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Reminiscing of a time long pass
30 September 2020  | Dries Knoetze | Views: 452

One of Neumann van Rooyen's candidate attorneys was admitted as an attorney by the High Court in Bloemfontein recently. This took me back to 2014 when I myself was admitted.

I still remember the message bestowed upon the few nervous applicants, by the then acting Judge Mbhele. "Do not forget the people who sacrificed to enable you to stand before this Court today,  to be admitted as an attorney and always safe guard the rule of law".

Upon celebrating the momentous achievement of our newest attorney,  I found myself taken back to these wise words and re-assessing my professional career for the past couple of years, and measuring myself to the words of Judge Mbhele. I remember the reasons why, despite all logic, I took the step and became an attorney.  To protect the rule of law and to assist clients in need.

I had the recent displeasure in assisting a client during a tribunal hearing with a certain insurance company in terms of the Coida Act.  As a practicing attorney in various forums, including the High Court and CCMA, I was appalled by the great injustice towards the client in tribunal due to the lack of impartiality of the Tribunal members, to name just one.

Today I am once again reminded that we, as attorneys,  took an oath to

* Protect the rule of law as office bearers of the court,

* Assist the court in interpreting the law

* Not manipulate the law to suit our client and

* Protect the interest of our clients by being honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable.

I truly believe in our justice system, particularly the Constitution and the rights contained in the Bill of Rights and am often enraged and saddened by the injustice that happens in various legal forums. 

Without the rule of law our communities and country will plunge into total anarchy.We as officers of the court must protect the rule of law, as we once promised when being admitted as young starry eyed attorneys.