Zuma instructs justice minister to look into black lawyers' concerns

Brunilde Fioravanti
Luglio 17, 2017

President Jacob Zuma has directed the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha, to attend to the concerns raised by members of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) during their protest march today, 14 July 2017, at the Union Buildings.

"We expect lawyers to become judges or ministers one day, but if you are not being given quality briefs as you grow in the profession, and you happen to become a judge, you are going to judge on issues you were not exposed to", Sigogo said.

"We also encourage all arms of state and all spheres of government to prioritise and empower black lawyers, particularly women".

Earlier on Friday, BLA urged Zuma to urgently set up a commission of inquiry to establish why they are sidelined on the lucrative South African government's numerous court cases, which they say are specifically given to white attorneys and law firms.

Sigogo said there were statistics which proved that "white legal professionals" continued to get the lion's share of legal briefs from the South African government.

Lawyers under the umbrella of Black Lawyers Association (BLA) took the streets of Pretoria demanding equal exposure of legal briefings in their work place. "We need that to be done away with", said Sigogo.

They also asked Zuma to give a directive to all state departments, state owned enterprises and municipalities to issue briefs and distribute legal work in line with economic empowerment.

The BLA said the memorandum was directed at Zuma because he was the head of state, and the state was the biggest consumer of legal services in the country.

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