Life and times of Selby Mbenenge

2013-06-02 06:00

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“I shall pass through this world, but once. If there is any good that I must do, let me do it now.” This is the bible verse that Advocate Selby Mbenenge (SC), subscribes to.

Mbenenge chaired the recently much publicised disciplinary hearing between the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and one of its employees, Glynnis Breytenbach, where he exonerated her of all 15 charges brought against her.

Mbenenge, in an interview this week at his plush East London home, refused to comment on the NPA case against Breytenbach or what he thought about the NPA as an institution.

“I would like to steer clear of comments on the NPA case. I handed down my decision, and it speaks for itself,” Mbenenge said.

An early riser who plans and and thinks about most of his cases in the early hours of the morning (3am), Mbenenge, a former prosecutor himself, agreed to talk about anything but the NPA case.

He invited us to his beautiful home at Bunker’s Hill, where he stays with his wife, Sabs, their three children and a granddaughter.

He is passionate about his profession and a graduate of the former University of Transkei in Mthatha.

Mbenenge is a very busy man, with chambers in Mthatha and East London and a member of both the Bhisho and Mthatha Societies of Advocates.

“One cannot help but be proud of a profession whose role is to uphold the values and norms enshrined in the Constitution of this Country,” he said.

Apart from his love of law, the Butterworth-born music fanatic is a chorister of note and juggles his busy schedule, his love of music and his family responsibilities.

“I still find time to engage in singing, participating in no less than four musical groups, including but not limited to the Summerpride SDA Church Choir and Joybells,” he said.

There is no doubt that the 52-year-old Mbenenge enjoys very close relationships with his family, particularly with his son Sipho and granddaughter Lisakhanya, the latest additions to the family.

“My life mainly centres around three institutions, namely, home, church and work,” he said while admitting that, “maintaining the requisite equilibrium has not been easy at all.”

Mbenenge who is of the Jola clan, enjoys taking pictures, as downstairs in what he refers to as the music room, are pictures of his high school days at St John’s College, Mthatha, where he matriculated in 1979.

He keeps old pictures of choir members and old records of choral, soul and classic music.

In the playroom, a pool table and table tennis can be seen, where the family comes to enjoy a bit of fun.

“Being a lawyer would have been less enjoyable without the support of my wife, Sabs, who manages the home, my two daughters, Nontlantla and Mandisa, and my son, Sipho.At times the demands of my work keep me miles away from home, but members of my family have learnt to cope with and understand the situation,” he said.

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