Legal fraternity mourns death of former LSSA co-chairperson

June 1st, 2012
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By Nomfundo Manyathi

The legal fraternity is mourning the loss of Durban attorney Edward Mvuseni Ngubane, who died on 12 May 2012.

Mr Ngubane (54) was a former co-chairperson of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), having held the position for two terms in 2003 and 2005. He was also twice elected President of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) from 2001 to 2005, serving two two-year terms. In addition, Mr Ngubane was President of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society for a year from October 2003.

Mr Ngubane was managing director and founding partner of his law firm Ngubane & Partners, which he established in 1987. He was nominated by the LSSA as one of the attorney representatives on the Judicial Service Commission and had acting stints as a regional court magistrate and as both a High Court and a Labour Court judge. In addition, he was appointed secretary of the recently constituted Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages, commonly referred to as the ‘Arms Deal’.

Black Lawyers Association President Pritzman Mabunda told De Rebus: ‘The untimely and tragic death of Mr Ngubane is a huge shock to the whole legal fraternity, and not just to the BLA, as Mr Ngubane had contributed immensely to the profession.’

In a press release, the LSSA co-chairpersons, Krish Govender and Jan Stemmett, said that Mr Ngubane was an active and dynamic member of the attorneys’ profession and that he continued to make valuable and measured input in the affairs of the profession through his role as a council member of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, his membership of the BLA and his participation in several specialist committees of the LSSA.

The President of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Lawyers’ Association, Thoba Poyo Dlwati, in a press release, said that Mr Ngubane was a pillar for the profession and a mentor for many young legal practitioners in South Africa and in the SADC region, adding that Mr Ngubane enabled many young professionals to excel as leaders in the profession.

Nomfundo Manyathi, nomfundo@derebus.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (June) DR 7.

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