LSSA elects new co-chairpersons

June 1st, 2013
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By Barbara Whittle

Johannesburg attorney and Black Lawyers Association (BLA) Vice-president Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu and Harrismith attorney David Bekker were elected co-chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) at the LSSA’s annual general meeting in Cape Town in mid-April.

Both Ms Matolo-Dlepu and Mr Bekker have placed the finalisation of the Legal Practice Bill (B20 of 2012) high on their agenda for their term as co-chairpersons, which runs until March 2014. Mr Bekker was one of the co-signatories of the 1996 Memorandum of Understanding – an agreement between the then Association of Law Societies, the statutory provincial law societies, the BLA and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers – setting up the LSSA. The main objective of the LSSA was to bring about new legislation to regulate the legal profession.

‘I would like to finalise this issue, with special emphasis on smaller law firms and access by rural communities to legal practitioners,’ said Mr Bekker.

Besides the focus on the Legal Practice Bill, Ms Matolo-Dlepu said: ‘I plan to encourage women lawyers to participate actively in the affairs of the legal profession and also to encourage the mentorship of young lawyers.’

Mr Bekker added: ‘My secondary objective is to improve and develop ubuntu between the different constituents of the LSSA, so as to serve as an example to all of the role that attorneys play in building a unified nation in a diverse community.’

About Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu

Ms Matolo-Dlepu serves on the council, Management Committee and Gender Committee of the LSSA. In addition, she is a board member of the Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund and is on the Attorneys Fidelity Fund board of control.

She read for her law degrees at the University of Limpopo, is an admitted attorney and conveyancer, and is currently the senior partner at Molefe-Dlepu Inc in Johannesburg.

She served as a council member of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces for a number of years and was chairperson of its Gender and Transformation Committee. Ms Matolo-Dlepu was the national general secretary of the BLA until her election as Vice-president in 2011.

About David Bekker

David Bekker has been involved in law society matters as a councillor since 1989. He serves on the council and Management Committee of the LSSA, as well as on several LSSA specialist committees, including the Deceased Estates, Trusts and Planning Committee; Competition Law Committee and Practice Development Committee. In addition, he chairs the Communications and Financial Intelligence Centre Act Committees.

Mr Bekker obtained his law degree from the University of the Free State and has been a practising attorney and conveyancer since 1977. He is the senior partner of Harrismith firm Cloete & Neveling Inc, a member of the Phatshoane Henney Group of attorneys. He was President of the Law Society of the Free State from 1994 to 1996. Mr Bekker is a member of the appeal board of the Financial Intelligence Centre, a trustee of the Legal Provident Fund and represents the LSSA in the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.

Compiled by Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa, barbara@lssa.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2013 (June) DR 11.