ISSUE #7 October 2021
OFFICIAL UJ ALUMNI MAGAZINE
Faculty of Law showcased
Law clinic celebrates 40 years
Prof Wesahl Domingo, new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law
UJ honours pioneers of social justice and civil rights activists during the 2021
Dr Gloria- Ladson Billings honoured for her contributions to social justice and education
UJ IN THE RANKINGS
Rank in the World
Rank in Africa
Rank in South Africa
QS World University Rankings (QS WUR)
Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings (THE WUR)
University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP)
2020 - 2021
U.S. News and World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings (BGUR)
Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings (THE UIR):
Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings (THE EEUR)
Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings (THE YUR)
QS Graduate Employability Rankings (QS GER)
Stay Connected www.uj.ac.za/alumni
1 Message from Prof Tshilidzi Marwala - Vice-Chancellor and Principal
1 Message from Prof Tshilidzi Marwala - UJ Vice-Chancellor and Principal 3 Message from Prof Boitumelo Diale - UJ Convocation President 5 Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi, Former Executive Dean of the Law Faculty and now newly appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic WEBINARS 7 AI (Artificial Intelligence) in auditing 8 Money Matters: Building a Healthy Relationship with Money 9 UJ Alumni conversation series – Sharing Solutions LAW SECTION 11 Prof Wesahl Domingo, new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, UJ 12 Newly appointed Deputy Public Protector Adv Kholeka Gcaleka is a UJ alumna with a passion for people 13 UJ Law clinic: Celebrating 40 years of impact 15 UJ law students win top Moot Court competition 17 Climate change ambitions are being undermined by foreign direct investment disputes, say UJ law scholars 19 Prof Kathleen van der Linde appointed as independent member in Dutch restructuring procedure of Steinhoff International Holdings 23 Mr Albert Marais: Bringing a proper understanding of the practical functioning of South Africa’s legal system 25 Ms Fhulufhelo Nyathela: Breaking barriers practicing in niche laws 27 Ms Deborah Mutemwa-Tumbo: Turned her passion for law into a desire for transformation in South Africa 29 Mr Gift Makeke – from legal eagle to fashion guru ALUMNI MOVERS AND SHAKERS 32 Ms Sine Shabangu: empowering people through knowledge and exposure 34 Dr Antonio Pooe: Discovering new life in Digital Forensics 35 Ms Karla Pretorius: Wold-wide mentoring for those with neurodivergence 37 Ms Lindi Sirame: It starts with gratitude and continues with success HONORARY DOCTORATES 40 UJ Graduations go virtual 41 UJ honours pioneers of social justice and civil rights activists during the 2021 graduation ceremonies 41 Renowned American scientist, Prof James Sylvester Gates 42 Gloria Serobe, champion of women’s empowerment 42 Dr Gloria-Ladson Billings honoured for her contributions to social justice and education for diversity and democracy 43 Celebrating Katherine Johnson’s remarkable journey; a story of math, the moon and a lifelong mission 44 Pioneering property developer, Mr Khazamula Nkuna INSIGHTS 46 SAICA 2021 ITC results confirms Accountancy@UJ as a leader in Accounting Education SPORT 47 UJ athletes rake in 24 gold, silver, bronze medals in 2021 USSA championships 49 UJ Representation in Japan Olympics 50 UJ Netball coach Bongi Msomi joins Siya Kolisi and Temba Bavuma at Roc Nation Sports 51 Mr. Nhlanhla Ndlovu - UJ Sports physiotherapist helps Bafana Bafana win the 2021 COSAFA cup The University of Johannesburg came into existence on 1 January 2005 as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand. Prior to the merger, in 2004, the Daveyton and Soweto campuses of the former Vista University had been incorporated into RAU. UJ is one of the largest comprehensive contact universities in South Africa from the 26 public universities that make up the higher education system. UJ has a student population of over 50 000, with close to 3 000 international students
Ms Deborah Mutemwa-Tumbo: Turned her passion for law into a desire for transformation in South Africa 27 29 Mr Gift Makeke – from legal eagle to fashion guru
42 Dr Gloria-Ladson Billings honoured for her contributions
to social justice and education for diversity and democracy
EDITORIAL NOTE In this edition, you will find some of UJ’s recent
success stories, that is why the magazine is called ALUMNI IMPUMELELO, which means success in IsiZulu. Through this publication we take time to celebrate some Illustrious Alumni, Events and Research. We invite you to follow us on social media and update your contact details on the UJ website. This will allow us to re-connect with you and for you to share in UJ’s journey. This journey includes positioning UJ as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Don’t forget to register on the UJ Alumni Connect to gain access to job opportunities, mentorships and more.
