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Tax Board – Black Lawyers Association: Invitation for Attorneys

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Chairpersons of the Tax Board for the term of 2018 to 2023

In term of Section 83A of the Income Tax Act, 58 of 1962, read with Sections 110(1) and 111(1) of the Tax Administration Act, Act 28 of 2011, Chairpersons of the Tax Board are appointed by the Minister of Finance to attend tax appeal hearings for a period of five (5) years.

The last appointment in this regard was made on 27 August 2013 for a period of five years, with such appointment expiring on 26 August 2018.

As the five year period will be expiring, the term for newly appointed Tax board Chairperson will commence as of 27 August 2018.

Kindly extend this invitation to candidates having an interest in dealing with tax matters to apply for the above position. The candidates are representatives of the broad spectrum of gender, religion, ethnic and racial demographics of the Republic of South Africa as a whole, lastly;

The following criteria will be applied in the Tax Board Chairperson:

  1. The candidates must be practising attorneys or advocates;
  2. The candidates should be in good standing with their respective Law Societies or Bar Councils;
  3. The candidate must be willing and able to act as a Chairperson for at least four(4) times in a year;
  4. Preference will be given to candidates with suitable and/or relevant tax knowledge and experience

The remuneration structure for the previous intake is attached as Annexure “A”, SARS is in the process of recommending and seeking approval from the Minister of Finance for an increase in the fee structure.

A brief curriculum vitae should be submitted by close of business on 16 March 2018.

Kindly submit applications to Moitheri Liphoko (mliphoko@sars.gov.za). For any enquiries please contact Moither Liphoko on (012) 647 9537 or Lorraine Nhlumayo on (012) 422 7206.

[Signed]
MOSHOESHOE TOBA
SENIOR MANAGER: DELIVERY SUPPORT & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Date: 19 February 2018

Download BLA-Invitational Letter

The BLA-LEC In the News

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On 30 September and 1 October, the Black Lawyers Association Legal Education Center (BLA-LEC) arranged an informative and insightful workshop at the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court. The workshop was primarily targeted at equipping attorneys and advocates with skills aimed at assisting them to successfully run High Court litigation. The workshop was introduced at an apt time, with the opening of the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court and the recent establishment of Circuit Courts, in consultation with the Minister of Justice, in accordance with s 6(7) of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013.

The workshop was attended by both attorneys and advocates. The majority of attorneys said they wanted to run their High Court litigation on their own, starting off with unopposed motions and slowly moving to opposed motions and eventually, deal with complex legal matters. The judges who facilitated the workshop encouraged attorneys to adopt this approach and start litigating in the High Court. The workshop assisted attendees, particularly those who are attorneys, with the necessary skills required for litigation in the High Court. It further assisted attendees to understand the behavioral patterns of the judges and to act in accordance with their expectations.

Read more on the De Rebus website

Millennials: ‘The Values Generation’

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(Image source: Deloitte)

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, most young professionals choose organizations that share their personal values; they put great value in their work, duties and obligations. Essentially, the message extracted here is that Millennials want to be valued at their workplaces and they are concerned about their personal growth.

However, before we embark on unpacking the traits millennials possess, let us look at who and what they are about. The term millennials may be understood as: “a demographic bulge whose birth years are loosely defined as extending from 1982 to 2004 http://bit.ly/1J6ggST

Issues Affecting Millennials

  • Inequality;
  • Unemployment (see Statistics ‘South Africa: National and Provincial Labour Market Youth statistical release Q1:2008 – Q1:2015 http://bit.ly/29lJTeN) and;
  • Government transparency (Fin24).

Someone who is in their early sixties would have been growing up in the ‘60s, so they will have been influenced by Martin Luther King, the use of the birth control pill, and anti-Vietnam demonstrations. That generation are very much the idealists. Even now, in their sixties, those people will still be idealists.

– HR Magazine, Lynda Shaw

Specific to South Africa, today’s young generation would have been born during the last stages of apartheid, would’ve seen the conclusion of the CODESA talks – not understanding their complexities of course. They would’ve watched the broadcast of the TRC hearings, noting and hearing the then catch phrase: reconciliation.

One highly contested issue worldwide is the different value systems which millennials are posited to have, additionally, certain studies indicate that a majority of millennials are increasingly more liberal with regards to social issues than their older counterparts.

