Personal details

Born: Manzini, eSwatini on 10 July 1960

Citizenship: South African

Married to Raylene Keightley, Judge of the High Court, Gauteng Division, Johannesburg. Have 3 adult sons

  1. Malkerns Valley School, Malkerns, eSwatini.
  2. Clifton Preparatory School, Nottingham Road.
  3. St Alban’s College, Pretoria.
University degrees:
  1. Bachelor of Commerce (B. Comm) (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg) 1980 – 1982
  2. Bachelor of Laws (Ll.B) (cum laude) (University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg) 1983 – 1984
  3. Master of Laws (Ll.M) (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom) 1987-1988
  4. Postgraduate Diploma in Tax Law (University of Cape Town) 1992
Professional history
  • Served articles of clerkship from January 1985 to January 1987 with attorneys Mallinick, Ress, Richman and      Closenberg, Cape Townk
  • Admitted as an attorney in 1987
  • Appointed head of the Public Interest Law Dept at Mallinicks 1988.
  • Appointed a director/partner of Mallinicks in 1992
Judge / adjudication
  • Judge of the Land Claims Court from 1995 to 2000
  • Chairperson of Housing and Property Claims Commission established by the United Nations Human      Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to adjudicate post-conflict property and housing claims in Kosovo 2000     - 2007
  • Acting judge of the Constitutional Court, 1-30 November 2023
  • Acting judge, High Court, Gauteng Division for 4 weeks in 2012, 4 weeks in 2014, 2 weeks in 2015, 4 weeks       in 2018, 2 weeks in 2021, 4 weeks in 2023
  • Acting judge, Land Claims Court for 4 weeks in 2017

Recommended by the Judicial Services Commission in April 2022 as one of four candidates for appointment to one post on the Constitutional Court in terms of section 174(4)(a) of the Constitution.


  • Practising advocate and member of the Johannesburg Bar since July 2001
  • Director of Litigation, Constitutional Litigation Unit, Legal Resources Centre, Johannesburg 2004 - 2006
  • Appointed senior counsel 2011
  • Member of Island Group of Advocates from 2001 to 2012
  • Member of Victoria Mxenge Group of Advocates since 2013
Other positions held
  • Served as a board member of the Surplus People Project. The Surplus People Project is a non-governmental      organisation which was involved in opposing forced removals, and promoting housing and                                        development-related issues affecting the poor.
  • Served as a Trustee of the Richtersveld Community Trust. This trust distributed funds for education of young         persons in the Richtersveld community and for development projects.
  • Chaired drafting committee which drafted National Forests Act 84 of 1998 and National Veld and Forest Fire        Act 101 of 1998.
  • Served as chairperson of the National Forests Advisory Council established in terms of section 33 of the                National Forests Act (1999 – 2003).
  • Vice chairperson: Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors Disciplinary Committee (2006 - 2011)
  • Chairperson: Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors Disciplinary Committee (2011 -2020)
  • Member of the Minister of Justice’s Reference Group on Land Justice (2019-2020)
Academic Work
Written chapters in the following books
  • Murray and O’Regan (eds) No Place to Rest: Forced Removals and the Law in SA 1990 (OUP) - a chapter on          the Group Areas Act.
  • Ramphele and Mc Dowell (eds) Restoring the Land : Environment and Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa      1991 (Panos) - a chapter on Environmental Law.
  • S Leckie (ed) Housing and Property Restitution: A Comparative Analysis (Transnational Publishers)
  • Walker et al Land, Memory, Reconstruction and Justice: Perspectives on Land Claims in South Africa (Ohio)           2010
Journal articles:
  • The Right to Housing as a Basic Human Right and the Law Relating to Informal Settlement in The Human              Rights and Constitutional Law Journal of Southern Africa (1996)12 Annual Survey Chapter on Civil and                  Constitutional Procedure and Jurisdiction 2002 –2006.
  • The Natives Land Act of 1913 and its Legacy Article written for Advocate magazine on the centenary of the          passing of the Act in 2013. The article also deals with the role of Solomon Tshekeisho Plaatje in documenting        the pernicious effects of the Act and in resisting it
  • Conference and workshop papers and similar:
  • Presented paper on restitution in South Africa and Kosovo at International Bar Association Conference in                Prague September 2005,
  • Presented lecture on post-conflict property issues at European Union Course on the Rule of Law and Post-            conflict Societies at Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden April 2006 Presented paper on post-restitution                support at land restitution conference in Cape Town in September 2006.
  • Presented lecture on land restitution at workshop in Bogota, Colombia in September 2009
  • Presented paper entitled Land Reform in South Africa and Kosovo: Possible Lessons for Zimbabwe at                        workshop for Zimbabwean human rights lawyers, University of Witwatersrand, October 2011
  • Prepared submissions for the Foundation for Human Rights to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and                        Constitutional Development concerning the incompatibility of the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill          and Superior Courts Bill with principles of judicial independence. Co-drafted a Courts Administration Bill for          the creation of an independently administered judiciary (not adopted).
  • Participated in workshop and prepared submissions on developing alternatives to current land reform laws            which were submitted to Parliament’s High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the                     Acceleration of Fundamental Change: Working Group on Land Reform, Restitution and Security of Tenure              2017. Also prepared draft Bill entitled Restitution of Land Rights Judicial Amendment Bill as part of the               process.
  • Presented paper at Contested Histories Workshop entitled Flawed Marriages, Difficult Divorces: Conflict in            process Land Trusts and CPAs, Land and Accountability Research Centre, UCT, November 2017.
  • Presented paper at Legal Resources Centre 2020 AGM on Alternative Dispute Resolution in the context of            land reform and the new Land Court Bill.