Prof Kinta Burger
Mr Nell Ledwaba
Dr Tinus van Zyl
MESSAGE to Alumni
from Professor Tshilidzi Marwala
mina emerged as an important beacon of hope. The University of Johannesburg (UJ) serves as a microcosm of South Africa. As we have battled an uncertain and difficult context, Bra Hugh’s words once again emerge as a source of strength. Our alumni play a vital role in speaking to this. Though many of our alumni have not been students for quite some time, they are still a vital part of the UJ community. Our University has carved a footprint for itself in South Africa, Africa and across the world. We’re a University worth talking about
“I wanna be there when the people start to turn it around.” These were the opening lyrics to Hugh Masikela’s Thuma Mina. Echoing our constitution that speaks to “we, the people”, Bra Hugh as he was affectionately called sounded a clarion call to all citizens to make the vision for South Africa a reality. In 2017, when President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his inaugural state of the nation address, he drew on thuma mina, or in English, send me as the signal for his new dawn. For a nation so fragmented by politics and a dark history that has left discontentment and disillusionment in its wake, thuma
and our rankings are certainly testament to this. As our esteemed alumni, this is the stature you hold with you. At the beginning of 2020, few could have predicted that this would have been our trajectory. The spread of a virus in China, then in the rest of East Asia did not seem like it would shake our world order. How wrong we were. There are no words to ascribe to this period we are in even though the phrases ‘unprecedented’, ‘unchartered waters’ and ‘pandemic’ have become firmly part of our lexicon. We have certainly been thrust further into the Fourth Industrial Revolution
its strategic intent of attaining global excellence and stature in the context of 4IR and to support the African continent in embracing 4IR, as a leading African institution in a globally competitive environment. You have an inextricable link with the University. The message of thuma mina is one that can only be achieved if you continue to walk with us to reimagine and reinvent the future. As Bra Hugh sings, “I wanna lend a hand. Send me.”
in the teaching sphere that we are seeing success. The University has continued to participate and contribute to discussions and intellectual debates in public spaces on COVID-19. Now, we look to the future in an uncertain world. The pandemic has served as an important purveyor of truth for our preparedness for the shift into the 4IR. The media space, the think tanks, government and many other players in the field have now realized that the tomorrow they may have been imagining, is already with us. UJ has led the charge actively. UJ intends to advance and position
(4IR) as we embrace new forms of teaching, learning and working based on remote processes and an infusion of technology. Since the first rumblings of COVID-19, UJ has been agile, responsive and constantly aligning itself with national strategies. Despite a seemingly challenging shift, we have certainly seen success. Last year, we emerged as the first South African university able to complete the academic year. In many ways we have used this time to heed the nation’s call to thuma mina. We have begun to find a rhythm and worked hard to make the abnormal, normal. It is not just
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not only talking about stats, but we all have been directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic. I believe at this stage none of us can say we do not know someone who has passed on due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The someone may be a family member, a friend, a neighbour, or a colleague. Many of us have been infected by the virus and were fortunate to survive this monster. As we enter the 18th month, we are still faced with the predicted fourth wave. It is therefore upon all of us to be patriotic, take responsibility, and play our roles in fighting this virus by following the health guidelines that we are all familiar with by now. As the President of the Convocation, I encourage you to take the opportunity to vaccinate so we can stand a better chance of reducing mortality rates in the fourth wave. Together we can make a difference and win this battle. On that note, allow me the opportunity to pass a message of condolences to the families of all members of the Convocation who have passed on due to COVID- related complications in the past 17 months. I also wish to pass my condolences to members of the Convocation who have lost their loved ones during this period; may their souls rest in eternal peace. We are preparing for our second AGM of the Convocation, which will take place on 13th of October 2021. Together with the Alumni Office, we have been working hard to put together numerous events for alumni and future alumni, our present student body. We wish to give you a brief report of activities that have taken place in 2021 despite the challenging times in which we found ourselves. Yes, we are very aware that our activities did not go as planned. However, we will all appreciate that the pandemic has taught us that we live in a fluid period, thus requiring of us to be flexible.
Message from Prof Boitumelo Diale - UJ Convocation President
with the COVID-19 pandemic. We also never anticipated that our lives would change forever. As we are now doing our best to adjust to the ‘new normal’, we are also coming to terms with the havoc the pandemic has caused in our lives. We started talking about and referring to statistics as presented by the media; however, we are now
On 27 March 2020, when the country went into a lockdown, we were all confident that this is but a phase, and soon we would be back to our normal routines and life will continue as normal. Little did we know that 17 months later, we will still be struggling
Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi ,
Former Executive Dean of the Law Faculty and now newly appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic
He is appointed for a term of five years and eight months: As Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic (Designate) from 1 January 2021 to 31 August 2021, and from 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2026 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic. Before his new position, Prof Mpedi served as Executive Dean for the Faculty of Law, a position he held since 2016. UJ’s vision is to be an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. The University also wants to inspire its community to transform and serve humanity through innovation. It is also progressively positioning itself as a university of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), he says. “UJ is an ambitious, high performance and forward-looking university that has grown by leaps and bounds over the last fifteen years. This approach and mindset
UJ needs to produce future-fit graduates who will be able to thrive in an unknown future, who will need to perform tasks and render services in a world and labour market that we know nothing or very little about yet, says newly appointed UJ Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi. He paraphrases Sue Dopson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Fellow of Green Templeton College and Acting Dean of Saïd Business School (University of Oxford): Farmers don’t grow crops, they create conditions through which crops can grow. “These are inspiring words that speak to my objectives. I want to create an environment where my colleagues and I can find solutions to 21st-century challenges together,” says Prof Mpedi. “I look forward to working with the UJ community and taking teaching and learning and the institution to greater heights.”
Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi is looking forward to taking the University to greater heights.
21st-century challenges are high on the agenda for Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi, UJ’s newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, including producing future-fit graduates.
the first World Congress of Labour Law and Social Security, which was held in Chihuahua, Mexico in 2012. He has many fond moments to remember accomplishments from his tenure as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law. Too many to mention, he says, but singled out the following four: • Successfully overseeing the review and accreditation of the LLB programme of the Faculty. • Leading from the front and
have served the university and its stakeholders well, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. UJ was better prepared than many of its peers in South Africa and the African continent and, as a result, made a swift and successful transition to online teaching and learning and remote working.” With the above context in mind, Prof Mpedi’s plans are tied to the vision and mission of the University. A lot is being done at UJ in 4IR, including the use of virtual and augmented reality in teaching and learning. However, he believes there is a need to showcase this excellent work. In addition, he says, the current best practices in teaching and learning using technology that emanate from faculties/college and relevant divisions, should be rapidly replicated throughout the institution. “I am determined to build on current efforts towards the advancement of the scholarship of teaching and learning. I believe strongly that teaching and learning, as well as research, are two sides of the same coin.”
Prof Mpedi comes well prepared for his new challenge. He previously held several key academic leadership roles at UJ, which he believes have prepared and will serve him well. Some of these positions include Head of Department, Vice-Dean and Executive Dean: Faculty of Law. He also served in a range of leadership positions with national and international associations/ organisations which advance teaching and learning (e.g. the South African Law Deans’ Association and South African Judicial Education Institute and the International Association of Law Schools. He is, therefore, mindful of the challenges facing the University and higher education sector, particularly in teaching and learning. Prof Mpedi is an accomplished scholar who have published several books and contributed immensely to books and accredited journals, both nationally and internationally. He is an internationally acclaimed researcher with a B3 rating, received the CEO Titans: Building Nations Award on three occasions, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal after the conclusion of
seeing the Faculty of Law thrive in a variety of key
performance areas, including teaching and learning, research, internationalisation, and community engagement. • Building strong international partnerships which, empowered junior colleagues to interact and publish in books with international scholars. • Submitting, during his term, on average 100 research output units for accreditation. In 2001 he obtained an LLM degree in Labour Law from the then Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and in 2006 an LLD degree in Mercantile Law (University of Johannesburg).
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The Department of Commercial Accounting in collaboration with the UJ Alumni Office held a virtual event about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Auditing. Presented by Ms. Saaleha Akoojee CA (SA) Partner at PwC South Afirca.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) in auditing The Department of Commercial Accounting held a webinar on artificial intelligence (AI) in the auditing profession on 20 May 2021. terms of implementation, as well as regulatory guidance and oversight.
Auditing no longer needs to be limited by what is humanly possible. The audit landscape provides a very fertile ground for robotic process automation in the form of machine learning, and in the form of artificial intelligence. Audit and accounting firms are already employing data scientists and data engineers who have an accounting and auditing background and who can develop the necessary software and technology needed for transforming the audit landscape. Akoojee says projections are that about 30% of corporate audits will actually be performed by machine learning and artificial intelligence platforms by the year 2025. This rapid transformation creates a need for ethical governance in
UJ Convocation representative on the UJ Council and member of the executive committee of the UJ Convocation, Msizi Khoza, director of investment banking division at ABSA, said accounting professionals have come under a lot of criticism the last couple of years as evidence showed the complicity of auditing firms in unacceptable behaviour. The auditing profession could now leverage the wonders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to improve the delivery and the efficacy of the profession, he said.
Guest speaker, Saaleha Akoojee CA (SA), partner at PwC South Africa and UJ Alumna, relayed how many accounting and auditing functions, which used to be performed by humans 15 years ago, can now for the most part be performed by machines. While the machines do enhance the quality of auditing, auditors would not be replaced by machines. Humans benefit from the high speed and accuracy with which machines can analyse large volumes of data and generate insights, freeing up human hands to perform work of higher value and complexity, to interpret and analyse data.
