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Justice Tshiqi gained experience as an attorney having practiced for 14 years prior to becoming a judge in 2005. She is an activist for constitutional transformation which is evident from the work she does with the Regional Judges Forum, where they deal with issues such as human rights, gender, TB prevention, and HIV awareness.

Early Years and Career

Zukisa Laura Lumka Tshiqi (born Qingana), was born in Cefane, a small area in the Eastern Cape in 1961. Justice Tshiqi views her father as a contributor to her resolve to work hard, his drive influenced her life and subsequent determination.

She studied at the University of Witwatersrand where she obtained her B Proc degree in 1989 and an Advanced Diploma in Labour Law from Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) in 2001.  She was appointed as Legal Co-Ordinator of the South African Council of Churches from 1986 to 1989. In 1991, she completed her Articles of Clerkship at Neluheni Attorneys. She was subsequently admitted as an attorney of the High Court in 1991. Justice Tshiqi was then appointed as a Professional Assistant in 1991 at Matlala Attorneys where she worked with various matters and various areas of law. In 1992, she was appointed as the Litigation Officer and Trial Advocacy Trainer of the Black Lawyers Associations until 1994 when she opened her own practice and was practicing as such from 1994 to 2005. During 1995 to 2005, she was also appointed as Senior Commissioner of the CCMA and the bargaining councils. Justice Tshiqi is a qualified trainer, facilitator and mediator and she is a trainer at an ad hoc basis for the South African Judicial Institute.

In 2003 to 2004, she was appointed as an Acting Judge of the High Court and the Labour Court. In 2005, she was appointed as a Judge of the High Court. In 2007, she was appointed as Acting Judge at the Competition Appeal Court and in 2009, she was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal where she presided over many matters for 10 years prior to her appointment at the Constitutional Court.

 

Appointment to the Constitutional Court

Justice Tshiqi regards her appointment to the Constitutional Court as an honour and privilege. 

 

Zukisa Laura Lumka Tshiqi (born Qingana), was born in Cefane, a small area in the Eastern Cape in 1961. Justice Tshiqi views her father as a contributor to her resolve to work hard, his drive influenced her life and subsequent determination.

She studied at the University of Witwatersrand where she obtained her B Proc degree in 1989 and an Advanced Diploma in Labour Law from Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) in 2001.  She was appointed as Legal Co-Ordinator of the South African Council of Churches from 1986 to 1989. In 1991, she completed her Articles of Clerkship at Neluheni Attorneys. She was subsequently admitted as an attorney of the High Court in 1991. Justice Tshiqi was then appointed as a Professional Assistant in 1991 at Matlala Attorneys where she worked with various matters and various areas of law. In 1992, she was appointed as the Litigation Officer and Trial Advocacy Trainer of the Black Lawyers Associations until 1994 when she opened her own practice and was practicing as such from 1994 to 2005. During 1995 to 2005, she was also appointed as Senior Commissioner of the CCMA and the bargaining councils. Justice Tshiqi is a qualified trainer, facilitator and mediator and she is a trainer at an ad hoc basis for the South African Judicial Institute.

In 2003 to 2004, she was appointed as an Acting Judge of the High Court and the Labour Court. In 2005, she was appointed as a Judge of the High Court. In 2007, she was appointed as Acting Judge at the Competition Appeal Court and in 2009, she was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal where she presided over many matters for 10 years prior to her appointment at the Constitutional Court.

Introduction/Summary

Justice Steven Arnold Majiedt is a current Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa. He was appointed in 2019, leaving his seat at the Supreme Court of Appeal, where he was first appointed in 2010. Prior to this, Justice Majiedt was an advocate at the Northern Cape Society of Advocates, before his first judicial appointment at the Northern Cape High Court in Kimberley in 2000.

Justice Majiedt’s practising career was characterised by significant political work, and his ethos is primarily centred on advocating for the voiceless. During Justice Majiedt’s time as a judge he has ruled on matters both complex and controversial – ranging from international criminal law to the interpretation of statutory licensing requirements.

