Johannesburg attorney and Black Lawyers Association President Busani Mabunda and Pietermaritzburg attorney Richard Scott have been elected as Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). They take the helm of the attorneys’ profession on the eve of the inaugural meeting of the National Forum on the Legal Profession, the transitional body that will debate, negotiate and define the regulation of the legal profession – attorneys and advocates – once the Legal Practice Council takes over the regulation.
Chapter 10 of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014, which implements the National Forum, came into effect on 1 February 2015. Justice Minister Michael Masutha told the LSSA annual general meeting in Durban this past weekend that the inaugural meeting of the National Forum is expected to take place soon.
Mr Scott says: ‘The LSSA will take a leading role in the deliberations of the National Forum. In addition the LSSA will also discuss creating a unified body that will continue to serve the interests of attorneys, as distinct from the strictly regulatory functions that will be performed by the Legal Practice Council under the Legal Practice Act.’
‘We will make a meaningful contribution to the changes in the legal landscape, as regards the regulatory framework for the legal profession, and by ensuring that the best interests of both the public and the profession – which serves the public – are promoted and protected,’ says Mr Mabunda.
Mr Mabunda and Mr Scott will also focus on the unprecedented attacks on the legal profession from various quarters, including from the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who continues to attribute the failures of healthcare practitioners, the healthcare system and its institutions to attorneys’ claiming for medical malpractice on behalf of the victims of these failures.
About Busani Mabunda
Busani Mabunda has been President of the Black Lawyers Association since 2011. He has served as a council member of the LSSA for several years where he has represented the Black Lawyers Association, and is a member of the LSSA’s Management Committee. He also represents the LSSA on the Judicial Service Commission which interviews and nominates judicial candidates for appointment by the President. Mr Mabunda holds the BProc (UDW) and LLB (Wits) degrees, an LLM in Labour Law (UNIN) and certificates and diplomas in banking law, criminal justice and forensic auditing, administrative and constitutional law and sports law from various universities. After serving his articles with Mlambo & Modise Attorneys, he became a director at Mabunda Incorporated in Johannesburg where he has practised since 1997. He focuses on labour law, civil and criminal legislation in the magistrate’s and High Court, as well as personal injury and medical negligence claims. At provincial level, Mr Mabunda has served on the council of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces since 2008 and was its President in 2013. Mr Mabunda is Chairman of the Council of the Vaal University of Technology.
About Richard Scott
Richard Scott is senior partner and chairman of Austen Smith in Pietermaritzburg where he too has extensive experience in the fields of labour law as well as civil and criminal litigation, mainly in the High Court. He has been a member of the council of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society since 2010 and was its President from 2012 to 2013. He represents the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society on the LSSA Council and on its Management Committee. Mr Scott has the BA (Rhodes) and LLB (UKZN) degrees. He served articles of clerkship with the firm J Leslie Smith & Co where he practiced as a professional assistant after admission as an attorney and later became a partner at the firm. He joined his current firm in 1988.