Click here to view webinar
Money Matters: Building a Healthy Relationship with Money
Personal finance was the point of discussion at a recent UJ Alumni webinar on personal finance, titled Money Matters: Building a Healthy Relationship with Money. The main speaker, Ms Funeka Montjane, UJ Alumna, Chief Executive Officer: Consumer and High Net Worth Clients at Standard Bank Group, discussed how to manage debt, the categories of debt, and saving and investing. A second guest speaker, Ms Rebecca Sekhaolelo, Marketing specialist at PPS, spoke about budgeting and planning for emergencies. Montjane touched on important lessons she had learned in her financial journey: • Independence. If you choose to be an independent woman, you must have money in your own name. Many women contribute
• Save enough money to cover your income for 18 to 24 months. Things happen. You may lose your income or you may want to leave a relationship. Savings help you to navigate these situations. Sekhaolelo spoke about why financial advisors can be of great help in planning your finances and why budgeting is important. She also touched on the 50-30-20 split, meaning that 50% of income should go to necessities, 30% to investing and 20% to have fun with.
their earnings to family houses, but when push comes to shove, they have nothing to show for it. • Marriage. If you choose to marry make sure you are protected from your partner’s creditors. You don’t want to be held responsible for his or her debt. Think carefully
about the kind of marriage agreement you enter into. • Family tax. Don’t try to help
everybody. Set boundaries and be very clear on what you can and cannot do. Accept that some people in your family will be very upset when you cannot fulfil their expectations. • Buying a house is not an investment but an asset. • A car is for transport, not a status symbol. You don’t need the biggest and most expensive car.
Click here to view webinar
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Alumni Office in collaboration with Professional Provident Society (PPS) held a virtual event about financial literacy presented by Ms. Funeka Montjane (Chief Executive, Consumer, and High Net worth Clients at Standard Bank).
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UJ Alumni Conversation – Sharing solutions
respective journeys to successful entrepreneurship. Dinkwanyane focused on the impact she wants to make on society and the importance of job creation, while Modiba stressed the importance of having a clear strategic intent and leading with your strength instead of starting
something that is totally unrelated to the work you did before you
Topic: Entrepreneurship Two UJ alumni, Ms Allegro Dinkwanyane, entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder and chief executive of the Orgella Group, and Ms Zanele Modiba, Personal Development Speaker, Marketing specialist, Managing Director: The Alternative, shared their
became an entrepreneur. The seminar took place on 7 May 2021.
Click here to view webinar
UJ Alumni – Gauteng Chapter launch
Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, and President of Convocation, Prof Biotumelo Diale, held a virtual Alumni chapter launch at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
to take advantage of the benefit of connection and collaboration, the pillars we use to forge ahead during this time of covid consciousness.’ – Zanele Modiba, Deputy President of Convocation.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala, President of convocation Prof. Tumi Diale, Deputy President of Convocation Zanele Modiba and Gauteng chapter Convenor Steven Shivambu. ‘It has never been more urgent and necessary to launch the UJ Alumni Gauteng chapter. The time is now,
Alumni chapters have their roots in creating a platform where Alumni can interact, network and give back to their alma mater. The launch of the UJ Gauteng Alumni chapter aims to do just that and more. The UJ Gauteng Alumni chapter
Click here to view webinar
launch held on the 29th of September was attended by,
FACULTY OF LAW
Law schools are on the cusp of a historic moment in higher education in South Africa and will have to take a leadership role in shaping the future of legal education, says Prof Wesahl Domingo Prof Wesahl Domingo, new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law
Prof Wesahl Domingo, new Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, brings a wealth of academic administrative and management experience to her new role. Over the course of her career, her teaching and research interests have focused on family law, succession, gender studies, legal education and legal pluralism. She has appeared on television and radio as an academic expert in the field of family law and legal pluralism. As an accredited family law mediator she does family law mediation training for NGOs and runs community workshops for women on culture and religion within marriage and divorce. She was an editor for the South African Journal of Human Rights (SAJHR) for 10 years. She is also the co-editor and writer of the textbook, Law of Persons and Family. In 2019, Prof Domingo was elected as the Deputy Chairperson of Senate of the University of the Witwatersrand – the second woman, and first woman of colour, to hold this position in the 98-year history of the university. She is a Commissioner of the South African Law Reform Commission and also the President of the South African Law Dean’s Association.
After 18 years as Associate Professor at the Oliver Schreiner School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Prof Domingo took up her new position as Executive Dean of UJ’s Faculty of Law in March this year. Her vision and strategic direction centre on innovation in legal education, innovation in teaching and learning, global excellence and stature, the move into 4IR, and innovative thinking around institutional culture. “My objectives will be to consolidate the things that are working; investigate, review and reform/transform what does not work; innovate to drive and enhance global excellence and stature; and sustain and enhance faculty excellence.” Law schools are on the cusp of a historic moment in higher education in South Africa, she says. “We will have to take a leadership role in shaping the future of legal education – change is inevitable. Post-COVID-19, we do know that we will never teach, learn and research in the same way again. The bulk of our present students and those coming in the next five years, will be ‘digital natives’, while for at least the next decade, the majority of our teaching staff are likely to be ‘digital immigrants’.
Prof Wesahl Domingo brings a wealth of experience to her new role.
