Godfrey Pitje---Director Black Lawyers Association---Johannesberg, 1985 was Nelsons Law Pverg
Sello Hlongwane--Research Officer for BLA, Stanley Moshidi---Secretary of BLA
The Black Lawyers Center (BAB)has started a Legal Education Center (in Johannesberg center)
with the help of Ford, Carnege, Rockefeller.
The BLA is going to act as anUnion of Black Lawyers with a special focus on the standing of
black lawyers. The Transvaal Lay Society, which all lawyers in Transvaal must belong to, has
asked why the blacks must have a Black Lawyers Association? The question shows that they are
missing the Black perspective.
We are now feeling the effects of the effects in Bantu education. There has been axxazti#Jiz
substantial decline in the quality of the high school graduates. They are not articulate
in English. They need bridging course work to help with the first years of college.
Once you graduate you have to be articled for 3 years. There are few black lawyersand
most white law firms will not article a black lawyer.
Once you have been articled) you are qualified to set up a private practicebut you have no
funds, no law library. The HLA is going to provide a library in Johannesberg.
Under Bantu education and the more rigid form of apartheid there were sections of the law that
there was no need for a black lawyer to qualify in. For example, property law. Now as the
government allows 99 yeaa lease holds, the black lawyers will have to qualify in property law.
There is considerable need for in service tralnimg programs.
A black lawyer can't do well even if he has a large number of .clients, the clientele have no
funds to pay with.
A Black Lawyer can't take an articled clerk for financial reasons.
Some people have worried about the aLA duplicating the services of the Legal Hesources Uenter.
This isn't the case. Take for example the attack on influx Uontrol. hobani got the judge to
give a more liberal judgement but did not attack the law itself((the right to have a home gave
right to have wife with you). We want to challenge the law. If we don't succeed at least
we will expose the law's inequality.
The imaa~ix whole system must be changed.
The Center is doing publication. There are so many laws that blacks fall into traps everyday.
We need to convey to the mass the nature of the law. The Oenter needs to operate in the
Township. It needs to be open ax after work and on weekends.
The Law Society must make some excupfiaxx exemptions. To provide advise we must have an
The BLA has to comply with common law.
Tekt our sponsors how gritAful we are for their support. (Reckefeller has been slow in sending
There are 6000 lawyers and 300 are black (and this includes coloured and Indians).
Pitje, page 2.
The South Afric;n Situetion.
Dissinvestment is not an issue, on the street they are not even conscious of the discussion.
Boycotts of entertainers and sportsmen sting the egos.
The mass is united in i~ support of Mandela ncCien
Inkata is taken too seriously in America. The membership numbers are not correct, nor is i
membership voluntary. People are following without thinking and without a plan.
NF--confusion is exemplified by Azapo claiming Tuto and UDF with a totally different approach
also claims Tutu as a patron. Movements always shift emphasis and direction.
The blacks never accepted the elections for the 6ity Councils, having boycotted the elections
of course they don't support the councilmen.
The School Boycotts which whites se as a passing phase is going to go on as part of the general
movement--as long as the general situation remains the same.
Authority has broken dovn to the extent that parents are not able to control their children.
It is time to abandon constructive engagement.
Education needs to be invested in without usurping the government's role.
We also need leadership training.
We nope people will realize the potential of the ELA and invest in th&i potential.