Acknowledging the volunteer work of the legal profession
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic we were able to hold a live Pro Bono Awards ceremony on 26 January 2023. We are most grateful to Bowmans for offering to host us in their splendid auditorium this year. They really made the evening a very special one.
The MC for the evening was Seehaam Samaai, Director of the Women’s Legal Centre in Cape Town and the keynote address was given by Prof. Joel Modiri, Head of the Department of Jurisprudence at the University of Pretoria. “Let me say congratulations in advance to all the award recipients whose hard work and diligence is being recognised tonight. As a law teacher myself, it is my hope that we cultivate in our students a spirit of public-mindedness and service; and that they use their skills towards causes that are human and just in their daily lives,” he said.
The spirit of public-mindedness was evident in the recognition being given to the legal practitioners who received acknowledgment through their awards.
Tribute was paid to the following practitioners in the various categories of law that are dealt with at the Johannesburg office:
Advocate Leigh Franck and attorney Jonathan Stephens were awarded for a long-running and difficult divorce case involving two minor children.
The Rev Leon Forsman and Advocate J P Weitz were acknowledged for launching the mediation programme at the Protea Children’s Court and mediating 49 parenting plans.
RW Africa Attorneys
Fox & Barratt Attorneys
NiSAA Clinic, Gender Based Violence, Lenasia
Bowmans’ Pro Bono Department, headed by Fatima Laher
Sarah Goldman – Lawtons Africa
Nomusa Ndaba Attorneys were awarded for staffing the legal clinic on a regular basis
Patricia Afagwu – Umennaka Attorneys Inc.
Varsity College Students – practical work experience
This award went to Group 10 who spent their practical week at ProBono.Org in July 2022.
The students were Calvin dos Ramos, Daniel Booysen, Darren Viljoen, Hendrik Jonker, Karabo Masuku, Kyle Garrett, Lebohang Maboa, Matthew Coppin, Micaela Nunes, Sahil Samlal and Sian Towlson.
Elsie Mokoena for taking on children’s cases and volunteering to train advocates from the Polokwane Bar on refugee law as well as compiling the training material
Thulisile Buthelezi was mentioned for her training programme on Polygamous Marriages for communities and legal practitioners.
Zola Khumalo received a special mention for mediations in the Children’s Project and for participating as a panellist at the Human Rights Festival and National Children’s Day events.
Elgene Roos was honoured for staffing the refugee legal clinic, assisting with training the Musina community on statelessness and agreeing up update the refugee manual.
Mukhetwa Chauke, a former intern at ProBono.Org and now a candidate attorney at Sonkozi & Associates, was mentioned for being active in the Master’s legal clinic dealing with deceased estates.
Chrysi Kripotos, Nthabiseng Gambushe, Phateka Maliphale were mentioned together for their contribution to the Housing Day event in October 2022.
Naledi Motsiri (Werksmans) received a special mention for her contribution to the housing legal clinic over many years.
Finally, Rita Tladi , paralegal at the WATLA Community Advice Office, was mentioned for her consistent service to her community.
We are most grateful for the support of our sponsors – Spier for the wine, AJS Business Management Systems for the prizes and Bowmans for the venue, catering and technical assistance.