“While we are not sure what the future holds, we do know that at the UJ Faculty of Law we will embrace hybrid online teaching and learning methods in our classes, we will continue our research and teaching in the area of 4IR and we will continue to transform and innovate for a future reimagined.” Finding the intersection between law and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will be an important objective under her leadership. UJ is committed to equipping law students with the necessary technical and legal knowledge they need to create and implement responsible programmes and policy frameworks relating to the ever- expanding area of law and 4IR, she says. The law is adjusting to ongoing waves of technological disruption with new technologies coming to market and transforming business at an extraordinary speed. In an era of digital transformation, innovative products and services are becoming available before the regulatory landscape has even had the opportunity to weigh in. “Law faculties are under
from diverse backgrounds can access justice. In terms of institutional culture, Prof Domingo believes it important to be mindful of issues around gender-based violence on campus and the need to address student matters that pertain to matters of race, gender, sexuality and class. She also envisages mentorship programmes for young and emerging academics, a thoughtful approach to staff retention and the mental health and wellbeing of staff. “The Faculty has to be a place where support staff, academic staff and students know that transparency, accountability and
trust is part of the institutional culture,” she says. Prof Domingo aims to build on the existing strengths of UJ’s Faculty of Law, namely its location in Johannesburg, the economic hub of Africa; excellent teaching; quality research; quality graduates; clinical legal education; the research and intellectual engagement provided by its four internationally renowned centres; the National Research Foundation (NRF) Chair in Public International Law and the flagship programme in international commercial law; and its diverse student body.
pressure to build legal, regulatory, policy, and business strategies that acknowledge the pace of innovation, and can anticipate unknowns such as the next global pandemic,” she says. Access to justice is fundamental to a democratic society and, therefore, the Faculty of Law needs positioning as an African leader of thoughtful, innovative and transformative change in legal education. Diversity in the law school enables people from a wide range of backgrounds to add their perspectives to the greater legal community and helps to create a richer experience for all students. Diversity in the legal profession increases the likelihood that people
Newly appointed Deputy Public Protector Adv Kholeka Gcaleka is a UJ alumna with a passion for people
Deputy Public Protector Adv Kholeka Gcaleka talks about her background, life at UJ and her professional achievements. Please click the links below to watch the videos about the Deputy Public Protector Adv. Kholeka Gcaleka. Part 1: https://youtu.be/0Ck3i7aU9wc Part 2: https://youtu.be/Vy4TEkRmEXE
Deputy Public Protector Adv Kholeka Gcaleka.
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Law students in action
UJ LAW CLINIC: Celebrating 40 years of impact
This year, we are delighted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Law Clinic, University of Johannesburg. It is an incredible milestone in the community outreach work the Law Clinic provides and the work-integrated learning it provides to our final year students.
UJ opened another clinic on campus in 1983 and one in Roodepoort, which operated
from 1984 to 1989. As the course became compulsory for all final year LLB students since 1983, the number of students working in the Clinics as well as the number of clients increased. The number of clients in 1983 doubled since the inception of the Clinic. Adv. Gert Joubert was in charge of the Clinics from 1983 to 1985 and was assisted by Adv. Linda Pienaar and Mrs. Alice Gerber as secretary from 1984. Adv. Elsabé Steenhuisen was appointed to the Roodepoort Law Clinic from 1984. They all worked on an ad hoc basis. In the 1980’s the clinics also used colleagues as supervisors (such as Prof. Wouter de Vos) and legal practitioners on a part-time basis to assist with court work (such as Willem Stapelberg and Johan Smit, both alumni of the Faculty).
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Law Clinic formally opened its doors to the public in February 1981 with 18 students. Prof. JC van der Walt (former Dean of the Faculty of Law and former rector of the university), Judge Frans Malan (then Professor in Law at the Faculty), and Prof. Schalk van der Merwe (then Professor in Law at the Faculty and as Dean, the first director of the Clinic) were the founders of the UJ Law Clinic. Merwe and Wouter de Vos, respectively Deputy Director:
criminal law and Deputy Director: civil law. The first clinics were situated at Westbury and Hoek Street in the Johannesburg city center. The Hoek Street Clinic (in co-operation with Wits Law Clinic) had fewer students, but they were busier than the Westbury Clinic. The clinical work was initially a credit course for the subject Practical Legal Training at UJ (known as Applied Legal Studies or ALS from the mid 90’s). The course was optional until 1983.