The ‘Values Generation’

There have been numerous studies conducted about millennials, partly because most companies are looking to understand their prospective employees and the global community is concerned about the calibre of leadership which is currently being grouped. Millennials are also referred to as the ‘values generation’, exhibiting high levels of emotional intelligence – which is largely debated and contested by ‘baby boomers’, the generation which precedes millennials.

According to a study conducted by PWC, millennials’ career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st century workplace http://pwc.to/1MZ4TUK, and this why they matter.

Hiring millennials requires rethinking the future of work and careers.

– Dion Chang, Flux Trends

They are indeed the change and taste makers, the alleged confrontational entitled generation. But they also bring in their diverse outlook to the work environment. Frantz Fanon once said: “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.”

Tips for Millennials in the Legal Profession

  • Keep a journal/log of your personal accomplishments. You are your single best advocate. Throughout your career, keep track of your very first ex parte application, memoranda, projects, reviews, recommendations, and anything that demonstrates how you have positively developed as a professional;
  • Attend seminars, workshops and programmes that will help improve your knowledge and skills set, it is important to keep abreast with developments, not only those of your jurisdiction, but global changes to. This also sets the tone for networking opportunities;
  • Join legal bodies, be affiliated to professional bodies;
  • Establish yourself as a brand, as the old adage goes, reputation is indeed everything. (This list is not exhaustive and it is a mere guideline of tried and tested work principles)

The workplace and workforce are going to change pretty dramatically as we look forward. The entire concept of work is going to become more flexible. The skills needed in the workforce are going to be less about IQ and a little bit more about EQ.

– Deborah Henretta Group President, Asia & Global Specialty Channel, Procter & Gamble

A tribute to Moseneke DCJ

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The age-old concept of justice under a tree

Moseneke

Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Ernest Moseneke is a man of exceptional talents, a jurist, a leader, a son of the African soil. A member of the African Students Union, a founding member of the Black Lawyers Association – Legal Education Trust (BLA-LET), before he even began his career in the legal profession, Moseneke as a young person had already begun to conscientize himself with the injustices carried out by the then government of South Africa.

At the tender age of 13, a young Moseneke was arrested, sentenced and spent the duration of his sentence at Robben Island – which is where he began and completed his studies. During his earlier days, he practised first as an attorney and later on as an advocate, achieving silk before being appointed onto the bench http://bit.ly/1N9YkJi.

I have been self-indulgent in recognising many friends and people who are present at this dinner. This is in deep recognition of the very basic fact that no award which is fully meaningful could ever be achieved by the efforts of one person. You know well by now, that our indigenous culture recognises the interconnectedness of people.

– Dikgang Moseneke (Speech delivered at UNISA, 2009)

The 20th of May 2016 marked his retirement from the bench, ending what is noted, admired and will be remembered by many as a formidable career in the legal profession. Moseneke is a highly revered man, an inspirational figure to many – yet remains humble and grounded acknowledging the support of his family, loved ones and peers http://bit.ly/1OF9Tu8

Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke speaks about how, in traditional African culture, the shade of a tree was the place where disputes of society were mediated and resolved. The community would meet for a lekgotla and there was room for all to have their say. Everyone participated in the process. This is how justice was done.

We could all take a leaf, a lesson or several from this formidable man. He had from a young age developed a sense of justice and civic duty. He would go on to carry on with the mandate of carrying out justice to the people even in his older years.

As he retires, the baton is now passed on to the current and future generations, young and old.

Going forward, when we sit around trees and gather to tell tales and stories of African heroes, his name and the values he embodies should be told. We wish him well on his retirement; Dikgang Ernest Moseneke certainly is a shining beacon to all.

*Further Reading

BLA-LEC Blog Archive: “Who is Dr G.M Pitje?” http://bit.ly/29J9uJ8

Mediation – A Viable Option for Dispute Resolution?

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Meditation

Internationally mediation burst into consciousness in the mid-1970s and has since that time been a chosen process for resolving disputes http://bit.ly/29B4MTa.

Mediation may be understood as “a settlement of a dispute or controversy by setting up an independent person between two contending parties in order to aid them in the settlement of their disagreement”, or “a process in which two or more people involved in a dispute come together to try to work out a solution to their problem with the help of a neutral third person http://bit.ly/29d8xND

Below, we briefly touch on the factors surrounding mediation, the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing mediation as a mode of conflict resolution and how it may aid in the relief of the backlog of cases in our judiciary.

