2008 News


Congratulations to Prof Graham Glover who has been nominated as one of the editors of the South African Law Journal.

Professor Mqeke has also been nominated to serve in the Council of the South African Judicial Education Institute.


David Grenville won the Best Orator at the intervasity Moot Competition for first year students held at the Free State University in October 2008. 


Judge Lex Mpati, who has been appointed President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), is critical of proposals to downgrade the role of the SCA. Mpati studied law at Rhodes, emerging with a BA in 1982 and with an LLB in 1984. After completing his articles at local law firm Netteltons, he practised as an attorney in Grahamstown. In 1989, he became an advocate at the Eastern Cape Bar and championed the cause of the political and economic underdog. He continued his human rights work as in-house counsel of the Legal Resources Centre after 1994. In 1996, former president Nelson Mandela appointed him Senior Counsel and a year later he became a judge on the Eastern Cape bench. Within two years, he was appointed an acting judge of appeal and became the first black permanent judge of appeal in December 2000. Three years later he was appointed deputy president of the SCA.

(DAILY DISPATCH - 27 May 2008)


The South African Law Deans’ Association (SALDA) deplores the rise of xenophobia in various sectors of our society and expresses its concern at the state’s apparent incapacity to deal effectively with the causes of the problem and its consequences. We are particularly concerned that students and colleagues around the country might no longer feel safe in our society and we would like to reassure them of our support and solidarity.

SALDA totally opposes the expression of prejudice and intolerance and the violent reaction that we have witnessed recently. Such conduct violates the values of dignity, equality and freedom which are fundamental to our Constitution. We emphasise that the Constitution does not have limited application: except in a few particular instances, the fundamental rights apply to everyone. Irrespective of their place of birth, everyone in our society is entitled to have their rights to life, dignity and property respected.

We associate ourselves fully with calls upon perpetrators to desist from such unacceptable conduct and instead to respect one another and uphold and promote our fundamental values.

Issued by:
Prof Rob Midgley
President: SALDA
23 May 2008



The South African Law Deans´ Association (SALDA) discussed the state of legal education at its meeting held at UCT on 22 and 23 May and identified the following major challenges faced by the system of legal education in South Africa:

  • The lack of educational preparedness for the study of law of most new university entrants. As a consequence, questions must be asked about the truncated duration of the LLB degree (4 instead of 5 years) which was introduced in 1998.
  • The funding of legal education: law as a discipline is included at the lowest level of state subsidy. This creates great difficulty for the teaching of law to the increasing numbers of law students, for the recruitment and retention both of law teachers with specialist skills, as well as for the achievement of demographic transformation of the staff working in tertiary legal education.

  • The changing nature of the context in which law is both studied and practised, in particular the pressures under which judges (and the justice system) have to work, the rapid and as yet undefined changes in legal practice, and socio-economic factors such as the rising levels of fraud, corruption, criminality, social instability and poverty.

In SALDA´s view, the support to legal education by both government and the legal professions needs urgent review in order at least to alleviate and at best to remedy such pressing problems.

SALDA´s concerns about the state of legal education will be tabled at a summit meeting of national stakeholders in legal education to be held on the 5th of June 2008 in Pretoria.

Issued by: Prof Rob Midgley r.midgley@ru.ac.za
President: SALDA
23 May 2008


The Law Faculty held a Law Week which was organised by the Law Student's Council Commitee (LawSoc). Several law firms had stalls and giving advice to students. Sarah Haken the Public Relations Officer of the LawSoc wrote this report.

Will Phillips delivered a guest lecture to LLB students on 9 April in the Moot Room. Will is a graduate of Rhodes having obtained the degrees BSc and LLB. He served his articles at Deneys Reitz in 2005-2006 whereafter he was admitted as an attorney of the High Court. He is presently working as a foreign qualified lawyer in the UK where he is an associate at White and Case in the banking and Capital Markets Practice Group in London. The title of his lecture was "Finance and the Law in London".

Congratulations to Suzette whose post has been upgraded. Suzette will no longer be known as the Faculty Administrator, she will now on be known as our Faculty Officer. This upgrade occurred in recognition of the variety of work and the extent of the responsibility that Suzette has undertaken in recent years.


We would like to congratulate all the Law students who graduated this month. The ceremony was held at the Settlers National Monument. We are proud to announce that the Law Faculty had 61 LLB graduates, 7 of which graduated with distinction. As for the postgraduates, we had 5 LLM graduates, 2 of which graduated with distinction. K K Mwenda was conferred with the Senior Doctorate degree of Law (LLD), awarded for insightful and distinctive published scholarly works deemed to constitute a distinguished contribution to the advancement of knowledge. You can click on the 2007 Alumni page to read the citation from the Dean.