and the Alexandra Law Clinic was also relocated to the Doornfontein Law Clinic in January 2008. The last of the three law clinics that are currently operational, the Soweto Law Clinic opened its doors in 2011. Currently, the UJ Law Clinic is administered by the following personnel: The director Natasha Naidoo; Soweto Law Clinic: Alet Beyl (principal attorney), Elton Hart (attorney), Bongiwe Fakude (secretary); Auckland Park Law Clinic: Goksen Effendi (attorney), Zipo Zuba (attorney) and Magda Otto (senior secretary); Doornfontein Law Clinic: Elize Radley (principal attorney) and Mamokgele Maleka (secretary). Some highlights: The Law Clinic at Doornfontein Campus, has successfully litigated against various State Organs such as the Department of Home Affairs, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, the Minister of Police, and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in matters of a delictual nature. In one matter, we instituted motion proceedings against the Department of Home Affairs. The client was a party to a registered marriage to a Pakistani national whom she had never met or married. This resulted in a very lengthy and expensive High Court
Application which the Department of Home Affairs strenuously opposed. Justice prevailed, and we obtained a court order with costs against Home Affairs, who was instructed to expunge the marriage from their records. In 2016, one of our alumnus students and former student assistant at the Doornfontein Campus Law Clinic, Ashley Seckel, was awarded the 2016 ProBono.Org National Award, which recognises a high level of commitment and dedication a law student to his or her work at a university law clinic. The Soweto Campus Law Clinic was instrumental in the case of Baby Daniels, where the attorney played an instrumental role in bringing the mother and her boyfriend at the time to justice. In 2010 the Law Clinic received an award of recognition by the university’s community engagement department for the faculty-based project, and in 2011 the law clinic took 1st place for their university-based community engagement project. This year the Law Clinic was very fortunate to receive funding for our Lexis Nexis subscription, from the German-South African Lawyers Association, in the amount of R50 000 00.
By the mid 80’s the Faculty of Law recognised huge public demand for such a community service and, together with the profession, decided to let the Clinic function on a more permanent basis. As a result, Pierre de Kock, an attorney, was appointed the first full-time director in 1986. Since the UJ campus was accessible to a large sector of the community, particularly that on the West Rand, the clinics in Westbury and Roodepoort respectively were closed in 1987 and 1989. Soon thereafter, the Faculty recognised the dire need for legal assistance in the Alexandra township, and the Alexandra Clinic opened its doors to the public in 1989. During the years following the first RAU Law Clinic opening, the personnel experimented with time slots that best suited the public. Saturday mornings, weekday afternoons and evenings, and various other time slots proved not viable for various reasons. Today, the Clinics are open to the public between the hours of 8:00 and 13:00. Due to increased demand in the following couple of years, two additional Clinics opened at Germiston (1994), and the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court was situated at the Family Courts at 15 Market Street (1998). The Germiston Clinic relocated to Doornfontein Campus in July 2007,
Auckland Park Campus Law Clinic
Doornfontein campus Law Clinic
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Faculty of Law continued its proud tradition of excellence in public interest law.
From left to right: Ms Samantha Smit (2nd year B.Com Law),
Mr Thabo Mathule (2nd year LLB) and Ms Winnie George (3rd year LLB).
From left to right: Winnie George; Samantha Smith; Louis Koen; Brook Badenhorst; Thabo Mathule.
UJ law students win top Moot Court competition
the finals, they represented the respondent against the team of Rhodes University, thus defending the Department of Correctional Services by presenting an argument that the department did not fail to take reasonable measures aimed at preventing the applicant from contracting COVID-19. The team successfully presented their case, claiming the palma victoriae for UJ. A special congratulations goes to Winnie George, who was awarded the overall best speaker prize. UJ now ranks first among all participating universities in the total number of Public Interest Law .
contracting COVID-19. In addition, students were faced with the challenge of tackling a range of related legal questions pertaining to the applicant’s alleged unlawful arrest. The UJ team comprised three students, namely Ms Samantha Smit (2nd-year BCom Law), Mr Thabo Mathule (2nd-year LLB) and Ms Winnie George (3rd-year LLB), and was coached by Mr Louis Koen, Ms Brooke Badenhorst (law mentor) and Ms Kgomotso Mokoena (lecturer) with assistance provided by Ms Meghan Finn (lecturer). Following the preliminary rounds, the team – representing the defendant – beat Nelson Mandela University in the semi-finals. In
Huge congratulations to the UJ Faculty of Law team that emerged as the South African National Champion at the Public Interest Law Moot Court finals on 16 April 2021. The team, who debated a problem case concerning a hypothetical scenario of an inmate who had contracted COVID-19 in prison, continued the Faculty’s proud tradition of excellence in public interest law. Hosted by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), teams from 14 universities debated the applicant’s claim for constitutional damages arising from a failure by the Department of Correctional Services to prevent him from
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CLIMATE CHANGE AMBITIONS are being undermined by foreign direct investment disputes , say UJ law scholars
The beginning of 2021 saw several events which, at first glance, suggest there is space for cautious optimism that more ambitious and meaningful responses to climate change are gaining much- needed momentum.
“Foreign direct investment may be needed for the Paris Agreement to be effective, but resolving disputes about these investments should not reward non-compliance with climate change targets.” – Dailymaverick 1 June 2021.
Dr Jenny Hall, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), together with Louis Koen, assistant lecturer and UJ PhD candidate, recently penned an opinion piece published in The Conversation, 1 June 2021.
On 3 February, for example, national cour ts showed their willingness to hold their government responsible to do what is required to meet the climate change challenge when the Administrative Cour t of Paris (ironically) found that the French government had failed to give adequate effect to its Paris Agreement commitments.
