Legal practitioners to go beyond the call of representing those who instruct them to do so

December 1st, 2017

Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, was the keynote speaker at the Johannesburg Attorneys Association’s, annual general meeting in September.

By Kgomotso Ramotsho

Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, gave the keynote address at the Johannesburg Attorneys Association’s annual general meeting in September. Mr Gigaba said that legal practitioners should go beyond the call of representing clients who have instructed them to do so. He added that legal practitioners should involve themselves in crafting a legal framework for the country, which seeks to bring equality before the law in accordance to the material condition of a developmental country such as South Africa (SA).

Mr Gigaba noted that developed firms should play an active role in assisting in capacity building and skills transfer to those less advantaged. He said the playing field must be levelled in all the fraternities in the country, to bring a balance in fighting for social justice. He added that the term rule of law is used by many people, but he asked how many had actually examined the concept? Mr Gigaba said SA relied on legal practitioners to ensure that the rule of law is balanced and to guarantee a responsive government as it has been seen in recent court judgments.

Mr Gigaba pointed out that the rule of law is an important factor that contributes to the economic growth, peace, security and cooperation of the country. ‘It is without a doubt that the rule of law is a basic unit of a developmental state and must be nurtured carefully to enhance our democracy. By drawing in the energies and intellectual contribution of all sectors of our society, we can develop SA within a generation,’ Mr Gigaba said.

Mr Gigaba was asked about ‘state capture’ and other issues surrounding Eskom and South African Airways (SAA). He said that SA must put the issue of state capture behind it and move on. He added that in the period of 23 years, SA has built a democracy where nothing can be hidden, people are active and informed and he said that it was a good thing. Mr Gigaba noted that SA had faced many challenges before, but not once did it lose sight of the vision of where it was going.

Mr Gigaba said that problems at SAA are not as complicated as they have been made to be. He added that he was confident that SAA will be turned around and that SAA needed chairpersons who were not directly linked to any political party. SAA is to be run as a business, by business minded management, he added.

Chief Executive Officer of the Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale, at the Johannesburg Attorneys Association’s annual general meeting.

Chief Executive Officer of the Business Leadership South Africa, Bonang Mohale, spoke about state capture and related topics. Mr Mohale said state capture is ‘evil’ and steals disproportionally from the poor. He added that it creates a culture where service is not delivered. He said state capture is systemic and systematic, chronological and methodical in its approach.

Mr Mohale said state capture did not fall from the sky, but added that the Gupta family came to the country and did nothing for three years but to study and look at who is for sale. ‘This is a project that has been going on for the last ten years, it just did not happen for the last 36 months,’ Mr Mohale said. He pointed out that the Gupta family had tried to capture other states elsewhere in the world, and by the time they came to SA they had perfected the formula and the framework to capture the country. Mr Mohale said for state capture to work it repurposed state owned enterprises and it ensured the entrenching of parallel and weak governance. He noted that for state capture to be a success, it needed chaos for it to grow and thrive.

Mr Mohale noted that for the past ten years there has been a project of deliberately taking out the ‘good cops’ and filling state owned enterprises with ‘bad cops’. He said it was not an accident that four senior executives at Eskom, six months into their careers were fired for doing nothing wrong.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (Dec) DR 5.