LSSA welcomes appointment of Taswell Papier as administrator of the EAAB and extension of tenure of Dr Navi Pillay as UNHCHR

October 1st, 2012

By Barbara Whittle

In August, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) welcomed the appointment of Cape Town attorney Taswell Papier as administrator of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) by Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale:

‘Mr Papier’s experience as a seasoned attorney – including his past experience as a member of the board of control of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund and as President of the Cape Law Society – will go far in ensuring a turnaround strategy, as well as providing leadership and strategic management to the dysfunctional EAAB in the short, six-month time frame set by the Minister.’

The LSSA supported the Minister’s objectives in ensuring that governance, transparency and accountability are restored to the EAAB. As one of the stakeholders in the property industry, the attorneys’ profession echoed the Minister’s view that members of the public and investors seek certainty and stability in the multi-billion rand property industry. For members of the public, buying property is probably the most serious investment they make, and they are entitled to professional and quality service from all stakeholders in the property industry.

The LSSA also congratulated United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Navi Pillay, on the extension of her mandate as High Commissioner for a further two years. Dr Pillay is a former South African attorney and KwaZulu-Natal High Court judge.

The LSSA co-chairpersons said: ‘Dr Pillay laid the foundations for her career in human rights as a defence attorney during the struggle for liberation, and further assisted in advancing key rights for political prisoners on Robben Island.’

They added: ‘Dr Pillay’s supportive role in the freedom struggles during the recent Arab Spring in north Africa and her resilience in dealing with difficult military and other oppressive governments has attracted hostile reactions from such governments and their supporters. We support her courage and unwavering commitment to justice and, peace for all people around the world.’ In August, the LSSA also welcomed efforts made by government to introduce programmes and initiatives aimed at improving and affirming the status of women. In particular, the LSSA embraced the establishment of the National Council Against Gender-Based Violence, which was due to be launched in August, although the launch was later postponed. The LSSA noted that the council must deliver on its mandate to build commitment and foster high-level relationships and an integrated joint approach between government, civil society organisations, the business sector and other institutions – including the legal profession – to prevent, decrease and ultimately eliminate gender-based violence and hate crimes.

Compiled by Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (Oct) DR 17.

De Rebus