioners who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession.

For more information regarding the WOZA awards, visit www.WOZA.today.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.