Zuma directs govt to empower black lawyers - Presidency

Zuma directs Masutha to act on black lawyers' complaints

Zuma directs Masutha to act on black lawyers' complaints

The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) said on Friday during a protest at the Union Buildings that legal briefs given by government to black advocates were merely the crumbs that had fallen from the trays of fully-fed white male advocates.

"Should a black lawyer now get appointed to become a judge, they will not be able to judge issues which they were not exposed to, so we want to be exposed to all level of legal work", Sigogo said.

"We are here today, 23 years after the inauguration of the democratic country, it is totally unacceptable that black legal practitioners of 2017 are faced with the same challenges experienced by legal practitioners of apartheid".

The continued reluctance in giving legal work to black legal practitioners represented the continuation of the dehumanisation of black South Africans, he said.

BLA president Lutendo Sigogo told reporters that his association was now demanding that President Jacob Zuma intervene and "use his powers" to influence government departments and municipalities to brief Black attorneys as well when it came to matters before the courts.

"The president should facilitate coordination of distribution of state legal work through one central office, preferably the solicitor-general, which will record and keep statistics of all the issued instructions or briefs".

He said the protest was directed at Zuma as the head of state because the state was the biggest consumer of legal services in the country.

It gave Zuma 30 days to respond to the demands.