KZNLS goes back to work

August 1st, 2014

By Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele

In July, at a meeting of its Management Committee (Manco), the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) resolved that the council of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society (KZNLS) should resume its functions immediately. This came after the director of the KZNLS, Gavin John, issued a notice to members informing them that due to a dispute between members of the KZNLS council, the society had become ‘dysfunctional’ pending resolution of the dispute by the LSSA.

In the notice, Mr John said that with effect from 20 June, members of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) on the KZNLS council had suspended their participation in all matters. He added that the dispute related to the allocation of funds to constituent members (the BLA, NADEL and ‘statutory’ component) during discussions on the KZNLS 2014/2015 budget.

Before the LSSA resolved that the council ‘immediately resume its statutory obligations to protect the public and to carry out the regulation of its members’, matters such as admissions, re-admissions, suspensions and striking off which were before the court, were put on hold as the KZNLS council was not in a position to deal with these matters.

The LSSA Manco met on 10 July and resolved that –

  • there should be recognition for provincial law societies’ councilors outside the NADEL and the BLA to meet from time to time to consider issues of interest to the law societies, their councils and the profession;
  • societies should make funding available for travel and accommodation in attending such meetings;
  • law societies will ensure that there is a budget provision in the provincial law societies’ budgets for such purposes; and
  • such funding shall not be used in the pursuance of the interests of the South African Attorneys Association (see 2013 (Jul)DR 23), its promotion, its agenda or any sectarian political interests.

At the time of going to print, Mr John, told De Rebus that the KZNLS council was operating as normal following the resolution of the matter by the LSSA. He said that the society’s meetings, including the council meeting on 22 July, would be held as normal.

Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2014 (Aug) DR 12.

De Rebus