ADF celebrating women in Women’s Month

July 22nd, 2016

By Mackenzie Mukansi

Dandala Attorneys

Digby Vickers from AJS and attorney, Ivy Dandala.

Digby Vickers from AJS and attorney, Ivy Dandala.

In 2014, the then Board of Directors of the Attorneys’ Development Fund (ADF) took a decision to showcase one of its most senior beneficiaries in De Rebus, Ivy Dandala, an attorney based in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape (‘First ADF handover to attorneys’ 2013 (Jan/Feb) DR 9).

The decision was due to the fact that she had been an ADF beneficiary, who paid the bulk of her loan back, even before she was due to repay the same.

The Board decision was taken with the view that the rest of the loan will be repaid, however, shortly thereafter, Ms Dandala’s economic viability and circumstances changed due to a car crash that led to her inability to generate desired fees due to her injuries.

Her resilience and integrity though and through constant communication with the ADF office as to her circumstances, gave rise to an interest to assist her further with the remainder of her loan.

In November 2015 at the ADF annual general meeting (AGM), one of the ADF’s partners, AJS  grabbed the opportunity to assist Ms Dandala with the balance of her loan, also unlocking the 2014 approved project that would see worthy ADF beneficiaries introduced to their colleagues through De Rebus.

The ADF looks forward to the relationship with De Rebus. It will allow the ADF to communicate with members of the profession that require our services.

With a series of articles about legal practitioners who benefit from the ADF value proposition, the ADF will also publish information regarding products, particularly on the grantable portion of the ADF non-interest bearing loan.

Towsey and Strauss

Another firm that continues to inspire the ADF is Towsey and Strauss, formerly Towsey and Associates, based outside Hermanus in Cape Town.

From left: Attorneys, Carole Strauss and Karen Towsey with ADF manager Mackenzie Mukansi. Towsey & Strauss is the second firm to pay off their loan with the ADF.

From left: Attorneys, Carole Strauss and Karen Towsey with ADF manager Mackenzie Mukansi. Towsey & Strauss is the second firm to pay off their loan with the ADF.

In 2003 Carole Strauss took up employment with the firm of De Klerk Maclennan-Smith Inc as a secretary and met Karen Towsey some years later when she joined the firm as a candidate attorney. By 2003 Ms Strauss had a total of 28 years of legal secretarial experience and was, therefore, able to offer assistance to candidate attorneys at the firm who had no practical experience. Ms Strauss’ friendship with Ms Towsey commenced at that time and continued after she had left the firm and commenced practising as the sole proprietor of K Towsey & Associates.

In 2008, Ms Strauss requested her employer to article her and she registered with Unisa. As Ms Strauss had a prior degree, the duration of her articles was for three years. ‘During the course of my studies, Karen and I spoke of forming a partnership in the future and in October 2012, having completed my articles but not my LLB, I took up employment with Karen and with her encouragement and willingness to allow me the time needed away from work to enable me to complete my degree, attend part-time board lectures and write my board exams, I was admitted as an attorney on 1 August 2014. Our partnership commenced on 1 September 2014,’ Ms Strauss said.

During the ADF’s visit to the firm, it was a humbling experience to see how much can be achieved by women, particularly when in collaboration with each other in the spirit of empowering one another.

As these firms continue to grow, the ADF will without a doubt be behind each and every one of them as we strive to be a value adding partner to our beneficiaries in a continuous improvement spirit.

We challenge all other practitioners to embrace the spirit in which this month was dubbed Women’s Month by invoking the nurturing spirit of women in all that we do.

Mackenzie Mukansi, Attorneys Development Fund Manager,

 This article was first published in De Rebus in 2016 (Aug) DR 10.


De Rebus