New developments: Court Annexed Mediation

As per the notice given in the government gazette circa ’14 regarding the Court Annexed Mediation Rules, the purpose of mediation is presented as follows, to:

  • Promote access to justice;
  • Promote restorative justice;
  • Preserve relationships between litigants or potential litigants which may become strained or destroyed by the adversarial nature of litigation;
  • Facilitate an expeditious and effective resolution of a dispute between litigants or potential litigants;
  • Assist litigants or potential litigants to determine at an early stage of the litigation or prior to commencement of litigation whether proceeding with a trial or an opposed application is in their best interests or not; and
  • Provide litigants or potential litigants with solutions to the dispute, which are beyond the scope and powers of judicial officer http://bit.ly/29b0PkZ.

The above mentioned rules, give enforcement to Section 34 of the #Constitution, which reads as follows: everyone has the right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court or where appropriate another independent and impartial tribunal or forum http://bit.ly/1VPWx5R.

Mediation forms part of the principles grouped under ADR, once referred to as alternative dispute resolution and now referred to by some as appropriate dispute resolution. It is essentially aimed at the resolve or settlement of conflict and disputes between parties. It is a particularly favourable mode of resolution, when parties in the dispute still want to maintain the working relationship, opted to by many franchises and other agreements in like.

The advantages of mediation

  • It offers speedy resolution of disputes;
  • It is considerably cheaper than litigation;
  • It provides a win-win situation for both parties in a dispute;
  • The process is flexible and avoids technicalities;
  • It is a voluntary process;
  • It promotes reconciliation; and
  • Parties can use their own languages http://bit.ly/29z4E3e

The disadvantages of mediation

  • Success in mediation depends on each party’s “good faith” commitment to the process which is sometimes lacking.
  • Mediation is focused on the future, so past conduct may be overlooked or minimized http://bit.ly/29nfnwa

Mediation, perhaps not as big in the South African context as it is compared to other jurisdictions, is still an available mode for the resolution of disputes and conflict.

*Further reading

Why mediation is not taking root in South Africa – Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement http://bit.ly/29B4MTa
Mediation Rules – the doj & cd http://bit.ly/29b0PkZ

CONTINUING THE NELSON MANDELA LEGACY THROUGH EDUCATION

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In the spirit of Mandela Day, we took a walk down memory lane, to not only read about this truly remarkable man, but also to use Nelson Mandela’s life lessons as a template for some of the paths we’ve undertaken http://bit.ly/2ambgSb

Of the many things Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela held closely to his heart, namely: human rights; education; children’s rights; passion for sports (as a tool to heal and unite our nation). Human rights shall be the first point we touch on.

Human Rights for all

We are reminded by the quote below, of the darker times our beautiful country, and people once had to endure, of the long walk to freedom that we made. The Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) http://bit.ly/29U2Bbutalks, were a tool of negotiation between the then government, organizations and political parties of South Africa, striving toward a better government and living measures for people of all races in the country inter alia.

The question that faces us all is, how long can we, who claim to be the leaders of our people sit here, talk eloquently, spin out complicated formulae and enjoy the applause while the country sinks deeper and deeper into crisis…?

– Nelson Mandela (at the second session of CODESA), the African Law Review

Wits Archived Image

(Image Source: Wits Archives)

Education

One of Nelson Mandela’s most prolific quotes on education is: “it is not beyond our powers to create a world where all children have access to good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations.” The above mentioned quote amplifies Mandela’s true dedication to the cause of education. We too at the Black Lawyers Association – Legal Education Centre have taken a leaf from this great man’s page, we are in constant pursuit and dedication of education. Our primary focus is educating those who were previously disadvantaged through the policies of the previous apartheid government. Additionally, to make the legal profession accessible to those who lacked adequate resources to practise and economically partake in it. We realize this goal through our legal education training programmes, and community outreach educational initiatives. In 2007 the Nelson Mandela Institute was founded to circumvent the educational crisis in rural Africa http://bit.ly/2a0XFlt

Education is key

(Image source: Zalebs)

The current status on education in South African

Section 29 (1) b hinges on the realisation of this right to further education, against the availability which is afforded by the state, to the public. Is this a feasible right currently? http://bit.ly/2a5nYoT

2015 marked the year where we saw the youth of South Africa in universities take a stand against exorbitant tuition fees. These protests known as the #NationalShutdown and #FeesMustFall gave rise to other ancillary issues of concern, like the language policies around South African institutions of higher learning http://bit.ly/1MkECLJ

Which raises the question, has the Mandela legacy been given effect to? Should the youth and children of this country be out on the streets pleading for their rights and access to higher education? If not them, then whom should the responsibility lie with?