Early Life

Justice Majiedt was born in Kenhardt, a small town in the Northern Cape, to parents who were both educators. His father was an activist committed to liberation in the region. When he was eight years old, his father was appointed as the principal of a primary school, leading the family to relocate to Barkly West. He matriculated at William Pescod High School in 1978 and completed a BA(Law) in 1981 followed by an LLB in 1983, both from the University of the Western Cape.

In 1984, upon completing his LLB, Justice Majiedt hoped to practise as an attorney in Kimberly; however, he was unable to secure a position at a law firm to complete his articles necessary for admission as an attorney, mostly due to apparent discrimination on the part of White firms, only one of which granted him an interview. As such, Justice Majiedt decided to go to the Cape Bar and practise as an advocate. In 1984, he joined the Cape Bar and began work on the famous 5th floor of Huguenot Chambers. This floor was notoriously known as the “ANC/UDF” floor, due to the political alignment of the advocates which composed its ranks. Justice Majiedt worked here alongside the likes of Adv. Dullah Omar, who later became his mentor.

The same year that Justice Majiedt began practicing as an advocate, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to complete an LLM at Stanford University in the USA. Nonetheless, Adv. Dullar Omar advised him to stay; Justice Majiedt recalls Adv. Omar as saying, “you can’t go, we need young lawyers to fight in the trenches”. Again in 1987 Justice Majiedt received an offer to complete his LLM, this time at North Western University in Chicago, USA; again, he declined the offer, this time due to family reasons. Though Justice Majiedt admits he would have liked to have completed an LLM, he still maintains that he has no regrets for not taking up the offers at the time, concluding that he was able to learn instead from some of the greatest jurists in South African history and to make a modest contribution to the liberation struggle by defending many political activists. 

Justice Majiedt later joined the Northern Cape Premier’s Office as the Chief Legal Adviser for the Province from 1997 until 1999, before leaving again for practice. In 2000, while one year back in practice as an advocate in the Northern Cape Society of Advocates, he was appointed as judge in the Northern Cape High Court where he worked for 10 years, until 2010. In 2010 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeal and also acted for short stint at the Constitutional Court from January to May 2014. On 11 September 2019 was appointed by the President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Constitutional Court.

 

Career highlights

Justice Majiedt considers many of the highlights of his career to be the people with whom he has worked with. Notably, Justice Majiedt recalls that he learned much from working with anti-Apartheid activist, lawyer and minister, Adv. Dullah Omar. Adv. Omar, who worked just two chambers down from Justice Majiedt’s chambers during his time at Huguenot Chamber, and the two worked together on numerous cases, with Justice Majiedt considering Adv. Omar as one of his great mentors.

Likewise, Justice Majiedt recalls with fondness having worked closely as an advocate with judicial juggernauts such as the former Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Arthur Chaskalson; the former Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Ismail Mahomed; former Justice Thembile Skweyiya; the former Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Dikgang Moseneke; former Judge President Bernard Ngoepe; and the former Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa Pius Langa. Justice Majiedt attributes much of his experience to that which he gained from working with these individuals.

Another of Justice Majiedt’s career highlights was his role in having assisted in the holding of South Africa’s first free democratic elections in 1994, when he was asked to travel back to his home province, the Northern Cape for this purpose. Shortly thereafter, Justice Majiedt spent some time assisting in ensuring that the Northern Cape became operational as a Constitutional Province with the appropriate structures of governance, before returning back to his practice as an advocate.

Of course, Justice Majiedt’s appointments to the High Court in 2000, the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2010, and the Constitutional Court in 2019 are also some of the highlights of his career.

