The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL, Durban and Coast Branch) has launched a student chapter at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. This follows many successful initiatives such as Court Shadowing, both in the CCMA and the Magistrate’s Courts in June/July and assisting applicants in the Family Court on Mandela Day.
These initiatives encompassed the length and breadth of KwaZulu-Natal and, in addition to assisting members of the public, empowered the participants.
The student chapter is aligned with the values of NADEL which promotes and defends the constitutional order to ensure access to justice and the realisation of civil, political and socio-economic rights.
The chapter, in association with the Branch, will, inter alia, launch legal education projects, help students hone their research skills as well as create opportunities for them to gain practical experience.
The launch was a huge success and was graced by the attendance of the leadership of Nadel National, including Deputy President of Nadel, Comrade Motloung, Secretary General Comrade Nolitha Jali, member of the Exco Bukky Olowookorun and virtually by Comrades Carol Selepe and Lizelle Haskins. Comrade Mhlangabezi Maliwa the chairperson of the Pretoria Branch also attended.
NADEL’s Deputy President Mr Motloung said South Africa is faced with a great deal of social justice and leadership challenges that require the youth to actively participate in transforming the country and society.
‘We need young people who are trained to be lawyers. This is the perfect platform to prepare and transform them into human rights activists who will be able to confront these challenges,’ said Motloung.
Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Mr John Jeffery voiced his support for the chapter saying it would make students aware of the realities of justice and transform them into professional leaders.
‘Poverty and inequality remain an existential threat to the rule of law in our country and it is in that area where the value of bodies such as this chapter are so important, as they are able to fulfil a vital role in the areas of social responsibility and social justice.’
Speaking from a student’s perspective, third-year Law candidate Miss Samira Phiri said they were looking forward to taking advantage of what the Chapter had to offer to enhance legal knowledge and practical skills.
‘We are very fortunate to have this forum,’ said Phiri. ‘The programmes involved will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of the legal profession. We are more grateful knowing that the organisation has strong democratic leaders who are eager to mentor us.’
Words: Savera Maharaj
Photograph: Samukelisiwe Cele