Which raises the question, has the Mandela legacy been given effect to? Should the youth and children of this country be out on the streets pleading for their rights and access to higher education? If not them, then whom should the responsibility lie with?

The enforcement of Children’s Rights

Through his dedication to children’s rights, the Nelson Mandela Children’s fund was set up with the aim of changing the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children’s lives, with a mission set out to give a voice and dignity to the African child by building a rights-based movement http://bit.ly/29O1RTw

Additionally, in 2005 he was awarded the World’s Children’s Prize (for the rights of the child) and elected Decade Child Rights Hero in 2009 respectively. He was awarded these accolades for his continued, unwavering commitment to children’s rights in South Africa http://bit.ly/2amjaL9

Developments

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital construction has been completed, it is reported that the official opening is scheduled for December this year. The aim of the hospital as per Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund CEO Sibongile Mkhabela, is the notion that no child should be turned away due to an inability to pay http://bit.ly/2a1EvL0

Nelson Mandela on Sport as a uniting tool, for the nation

Nelson Mandela was an avid, enthusiastic boxer. He took up the sport initially for its recreational merits, however later on he found that it was an outlet that could help channel his energies, and it gave him great discipline http://bit.ly/2a0XFlt

Another iconic image, which will be forever engrained in our history, is the lifting of the 1995 Rugby World Cup Trophy by the late Mandela, uTata Madiba as he is affectionately known.

Nelson Mandela has gifted us with his legacy, the baton is now passed on to us, what legacies are we striving towards?

Nelson Mandela

(Image source: The National)

Nelson Mandela

(Image Source: awesomestories.com)
“Boxing is an egalitarian sport”

*Further Reading

The Nelson Mandela Tourist App: https://www.nelsonmandela.org/landing/madibas-journey
BLA-LEC Blog Archive: “One man can change the world, Nelson Mandela taught us so” http://bit.ly/2ambgSb
BLA-LEC Blog Archive: “Language Matters” http://bit.ly/1MkECLJ
BLA-LEC Blog Archive: “The Progressive Realisation of Socio-economic Rights ‘#FeesMustFall’ ’’

WORKER’S DAY: Our AFRICAN LAW REVIEW SPECIAL – the 10th Anniversary of the BLA-LEC

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Worker’s Day or ‘May Day’ as it is popularly known, is a day which recognizes the Trade Unions; Communist Party and other labour movements for the role they played in defiance of the apartheid regime and struggle.

In an ode to this day, we take a nostalgic trip down memory lane – where the acclaimed editor, Mathatha Tsedu covered with great enthusiasm, the 10th Anniversary of the Legal Education Centre. In the article, he cites and mentions some of our exemplary leaders and founders. Let us not give too much away, do read for yourself:

Remember how few we were when we started? Look at us now, just look at us. We are becoming ministers of justice, judges and we will become attorney generals and we will rule this country. We will.

Dikgang Moseneke DCJ

African Law Review Download Link

22 Years of Freedom: April 27th, A Day of Commemoration

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South Africa 1994

It was a jubilant day all those years ago, when for the first time, all citizens of the country exercised their franchise to vote in our very first democratic elections, 27 April 1994. People of all races, creed and colour – a stark contrast to the then old regime which had drafted legislation, to enforce segregation and reserve the right to vote only for a privileged few (see: Minister of the Interior v Harris http://bit.ly/1pgmihc)

Voters queue
(Image Source: Khanyawordpress.com)

The atmosphere was a revolutionary, as a nation, we were once more making international headlines. All eyes were on South Africa, the United Nations also sent a delegation of observers to ensure that the elections ran smoothly and in accordance with international norms.

The electoral system used and still currently used is proportional representation, which then led to the victory of the African National Congress as it received the majority votes– it indeed signalled the dawn of a new era for South Africa. The country would never be the same again.

In 2014, we celebrated 20 years of democracy, not without our challenges as with all young democracies.

Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying, in a circa 1995 speech ‘’the ultimate goal of a better life is yet to be realised.’’ Which, given the socio-economic status of the country, rings true, given the #FeesMustFall; #Luister and #NationalShutdown campaigns and movements among others.

Yet do we overall have a grand story to tell? We’ve made vast strides and improvements in telecommunications; electricity and housing, which is only but an overview. We’re a country moving forward, with local government elections scheduled to be held 3-5 August 2016. There is much to be said, much to be done.

