PMB advocate appointed to KZN bench

2010-10-21 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG advocate is one of 17 judges appointed by President Jacob Zuma on the recommendation of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) yesterday.

KZN judge Leona Theron has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeals. Judge Chimon Patel is Deputy Judge President of KZN.

Pietermaritzburg advocate Rishi Seegobin and Durban lawyer Nompumelelo Radebe are appointed to the KZN bench.

The JSC’s Dumisa Ntsebeza said also appointed to the SCA are judges S.A. Majiet and W.L. Seriti.

The JSC did not appoint anyone to the Labour Appeals Court due to deliberations over whether labour appeals would in future be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

There was no recommendation for Limpopo.

Ntsebeza chuckled when he explained that Thohoyandou advocate Maele Mushasha’s application was accompanied by a glowing recommendation from the International Association of Women Judges that “she is appropriately qualified”.

“He turned out to be very much male and not female …” he said.

Of the women applicants, six of those recommended are black and one white. Of the men, 10 are black and two are white.

Other appointments are Judge N.C. Dambuza to the Competition Appeal Court; advocate B. Hartle to the Eastern Cape High Court in Bhisho and Acting Judge N.G. Mjali for the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha. For the north and south Gauteng high courts, advocate H.J. de Vos, H.E. Ismail, advocate F. Kathree-Setiloane, R.E. Monama, advocate S.P. Mothle and advocate W.L. Wepener. For the North West High Court, advocate N. Gutta and for the Western Cape High Court, Dr M.I. Samela.

PIETERMARITZBURG advocate Rishi Seegobin is chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg Bar and deputy chairperson of the Society of Advocates, KZN.

He is also an active member of Advocates for Transformation.

Born in Dannhauser in 1957, he is married to Kalpana (also a lawyer) and is a father of twin daughters, Reesha and Riona.

Seegobin graduated with a BA LLB from the University of Durban Westville and has qualifications in labour litigation, constitutional litigation and a higher diploma in income tax.

He was admitted as an advocate in August 1984 and has practised as an advocate for more than 25 years. He has also held acting appointments as judge in KZN.

In his years as a junior counsel, Seegobin found work involving the death penalty extremely stressful and collated statistics for use by the National Association of Democratic Lawyers in their fight to abolish the death sentence.

He also represented many accused in cases involving political unrest in the 1980s and 90s. More recently, work from the office of the state attorney and Road Accident Fund formed the bulk of his practice. He developed a strong interest in medical negligence and personal injury matters, as well as income tax law.

One high-profile trial in which Seegobin acted was the so-called “Trust Feed trial”. He represented one of the four special constables later found guilty of murder. Their defence was that they had acted on the orders of their commander.

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