Ultimately, however, Justice Majiedt recalls,

“My greatest highlight was representing and defending people from all backgrounds and all walks of life during the liberation struggle. Not just the high-profile, high-media cases, but even those who were arrested for minor offences…”

 

Key Judgments

National Commissioner of the South African Police Service v Southern African Human Rights Litigation Centre and Another [2014] ZACC 30

This judgment concerned whether or not the South African Police Service had a duty in terms of South African domestic laws and international law, to investigate allegations of torture committed in Zimbabwe by the Zimbabwean police against civilians. Primarily, the judgment centred on South Africa’s obligations under international criminal law (particularly the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court) to undertake such investigations. In a unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court, Justice Majiedt found that the implications of South Africa’s accession to the Rome Statute rendered an obligation on SAPS to investigate these grave allegations, noting:

“Our country’s international and domestic law commitments must be honoured. We cannot be seen to be tolerant of impunity for alleged torturers. We must take up our rightful place in the community of nations with its concomitant obligations. We dare not be a safe haven for those who commit crimes against humanity”.

Commissioner, SARS v MultiChoice Africa (218/10) [2011] ZASCA 41 (29 March 2011)

This judgment concerned a highly technical matter surrounding the correct tariff classification of a particular model of digital satellite decoder under South Africa’s customs and excise framework. In particular, the parties contested the correct head of classification for the decoder, which was complicated due to the multiplicity of functions capable of being performed by that particular decoder. That the judgment achieved unanimity in the Supreme Court was impressive, particularly owing to the complexity of the matter.

 

Cool Ideas 1186 CC v Anne Christine Hubbard and Another [2014] ZACC 16

In this case, the Constitutional Court, in following the leading judgment of Justice Majiedt, found that an arbitral award which was made in favour of an unlicensed building company should not be enforced. Traversing a multitude of areas of law, Justice Majiedt balanced principles of statutory interpretation, the law of arbitration (including international laws), criminal law, terms of licenses, contract law, and the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act. For this judgment, Justice Majiedt secured the majority of the Court’s agreement, despite it being a highly contentious case which resulted in the production of an additional and nuanced concurring judgment, and a weighty dissent.

 

Family and Personal Life

Justice Majiedt is married to Rowena Mandy, who was a teacher before becoming a successful businesswoman. Justice Majiedt and his wife have a daughter, Corrine Mandy. Justice Majiedt and his family live in Johannesburg, though he enjoys travelling, both within South Africa and internationally. Both Justice Majiedt and his wife are avid golfers, though he admits that he wishes he was better at the sport.

 

Quotes from and about Justice Majiedt

“I believe that judges should always remember that they are mere mortals. They are human beings who are prone to mistakes and shortcomings just like any other person. For this reason, judges should always remain humble and remember too, that they are servants of the people, and never better than those people who they serve.” – Justice Majiedt

 

“My inclination will always be for the downtrodden, the oppressed, for the little guy. Because that’s how I grew up, that’s what shaped my whole philosophy as a young lawyer.” – Justice Majiedt

“Not once in more than 10 years have I come across a candidate about whom no one had a bad word to say. Until Majiedt.” – Franny Rabkin (News Editor, Mail & Guardian), following Justice Majiedt’s appointment to the Constitutional Court in 2019.

Interesting Facts

Justice Majiedt recounts, referring to his former workplace on the 5th Floor of the Huguenot Chambers, fondly known as the ‘ANC/UDF’ floor, that “One year there was a bomb scare, in 1986, and the guys sitting on the 14th or 15th floor said, ‘Just check if the fifth floor guys are there. If the fifth floor guys are there, it’s a hoax.”

Justice Majiedt traces his family name to a Muslim slave, who was brought from the Island of Java, Indonesia to the Cape in South Africa. His ancestor was one of three brothers, who at the time spelled their name ‘Magiet’. Today there are many Magiets in the Cape Peninsula, some of whom were notably prominent in non-racial cricket during Apartheid. The brother from whom Justice Majiedt traces his name however, migrated inland from the Cape before converting to Christianity and falling in love with a Khoisan woman, whom he then married. Justice Majiedt thus traces his heritage, the unique spelling of his name, and his Christian tradition from this couple.