Then, just over two weeks later, and hot on the heels of his inaugural comments that “a cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now”, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order indicating that the world’s second-biggest emitter, the United States of America, was returning to the Paris Agreement. Governmental responses and critiques must be welcomed, but many of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change are emitted by big multinational companies, and positive action in this case has often fallen far short of the need for drastic emission reductions. Environmental victories in court, however, are starting to allow for some hope that this will not be condoned.
In the case of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and its subsidiaries, these judgments are important as they place the spotlight squarely on the intersection of human rights, pollution, climate change and corporate conduct. On 29 January 2021, the Hague Court of Appeal handed down three judgments on a matter that had been launched in 2008 relating
Dr. Jenny Hall
to long-standing community struggles against Shell’s oil
operations in Nigeria, which led to widespread pollution through oil spills and climate change as a result of gas flaring. The judgments are precedent- setting because, for the first time, a company based in the global North has been ordered to pay compensation for environmental damage done in a developing country.
The court ordered Shell to stop causing dangerous climate change and to bring its emission reductions in line with the Paris Agreement targets. This means that Shell must reduce its emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels. The judgment is another first in that a company, as opposed to a state, is being held responsible for complying with international environmental law. Please can we use this paragraph as a subtitle in the next page, the next page is a little bland. It paves the way for other large companies that emit more greenhouse gases than entire countries to be held accountable for complying with internationally negotiated responses to climate change. While these developments are cause for celebration, optimism
is dampened by Shell and other companies’ far less publicised conduct in respect of disputes where environmental policy and legislative tightening affect their bottom line. Too often they are declaring these to be investment disputes and resorting to international investment dispute bodies for relief. For example, in another longstanding oil spill dispute in Nigeria, Shell’s subsidiary was ordered by a Nigerian court to pay damages amounting to millions of US dollars. Shell’s response was again not to accept liability for the environmental damages that it has caused. Instead, it filed a claim for arbitration against the Nigerian government with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on 10 February 2021.
Shortly after this, on 12 February, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court held that two Nigerian communities could bring a class action against Royal Dutch Shell for environmental damages — another win for the accountability of multinational companies. In what is turning out to be a year of losses for Shell in court, on 26 May 2021, a Dutch district court handed down judgment against Shell in a case brought by several NGOs. They argued that Shell is among a group of 25 multinationals that have been responsible for more than half of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in the past three decades, and that Shell has a history of misleading statements and inadequate climate action which violated the rights of Dutch citizens.
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The judgment is another first in that a company, as opposed to a state, is being held responsible for complying with international environmental law.
It does not sit well that while climate negotiators are trying to find ways to up the appetite for raising the $6.9-trillion needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals, multinationals are seeking billions of dollars in awards under ICSID in what effectively amounts to a resistance to climate change measures and shifting the tab for their climate change responsibilities on to governments. This is especially disquieting as there is no guarantee that the awards will be spent on climate change responses. As preparations for COP 26 pick up speed, it is therefore important that the negotiators focus not only on steps for making the Paris Agreement more ambitious, but also on how other international legal regimes can undermine it. Perhaps what is needed is a multilateral treaty that excludes countries’ potential liability in investment law for climate action so that investment and climate change responses can be harmonised. Challenges like these are being discussed in a free seminar series, which a group of researchers from Johannesburg-based universities have coordinated and which are hosted by the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC), a centre in the Faculty of Law of the University of Johannesburg. The seminar on 17 June 2021 hosted Prof Christina Voigt, the co-chair of the Paris Agreement Committee on Implementation and Compliance. She addressed issues including what the current climate legal regime is, what the sticking points are in negotiating a more effective legal response and the challenges that climate change poses for traditional legal approaches. *The views expressed in the article is that of the author/s and do not
ICSID is an international arbitration institution that handles most disputes between investors and governments, including an increasing number based on government actions aimed at addressing environmental protection and climate change. Declaration of these disputes is risky for governments because awards often run into billions of dollars, with the average successful claimant receiving in excess of $500 million. Decisions cannot be appealed and statistics show that more than 60% of decisions that are decided on the merits go in favour of the investor. Several principles that ICSID follows in its proceedings can be climate change unfriendly and used to prefer investors’ rights over government climate change initiatives, or even in complete disregard of the underlying need for climate law and policy. For example, because investment law often provides for the recovery of loss of future profits, when Germany decided to phase out coal from its energy mix by 2038, it agreed to pay investors in coal-fired power stations more than €4-billion to compensate them for lost profits resulting from the early closure of their plants. Germany, which is no stranger to being sued in the ICSID over its energy policies and has settled several disputes already, did this
cause difficulties for the climate agenda.
