Govender and Stemmett elected to head LSSA

May 1st, 2012

Law Society of South Africa AGM 2012

The Law Society of South Africa’s annual general meeting took place from 26 to 27 March at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg. On the agenda were the Legal Practice Bill, court-based mediation, business rescue, corruption and the attorneys’ profession and social media.

By Barbara Whittle

Durban attorney Krish Govender and Polokwane attorney Jan Stemmett were elected as co-chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) at the annual general meeting of the LSSA on 27 March 2012. Both co-chairpersons – who have in the past worked together on LSSA committees – have prioritised the finalisation of the Legal Practice Bill, the challenge of the Competition Commission to the attorneys’ profession, as well as promoting both unity and transformation in the attorneys’ profession on their agenda.

Mr Govender, one of the LSSA’s two representatives on the Judicial Service Commission, is the state attorney for KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. He served on the council of the LSSA in 1998 and on the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society Council in 1999. Mr Govender was a member of the steering committee that founded and launched the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel), together with former Justice Minister, the late Dullah Omar, and former Chief Justice Pius Langa. He has served as a national executive committee member for Nadel for many years, and has been its publicity secretary, general secretary and the recent past vice-president.

Mr Govender has been involved in community, civic, political and educational bodies as an activist, and also served as vice-chairperson of the Council of the University of Durban-Westville for a number of years.

Mr Stemmett – who specialises in the resolution of labour disputes, including mediation, arbitration and Labour Court litigation – is a partner at Polokwane firm Stemmett & Osman Inc. He has been a council member of the LSSA since 1996 and was co-chairperson for a previous term from 2001 to 2002. He is a council member of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces and was President of that law society in 2001 to 2002. Closer to home, he is a council member of the Limpopo Law Council and was its chairperson from 1995 to 2005.

Mr Stemmett is a member of several dispute settlement and arbitration forums and serves on the dispute resolution panels of various bargaining councils accredited by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Both Mr Stemmett and Mr Govender serve on the LSSA Management Committee and Human Resources Committee. Mr Stemmett is a member of the LSSA’s Labour Law Committee and Mr Govender serves on the Ethics Committee, GATS Committee and De Rebus Editorial Committee.

Barbara Whittle,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (May) DR 21.