Personal details

7 November 1966, Durban
Husband: Charles Sarjoo
Four children

Education

Matric: Sparks Estate Senior Secondary School, Sydenham
BA (1987) University of Natal
LLB (1989) University of Natal
LLM (1990) Washington DC, USA

Professional history

Dawson & Partners; Durban (Candidate Attorney): February 1983 to June 1989
University of Natal; Durban (Acting Street Law Co-ordinator): November 1988 to January 1989
Adjunct Lecturer Mangosuthu Technikon, Umlazi: February to June 1989
International Labour Organisation (ILO); Washington D.C (Special Assistant to the Director): December 1989 to May 1990
Occupational Safety and Health Law Centre; Washington D.C (Summer Associate): June 1990 to July 1990
Advocate of the High Court, Kwa-Zulu Natal: December 1990
Reich, Adell & Crost Law Offices; Washington D.C (Summer Associate): August 1990 to September 1990
Community Law Centre (Trainer): November 1990 to June 1991
Part time Lecturer, University of Natal: July 1994 to November 1994
Independent Electoral Commission (Provincial Adjudication Secretary): July 1994 to November 1994
Judge White Commission (Formerly Browde Commission): January 1995 to May 1997

Judicial positions

OK Bazaars; Umhlanga Rocks (Part-time Cashier): December 1983 to January 1989
Legal Aid Clinic, University of Natal; Durban (Part-time Legal Advisor/Secretary): May 1986 to November 1988
Acting Judge, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal, 1998 – 1999
Judge of the High Court of South Africa (Natal Provincial Division): 15 October 1999 to 2010
Acting Judge, Supreme Court of Appeal (Bloemfontein): May 2006 to June 2007 and December 2009 to March 2010
Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of Appeal (Bloemfontein): 1 December 2010
Acting Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa: February 2015 to May 2015

Publications, Awards, Honours and Other Activities:

KZN Legal Forum Award for Contribution to the Development of Justice in South Africa: 2011
University of Durban Westville, Mababongwe Award: 2003
Department of Justice Woman Achiever of the Year: 2000
Commonwealth Foundation Fellow: 1995 – Visited London, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Post/Natal Young Achiever of the Year Finalist: 1994
Fullbright Scholarship: 1990
Black South African Lawyers Program, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA: 1990
Board Member: Rules Board for Courts of Law
Trustee: African Monitor
Council Member: Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association
Council Member: Ombudsman for Long Term Insurance
Council Member: South African Judicial Education Institute
Founding Member of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Woman Judges (IAWJ)
Vice President of Programs: 2003 – 2007

Personal details

2 May 1964, Port Elizabeth.One child

Education

Matric: Kenneth Masekela High School, Kwa-Thema, Springs
B Proc (1987) University of the North, Limpopo


Professional history
  • Attorney, N Mhlantla & Associates: 1990 – 31 May 2002
  • Acting Judge, Eastern Cape High Court: April 2000 – 30 September 2000
  • Judge of the High Court, Eastern Cape: 1 June 2002 – 30 November 2008
  • Acting Judge, Supreme Court of Appeal: 1 June – 30 November 2008
  • Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of Appeal: 2009

Mbuyiseli Russel Madlanga was born and raised at the rural village of Njijini 16 kilometres outside the small town of Mount Frere, Eastern Cape Province. He is married to Nosisi Madlanga (born Nkenkana). He matriculated at Mariazell High School, Matatiele. He obtained the BJuris degree at the University of Transkei (Unitra). In 1981 – whilst doing that degree – he was awarded the Juta Prize for being the best law student. He enrolled for the LLB degree at Rhodes University. In his final year he was appointed tutor, tutoring first year law students.

After graduating, he lectured part-time in the Law Faculty of Unitra whilst working for the Department of Justice towards fulfilling his contractual obligations under a government bursary that had funded his LLB studies. He later lectured full-time at Unitra for two years. He proceeded to do an LLM in Human Rights and Constitutional Law, which he received cum laude at the University of Notre Dame in the USA. He interned at the Washington DC office of Amnesty International. On his return, he did pupillage at the Johannesburg Bar. On completion, he opened practice at the Mthatha Bar.

