Lawyer urges black colleagues to act when excluded

2013-05-21 08:51

A junior advocate has urged black businesses and lawyers not to shy away from suing for anti-competitive practices when they are excluded because of their race.

Cape Town-based advocate Simba Chitando was involved in a legal battle with three colleagues at the Cape Bar and four legal firms, Business Day reported today.

He claimed he was excluded from briefings on shipping matters because he was black and Zimbabwean, and that complaints to the Cape Bar council about “racist and xenophobic briefing patterns” would often go unpunished.

“The Cape Bar is notorious, among black African advocates, for excluding our people,” he was quoted as telling the newspaper.

According to Business Day, Cape Bar Council chairman John Newdigate said there were several programmes “on the go” to empower young black and female advocates.

Chitando reportedly accused law firms Webber Wentzel, Norton Rose, Bowman Gilfillan and Shepstone & Wylie of racism and xenophobia in one of his cases before the Competition Tribunal,

He had made similar allegations against his seniors at the Cape Bar – Michael Fitzgerald, Russel MacWilliam and Michael Wragge – in another case.

Business Day reported the three had accused Chitando of attempted extortion, and submitted an e-mail from him to their attorney, in which he allegedly offered to withdraw the case if they each paid him R300 000.

Chitando told the newspaper the e-mail was a genuine offer to settle, made “without prejudice”.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.