The virtue of our South African nation has, like any other passed through a long and often painful process

Nelson Mandela


South Africa 2016

It has become commonplace to assert that while South Africa experienced a political sea change in 1994, the economic underpinnings of apartheid have hardly shifted, leaving us with an incomplete revolution and, some warn, perched atop a ticking bomb.

Independent Online

The current imagery in South Africa looks and reads differently than it did 22 years ago.

A majority of South Africans still feel the harsh effects of inequality what with high levels of unemployment and many asking for the change that was promised. Citizens in various parts of South Africa took to the streets on Freedom Day, in a #ZumaMustFall march: http://bit.ly/249nnuF

There are highs, as there are lows – we are a young democracy, to browse some reasons to feel good about being South African post 1994, do follow this link: http://bit.ly/1NZw8Qy

Voters queue
(Image Source: CommonGood.com)

Continuing Legal Education (CLE): Keeping Up With Statutes

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As the world expands, young markets boom and emerge, new technologies are shared; the urbanisation of our cities and towns peak, which creates a need of innovative legal solutions, for our new age legal problems.

The concept of lifelong learning, in-conjunction with new developments in technology and the movement of people presents an opportunity for growth in all the markets. This is also the case for the legal profession. A few decades ago, Intellectual Property (IPOs) for instance, and corporate compliance (see ‘what is the importance of compliance’: http://bit.ly/1Qm9mMX) were not a peak in the profession, however, excitedly as the country develops, so too does the profession and the need for legal skills expansion.

Enter Continuing Legal Education (CLE); several law faculties in South Africa have already introduced CLE as a mode of learning/module. Its purpose, to help law students grasp the concept of continuity in their acquisition of legal skills, for example If you obtained your LLB or applicable equivalent, a decade ago, with the fast shift in technologies and new legislative reforms, there may be a myriad of requisite legal skills you will need to acquire and sharpen today.

We’ve introduced CLE, as part of our educational programmes for this reason, it is also a programme that ties in with the core purpose of the Legal Education Centre which inter alia is, to demystify the law and advance its accessibility.

Our CLE is: is aimed at primarily building capacity – which speaks to the above core purpose (see our mission statement: http://bit.ly/1uRGI1V), enhancing the skills of lawyers and making law accessible to all black and historically disadvantaged legal practitioners in South Africa.

Effective Time Management: Your Time Is Your Currency

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Effective Time Management: Your Time Is Your Currency

A typical trait of the exciting yet fast paced modern lifestyles we’re living in, is stress. There are several levels of stress, yet as legal professionals we would shy away from any such diagnosis as it isn’t our field of expertise per se. What we may however speak on, is how to alleviate that stress. Being pressed for time, not meeting requisite deadlines (think of the consequences and implications of not filing a Notice of Bar on time!) may lead to extra costs and work overload – but if one hones the skill of effectively managing their time, that would yield far greater result. Because time when managed well, really is your currency.

‘’Managing my time isn’t about squeezing the as many tasks into my day as possible. It’s about simplifying how I work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.’’ – Work Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Time Management Tips to Hack Productivity, Jordan Bates

Here are 5 do-able time management tips:

  • Get a journal/notebook App, write things down and commit to them;
  • Create a vision/mission board: which is like a daily planner, this paves your way and gives you a sense of direction for your day;
  • Start your day with your trickiest task: it’s called ‘Eating the frog’, get the jobs you least like out of the way in the morning, thereby clearing the rest of your day – productivity will soar (via GlamourUK);
  • GET UP EARLIER: ‘What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast’;
  • DON’T TAKE SHORTCUTS WHEN LEARNING YOUR CRAFT: Although simplicity is always key, the key point driven here is that you should focus on your given tasks, effectively research and fact check them to avoid costly delays (Pavani Reddy, managing partner at law firm Zaiwalla & Co Solicitors)
  • BONUS TIP: And if you’re one for quick effective solutions, SAFLII has an App for IOS and Android phones – where you can instantly access and download case law, legislation et al co/1VR9Ku2

These are only brief points which, incorporated with your work style may aid in your journey to effective time management. As with all great things, it starts with self and we always advocate for pro-activity.

So go out there and succeed.

‘’The belief in human potential recognizes the importance of people, people are important. For any economy to thrive, it must have a bulk of skilled and inspired people forming part of the workforce.’’ – Realising your human potential