Once again congratulations to all students.

The Law Faculty internal moot programme ran from the 3rd to the 10th March 2008. Helena Van Coller and Anjanette Haller-Barker judged the penultimate year rounds, whilst Wouter De Vos and Helen Kruuse were judges for the final year rounds. All of the judges reported that the students managed well with their submissions, and sometimes fielded gruelling questioning! Well done to all those who took part.

The finalists of the moots are:

Penultimate Year: Christopher McConnachie and Jessica Staples.

Final Year: Philip Abrahams and Daniel Breier.

The finals will be held in the moot room on 2 April (Penultimate year) and 3 April (Final year), and all are welcome to attend. The finals will be presided over by members of the Grahamstown Bar together with Law Faculty staff.

The final year moot on 3 April will be followed by a function in the Graham room, at which the winners of both moots will be announced, as well as the Faculty representatives for the African Human Rights moot in Pretoria in July 2008.


Advovate Gavin Dugmore of Equity House Chambers, gave a guest lecture to the Law of Persons class on 22 February 2008. In what has become an annual event in the Law of Persons course. Adv. Dugmore took the Law of Persons class through the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision of Road Accident Fund v Mtati 2005 (6) SA 215 (SCA), a decision which he successfully argued in the SCA.

The lecture was a lively event with Adv. Dugmore posing questions to the students on possible innovations in the law as a result of the judgment. He was extremely well received by the students who not only enjoyed the academic content but also the insight given into the life of an advocate.

Congratulations to Juliet Visser who was admitted as an Attorney on the 21 February with Plasket J on the bench which made it even more of a pleasure!

Professor Midgley attended a Delict Colloquium which was organised by the University of the Free State and presented a paper entitled "In Search of Delict's Soul?". Various judges of appeal and leading academics in the field attended the colloquium, the aim of which was to discuss recent developments, which caused some academic concern, and to explore a way forward.

Our Faculty Opening was held on the 19th of February 2008. It was a prestigious event and Advocate George Bizos was the Guest Speaker for the night. The function was well attended by students and distinguished guest including the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat, Dr Vivian De Klerk, Dean of Students. A function was held in the Graham Room after Advocate Bizos' speech.


Approximate registration figures for the Law Faculty for 2008 (2007 figures in brackets):

BA, B Com, BSc etc:

Legal Theory 1 305 (255) Commercial Law 1 420 (342)
Legal Theory 2 190 (160) Commercial Law 2 245 (265)
Legal Theory 3 150 (115)


LLB-N 2 10 (12)
Penultimate Year 80 (65)
Final Year 63 (65)
LLM 3 (6)

Total LLBs 156 (142) (2006: 142 2005: 147 2004: 163 and 2003: 148)


The Universities of the Western and Eastern Cape fifth Annual Law Conference was held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on 28th and 29th January 2008. Participants from various universities participated in the Conference, representing universities from UWC, NNMU, UCT, UFH, US, UFS and RU. Papers included various interesting topics such as the ficuciary office of the trustee; adultery, harbouring and enticement; fractional ownership; electronic wills and many more.

Ms Helena Van Coller delivered a paper at the Conference, entitled: “The European Ombudsman, the African Commission and the principles of good governance: a comparative perspective”.

Our faculty members attended the Law Teacher's Conference which was held on the 21-24 January 2008. Professor Rob Midgley delivered a paper entitled "A Morden-day to the actio de pauperie" which was written together with Jonathan Small and Memory Dube. Mrs Liz Davies in co-operation with Mr Gordon Barker, presented a paper on "Reflections on the impact of the academic review process on the faculty of law at Rhodes University". Ms Rosaan Kruger presented a paper on "Unfair discrimination: Revisiting Harksen" while Adv Les Roberts' paper was entitled "The Jury Trial: English and French connections" (Local with international participants.

It looks like some of our members had a good time at the function and on the dance floor.

We take this opportunity to welcome Nonkayiso Patience Ngele who is our new intern for this year. Nonkayiso will be working with us for a period of 12 months. We hope she will enjoy herself and learn as much as possible in the faculty.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Graham Glover and Jonathan Campbell for being appointed to their positions as Associate Professors as from the 1st of January 2008.

From all the staff in the Law Faculty, we wish to welcome all the new students who are joining our Faculty for the first time this year, we hope that your stay with us is rewarding and fulfilling. Should you have any queries, or need any assistance, please feel free to approach the staff for assistance.

To the existing students, welcome back and all the best for this year.

Last Modified: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 14:56:55 SAST