Our organisation Liberty Fighters Network (LFN) is currently challenging the monopoly of South Africa’s legal profession over our Courts by actively advocating that any person may be represented by a person of his/her own choice notwithstanding that such a person is or is not a legal practitioner where any non-legal practitioner may then not expect any fees in return.
We were already successful in one reported High Court case 10 & 10a Kenmere CC v Ndebele and Others (2018/31110)  ZAGPJHC 199 (19 June 2019) to have achieved victory in that field, unfortunately, this matter is also still on appeal to our Supreme Court of Appeal awaiting final confirmation.
We are of the view that Article 7(1)© of the African Charter ensures such right to all our citizens, but unfortunately, our Government has been lacking transition and only incorporated this right in few specialized Courts like the Equality Court and in limited form in the Harassment/Domestic Violence Courts where the latter only provides for the applicant to have someone else refer the matter to the Court and not for the respondent as well which I think is unconstitutional in its own right.
South Africa has a judiciary just like many other countries in Africa still founded on traditions of the colonial rulers with our Advocate Bars still following very much the same traditions like the ones in Britain our judicial system is mostly based on. The black robes and practices are still the same and we believe that our country should build a judiciary incorporating all but in a less formal environment where it is easy to represent oneself knowing that the presiding judge is competent enough to follow an inquiry process rather judging who presented the best legal arguments.
The black robes and prefixes of “My Lord, My Lady, Your Worship, etc.” must go! Formalities must make way for a courtroom to respect that we are all different and differently educated with different financial resources to obtain the services of an expert legal practitioner or not.
Am I just ahead of my time or are their others who believe that the time to reform our judiciary is now and we don’t have any further time to waste achieving this?