At the age of 34 he was appointed as a Judge of the Mthatha High Court becoming South Africa's youngest judge at the time. Within only three years of this appointment, he was appointed Acting Judge of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. He was then appointed – this time on a permanent basis – as a Judge of Appeal in the Competition Appeal Court. He continued acting on the Supreme Court of Appeal Bench because the Competition Appeal Court was new and was yet to commence functioning. His acting appointment at the Supreme Court of Appeal – which was for a year – was cut short as he was then appointed to act as the Judge President of the Mthatha High Court. Whilst holding that position, he received yet another appointment; this time as an Acting Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Personal circumstances forced him to resign from the Judiciary. He returned to the Bar as senior counsel, practising in Mthatha and Johannesburg. His practice took off immediately and he appeared in virtually all the High Courts in the country and in the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. Notably, he received a brief to represent the Republic of South Africa at the International Court of Justice at The Hague (Den Haag) in the Netherlands. This was in the case of the 'Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". Another brief of note that he received was his appointment by Mr Trevor Manuel, the then Minister of Finance, as the Chairperson (which – in terms of the applicable legislation – was an executive position) of the Exchange Control Amnesty Unit. This Unit did not only grant amnesty to people who had contravened Exchange Control Regulations (Regulations) in expatriating their assets, it also facilitated the disclosure of assets worth R68,6 billion, 70% of which had been taken out of the country in contravention of the Regulations. The process also raised R2,9 billion in levies. The disclosure of offshore assets resulted in an estimated R1.4 billion increase in the tax base. This is what the then Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Jabu Moleketi, said about the Unit on completion of its task:

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Amnesty Unit for their sterling work. When the unit was initially announced, we did not anticipate the huge task that they would be faced with, both in the number of applications received and the associated logistics. It is through the exceptional efforts and meticulous approach of our Unit that other countries now seek to use our amnesty as an international benchmark. I wish to specifically thank the chairperson, Advocate Mbuyiseli Madlanga, who has led the Amnesty Unit impeccably and with great enthusiasm."

Yet another assignment worth particular mention was Mbuyiseli's appointment as the Chief Evidence Leader of the Marikana Commission of Enquiry. This is a Commission of Inquiry that was appointed to enquire into the killings of 34 striking mine workers and 10 other people in Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West Province in August 2012. In that capacity he was lead counsel in a team of seven advocates, three of whom (including him) were senior counsel. He held numerous other briefs in high profile cases.

On appointment by the President, Mbuyiseli became a member of the Competition Tribunal for 9 years, during 3 of which he was its Deputy Chairperson. As a nominee of the Advocates for Transformation component of the General Council of the Bar, the President next appointed him as a member of the Judicial Service Commission, a position he held for 2 years. He was then appointed – directly from his practice as an advocate – to become a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa with effect from 1 August 2013, this time on a permanent basis.

At the invitation of the Law School of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, he held the prestigious Clynes Chair as a visiting professor. This Chair is reserved for distinguished US and international legal scholars and amongst those who have held it are US Supreme Court Justices. In that capacity he offered a two credit three week course from 4 April 2016.

Walter Sisulu University awarded him a Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree (honoris causa) at the graduation ceremony of 13 May 2016.

On 31 March 2017 Justice Madlanga was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the South African Judicial Education Journal, a journal scheduled for launch in April 2018 and to be published under the auspices of the South African Judicial Education Institute, a statutory body with the mandate of providing continuing education to the Judiciary. He has been a member of the editorial board of the South African Law Journal. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Yearbook of South African law.

His interests are not only in the law and academics. For 8 years Mbuyiseli was a member of the Arbitration Panel of his church, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa; having been appointed to that position by Conference, the church's highest governing body. He has also held other leadership positions which – because of space constraints – cannot be specified here.