SAWLA Limpopo gala dinner celebrates women

February 6th, 2019
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Back row from left: South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA) National General Secretary, Podu Mamabolo; SAWLA Limpopo branch Chairperson, Mpho Kgabi; SAWLA Mpumalanga branch Chairperson, Nomaswazi Shabangu; SAWLA member, Petunia Thulare; and SAWLA National Treasurer, Nomahlubi Kwinana.
Front row from left: Former SAWLA Limpopo branch chairperson, Tsakani Maluleke-Sihlangu; SAWLA member, Tshepi Ramphaka; SAWLA National Deputy General Secretary, Zodwa Maluleke; and SAWLA Limpopo branch General Secretary, Thandi Makweya.

By Mpho Kgabi

The South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA) Limpopo held its inaugural SAWLA Limpopo Annual Gala Dinner in December 2018, spearheaded by its Chairperson and Legal Aid South Africa Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provincial Executive, Mpho Kgabi.

Former South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA) Limpopo branch chairperson, Tsakani Maluleke-Sihlangu with Deputy Judge President Fikile Mokgohloa and Member of Parliament, Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament, and a member of the SAWLA Limpopo branch, Kgoshigadi Moremadi Refiloe Mothapo.

The event was held in Polokwane, under the theme: ‘Are We Winning as Women?’ This question was posed to the senior legal professionals who are responsible for mentoring and equipping upcoming female legal practitioners who are new to the profession.

Ms Kgabi spoke about the purpose of the day and emphasised that the event was the brainchild of the SAWLA Mpumalanga branch Chairperson, Nomaswazi Shabangu-Mndawe who also attended the occasion to support SAWLA Limpopo. Ms Kgabi further explained that the event sought to equip newly admitted female legal practitioners with the important regulations and rules to be followed in opening a law firm.

Informative presentations were made by the Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund (NPC) Claims Executive, Joseph Kunene; the Attorneys Development Fund’s Chairperson Nomahlubi Khwinana; Legal Practice Council member Lutendo Sigogo; and Black Lawyers Association member John Mohoto. All organisations emphasised how they can assist newly admitted practitioners in opening legal firms.

Though SAWLA mostly focuses on empowering female legal practitioners within the legal industry, the SAWLA mandate also aims to empower women to play a bigger role within society. An opportunity was also taken to provide feedback on work done by SAWLA Limpopo during 2018 and to allow senior legal practitioners  to give much needed guidance to junior female legal practitioners.

Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament, and a member of the South African Women Lawyers Association Limpopo branch, Kgoshigadi Moremadi Refiloe Mothapo.

SAWLA Limpopo further aims to address challenges faced by children and women in Limpopo, and have ongoing projects in the province. These take the form of public lectures; community outreach projects; mentoring of University Student Chapters; mentoring of girls; donations of sanitary pads, and donations of school shoes to both girls and boys. In 2019, SAWLA Limpopo aims to expand its projects by tackling teenage pregnancy issues in Limpopo schools, especially in the Vhembe area.

A motivational speech was also delivered by Member of Parliament, Chairperson of the Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament, and a member of the SAWLA Limpopo Branch, Kgoshigadi Moremadi Refiloe Mothapo. She motivated women in the legal profession, especially as she is a senior legal practitioner. Ms Mothapo gave a stimulating speech regarding passion, persistence, honesty and integrity, encouraging the young legal practitioners to be honest in all their dealings and emphasising the importance of building their integrity. A key phrase she left attendees with is: ‘Do the right thing, even if no one can see you’.

Deputy Judge President Fikile Mokgohloa, before she gave the key note address.

In closing off the Chairperson’s Gala Dinner, the keynote address was delivered by Deputy Judge President of the Limpopo Division, Fikile Mokgohloa, who has also been acting as a Supreme Court of Appeal Judge and is a mentor for SAWLA Limpopo leadership. In delivering her moving speech, she posed the very same question asked in the theme.

The event was a success, and all women present were encouraged to seek guidance from their seniors, and that together they can make the legal profession great.

Mpho Kgabi, SAWLA-Limpopo Provincial Chairperson    

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