Legislation that deprives the investor of the use and benefit of its investment (such as the phase- out of coal) may be considered to be indirect expropriation for which compensation must be paid. Investment tribunals have been inconsistent in their interpretation of the principles, which apply to indirect expropriation. However, investors have high prospects of success where the “sole effects doctrine“, a doctrine in investment law that only considers a law’s effect on the investor and not its purpose, is adopted. African countries may also bump up against other principles, which could make them hesitant to implement urgent climate action for fear of facing an expensive ICSID dispute. As an example, bilateral investment treaties between France and various African countries, including South Africa, contain draconian fair-and-equitable treatment clauses, which in essence provide that almost any restriction on the use and exploitation of fossil fuels will violate the treaties. Effectively, this means that any ban on fossil fuels may automatically amount to a breach of the fair-and-equitable treatment clause under these agreements and give rise to an obligation to pay compensation. The position is exacerbated by the fact that unilateral withdrawals are an ineffective strategy for avoiding liability for climate action owing to long sunset clauses. This is starkly demonstrated by South Africa’s termination of its treaty with France, where investments made before September 2014 will continue to enjoy protection until 2034, 20 years after the termination date.
in part to avoid claims in investment arbitration.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, which did not offer large compensation packages for the early closure of coal-fired power stations, is now facing a €1.4-billion ICSID claim by RWE AG and a further claim believed to amount to around €1-billion by Uniper SE.
necessarily reflect that of the University of Johannesburg.
Other ICSID principles can also
Prof Kathleen van der Linde appointed to committee of representation in the Steinhoff International Holdings case
Professor of Mercantile Law Kathleen van der Linde has been appointed as an independent expert in the Dutch restructuring procedure of Steinhoff International Holdings NV. She serves as an expert in a committee of representation appointed by the Amsterdam District Court. The Dutch procedure involves the ultimate holding company and runs in parallel with compromise proceedings in the South African subsidiary Steinhoff International Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Steinhoff has proposed a global settlement with creditors after multiple lawsuits by aggrieved shareholders stemming from one of South Africa’s worst accounting scandals that first made headlines in December 2017. Prof Van der Linde’s appointment bears testimony to her reputation as a leading company and insolvency law expert. An advocate of the High Court of South Africa, she has legal expertise in corporate restructuring and insolvency, corporate governance, corporate finance, director liability, taxation, securities regulation, financial markets. Furthermore, she has considerable exposure to practical and operational issues in the
Prof Van der Linde’s a leading company and insolvency law expert.
As an advocate of the High Cour t of South Africa, she has legal exper tise in corporate and tax laws. It is only the second time such a committee has been appointed.
claims, and it might be unclear which legal systems are applicable. The committee’s traditional meetings and voting present huge logistical challenges with the 15 committee members voting on the proposed settlement instead of the individual creditors. While most of the committee members represent specific creditors’ interests, Prof Van der Linde and the other three independent experts have to use their votes to promote fairness to the creditors in general, focusing on those that are not otherwise represented. The UJ Faculty of Law wishes her well in fulfilling this important and responsible task.
business environment in an advisory, training and research capacity.
The Amsterdam District Court’s appointment of a committee of representation in the Steinhoff case is an exciting legal development. It is only the second time such a committee has been appointed. The previous occurrence was in 1962, in the very matter that prompted the legislature to enact this exception. With an estimated 66 000 creditors worldwide, the Amsterdam court reckoned that the scope and complexity of the Steinhoff case again warranted such a committee. The majority of creditors have legally complex
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UJ FM 95.4 is a campus-based radio station that seeks to provide quality, relevant, dynamic, innovative and thought provoking programming content which speaks directly to shaping the future.
The on-air identity is edgy with an urban contemporary feel with 60/40 programming format. Since inception, UJFM 95.4 has transformed the on-air programming style and content from a previously rock background to one more reflective of the Joburg and UJ student market and incorporates an eclectic mix of
UJFM 95.4 prides itself in facilitating thought provoking conversations between the University and society as well as taking institutional success to the market. UJFM 95.4 has numerous awards from MTN / Liberty radio awards in various categories. UJFM 95.4 firmly entrenches itself amongst the 4 campuses of UJ, the voice of UJFM 95.4 strives to serve as a platform for healthy engagement amongst the community and promote a radio program dedicated to positioning UJ as a 4.0 leader as well as a leading university in Africa. Listenership– market share and demographics Broadcasting over a 100km radius from the campus, the station employs registered UJ students as well as keen external talent. The UJFM 95.4 market share is divided into our primary target market of 16 – 26 year old students and young Joburgers who fall within the LSM bracket 5-7.
UJFM made it to the
finals in 10 categories
at 2021 South African radio
urban contemporary music, with Pan-African thought- provoking content.
awards and received 3 radio awards! UJFM Drive winning the best drive show for the 1st time in the history of UJFM. Radio shows Show: UJFM Breakfast Time: 6:00-9:00 Mon- Friday Show: The Urban brunch Time: 9:00-12:00 Mon- Friday Show: The Ego trip Time: 12:00-15:00 Mon- Friday
Show: UJFM Drive Time: 15:00-18:00 Mon- Friday Show: The Night-Cab Time: 18:00-22:00 Mon- Friday
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