Former clerks are residents in various parts of the world pursuing diverse career paths. There are former clerks who are associate professors, advocates, public prosecutors, CEOs of companies, private consultants, legislative drafters, lecturers at national and international tertiary institutions. Others have elected to work at NGOs and development agencies and at international truth and reconciliation commissions, or have pursued further studies.
One of the best ways of gauging what the Court has to offer is to read the accounts of some of former clerks reflecting on their time here at the Court:
- Bobby Barua
- Anel Boshoff
- Kareem Crayton
- Marco Masotti
- Pulane Motapola
- Lerato Mosime Lamola
- David Simonsz
Bobby Barua - Clerk in the O'Regan chamber 1999/2000
Having arrived straight from university, my time at the Court was a stark reminder of the realities of being a lawyer in modern South Africa, and the challenges our society and the law faces in rebuilding a legal system that enshrines the central tenets of the Constitution. The intellectual deliberations and personalities of the Judges and my fellow clerks were the most rewarding aspects of having been privileged enough to have been part of the Court experience. The time at the Court formed the underpinnings of my future development and I am grateful for the experience.
Anel Boshoff - Clerk in the Sachs chamber 1996
My time at the Court – especially the Certification hearings – can only be described as ‘exhilarating’. I felt that I saw ‘history in the making’ and it provided me with unique insights and experiences that have shaped both my private and professional life.
Kareem Crayton - Foreign clerk in the Ngcobo chamber 2003
For me, the job was the professional experience of a lifetime. Having clerked in the American federal court system, the Court offered an exiting opportunity to think critically about many of the rules and principles of law that I obtained in the United States. Evident in the Court’s handling of its case load is a creativity of thought in using constitutional interpretation to promote social change. That creativity is understood as a virtue among the Judges, and I think that this consensus invokes a special collegiality within the institution and the highest respect from those parties whose disputes are resolved by the Court. The hallmark of the Court is that virtually all of the work is a product of collaboration among the Judges, the clerks and the administrative staff. As South Africa moves further in its effort to achieve its goal of development and transformation, the Court will be a diligent guardian to assure the protection and promotion of the Constitution.
Marco Masotti - Foreign clerk in the Sachs chamber 1997
I consider my experience working for my Judge to be one of the most important and rewarding professional experiences of my life. Wonderful co-clerks, relaxing banter, Fatima’s freshly brewed coffee and beautiful African art were the background to a uniquely intellectual and fun experience. I will cherish the contributions that my Judge has made to my thinking due to his unique perspectives on constitutional jurisprudence and society in general.
Pulane Motapola - Clerk in the Langa chamber 1999
Working at the Court was the most valuable and challenging experience of my working life. Not only did I learn to pay attention to detail and work under pressure, but also think and reflect on issues in an objective manner. On my first day at the Court, I knew I would be working for a Judge, but I had no idea that by putting my signature on the employment contract that day I was automatically endowed with the responsibility of contributing to the constitutional and human rights jurisprudence of our country. I had no idea that every piece of work that I had to do had the potential to impact, one way or the other, on the lives of most South African citizens and other people in our country. An appreciation of these facts was rather scary, but the best motivator ever and I believe any person who is given this opportunity would consider him or herself incredibly fortunate.
Lerato Mosime Lamola - Clerk in the Nkabinde chamber 2008/09
I came to the Constitutional Court thinking that my job would be filled with days of research and hours or legal analysis but I was wrong. Working at the Court is very much an emotional journey as it is an intellectual journey. You are taught how to separate the law from very emotional practical situations and how to take a step back and be objective, when looking at a legal problem. Within the first month of being at the Court I came to understand that every decision the Court makes has a huge impact, and all decisions we make in life should be well thought out and not taken hastily. Working at the Court is seeing history in the making, it exciting and extremely scary at the same time. I cannot count how many things I have learnt while being at the Court, but it is an experience I will never forget, and I have gained lessons not only in law but also in life. The experience has been extremely beneficial both on a personal and professional level.
David Simonsz - Clerk in the Mokgoro chamber 2008
My co-clerk and I often talk about how depressing it is to know that no job we’ll ever have in the future will be as exciting as working here at the Court. It is a wonderful, challenging, instructive and inspiring experience. To be at the Court is to be at the centre of some of the most controversial cases of our time, and to work with some of the greatest legal minds in the world. In particular I have been honoured and delighted to work with Justice Mokgoro, a woman of great compassion and wisdom who has truly inspired me. While here at the Court I have learnt the rigour, insight and empathy needed to apply the values of the Constitution to the hardships of the real world. For this I will always be grateful, and I will strive to apply these ideals in the rest of my legal career.