RE: ATTORNEYS AMENDMENT BILL, 1998
We acknowledge receipt of your letter and enclosure thereto of the Amendment Bill with thanks dated the 17th ultimo.
The extension of cover to attorneys practising within our Society and jurisdiction is welcomed as this is long over due, since the Meeting held between ourselves, ALS, Transvaal Law society, Other interested parties, yourself and your department during March 1995 at your offices in Pretoria.
We all agreed as the Minister will recall and all resolved that our Law Society will remain autonomous and an entity on its own until the rationalisation of the attorneys profession has been finalised in the Republic.
A further heartily condition was that the Fidelity Guarantee Fund in Cape Town should also be extended to our society like all other Law Societies fully in operational within the Republic.
The main purpose of the establishment of the Fidelity Fund was for the protection of members of the public against unscrupulous Attorneys.
It is a fact that geographically, Transvaal and Bophuthatswana are not existing. It is also a fact that Transvaal Law Society and Bophuthatswana were -both created by apartheid Volks and none of them did invite any part of African Practitioners when both were established to make any input on its formations.
African Legal practitioners regard our statutory body as their home as it is a representative body of all Practitioners within our jurisdiction.
Since the establishment of Bophuthatswana Law Society only four Practitioners were struck-off the roll for dishonesty and our Fidelity Fund was depleted as our cover was never extended to the Fidelity Fund in Cape Town by the former apartheid structures.
Members of our society resolved that the administration of this society is well administered by a Director appointed by the council and that there is no need nor necessity to cede the administration thereof to a statutory body which is on par and also separated from ours by an Act of Parliament, which Act has not been repealed according to the constitution of the Land.
It is with regret, Dr Omar, that the integrity and esteem of a Black Practitioner in our land will be diminished by taking over his weapon and home to an only white administration which is also about to dissolve into Gauteng Province.
The views of our members are that we keep our administration as it is, until rationalisation of the legal Profession, that Chapter II of our Act should be repealed in complexu and Chapter II of Act 53 of 1979 from section 25-54 be inserted to our Act.
The Minister should finally take into account the attorneys under our society practising in Thaba-Nchu, which geographically falls under the Free State to be controlled by the administration in GAUTENG.
Our members are optimistic that their views will be considered well upon receipt of these submissions.