Ramaphosa appoints retired judge Siraj Desai as Legal Services Ombud

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Retired judge Siraj Desai
Retired judge Siraj Desai
Jaco Marais, Netwerk24
  • Retired judge Sirajudien Desai has been appointed as Legal Services Ombud in accordance with Section 47 of the Legal Practice Act.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Desai has been appointed on a seven-year term, effective from 16 December.
  • Ramaphosa has empowered Desai to investigate complaints, alleged maladministration within the ambit of the act and actions which may affect the integrity of the legal profession, among other things.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed retired judge Sirajudien (Siraj) Desai as Legal Services Ombud in accordance with Section 47 of the Legal Practice Act.

Ramaphosa has empowered Desai to investigate complaints, alleged maladministration within the ambit of the act and actions which may affect the integrity of the legal the profession, among other things.

SATURDAY PROFILE | Siraj Desai hangs up his robes: 'I didn't want to become a judge'

Desai has been appointed on a seven-year term, effective from 16 December.

Acting presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale said following discussions with Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, Ramaphosa has appointed Desai to advance and safeguard the integrity of the legal profession in the country.

READ | Ramaphosa announces SIU Special Tribunal to fast-track recovery of state funds

"Judge Desai has devoted the greater part of his life to serving the nation as a judge and I am confident he will take the legal profession to new heights by ensuring that those in the profession meet the ethical standards required in a legal system that serves all South Africans with fairness and dignity within the rule of law," Ramaphosa said.

Lamola has welcomed Desai's appointment, saying the retired judge "is one of the best legal minds this country has produced".

"The president could not have appointed a more qualified, experienced and appropriate jurist than judge Desai. Having practised as an attorney and advocate and a cherry on top of having served as a distinguished judge in our constitutional democracy.

"He understands the intricacies and challenges of both streams of the profession. We look forward to working with him and the entire profession in our quest to improve access to justice for our people," Lamola said.

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