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Judge Linda Retief

Capacity: Advocate
Became a judge: April 2023
Admission and an Advocate: 2007
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: March 1969
Qualifications:  BCL (UP), LLB (UP)

Key Judgements:

  • Stand 7199 Peterburg Extension 29 (Pty) Limited and Others v Geyser Attorneys Incorporated and Others (55307/2021) [2022] ZAGPPHC 210 (1 April 2022).
  • Mapula Mokaba-Phakwana v The Public Protector and Others (52839/17) ZAGPPHC
  • Nqobile Pearl Munthali v The Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (23083/2021) ZAGPPHC
  • Meshack Thembinkosi Silinda N.O and Others v The Master of the High Court and Others (20553/2021) ZAGPPHC
  • Platinum Wheels (Pty) Limited v The National Consumer Commission and Another (A261/2021) [2022] ZAGPPHC 831 (2 November 2022)

Candidate Bio:

Advocate Linda Retief has had a very rewarding career in legal practice spanning over 29 years. Her practice in the Pretoria Bar deals primarily with commercial law, personal injury and medical law, with a special focus in fertility law. Considered as a niche area, Advocate Retief has made significant contributions to this area of law, with several reported judgments. Amongst these is Ex Parte HPP and Others, Ex Parte CJD and Others and Ex Parte MS and Others all within the realm of medical law, and fertility law with intersections in family law.

Advocate Retief’s interest in fertility law has morphed into a plethora of opportunities. She is not only considered an expert in fertility law, but has also been invited to panel discussions, contributed to reported judgments and advised on the area before the South African Law Reform Commission. Her latest contribution  considers whether obstetric violence should be viewed as a constitutional infringement.

After completing her undergraduate studies, Retief worked as a Judge’s Registrar under the guidance of the late Judge Strydome, a sign that one day she will return in the courthouse not only as an attorney or an advocate but as an acting judge. Now vying for judgeship.

In 1992, after a stint as a part-time judge’s registrar, Retief started her career as an article clerk at Savage, Jooste & Adam Inc. After qualifying as an admitted attorney, Retief jumped shipped to Routledge Modise Attorneys, now Eversheds Sutherland, as a professional assistant in the personal injury department. In 1996, she moved to Newtons Inc as a professional assistant, before starting her own law firm, Linda Retief Attorneys, which she has led for ten years, specializes in general litigation. Commercial law, wills and estates, personal injury and medical malpractice.

In 2007, Retief started her pupillage at the Pretoria Bar under the mentorship of Advocate Du Plessis SC and Adv JP Van Den Berg, now senior counsel. She  remained at the Pretoria Bar, and has since been recommended for silk status, senior counsel status. She is currently waiting with bated breath for the President to sign off on the recommendation.

In 2019 Advocate Retief started acting in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria. She penned the recent Munthali v Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa where the plaintiff, Pearl Munthali, the CEO of the PRASA Development Foundation, sued the defendant, PRASA, for defamation and damages arising from two PRASA published statements that injured her dignity and reputation.

On 11 June 2019, PRASA suspended Munthali’s employment contract and subsequently announced her suspension to 15 000 employees via an internal notice. Detailing her suspension with immediate effect, in line with good corporate governance practices and to clamp down on irregularities within the organization. According to Munthali, no disciplinary proceedings was instituted against her. Her suspension was lifted, and charges were withdrawn. She remained on paid leave pending a resolution between her and PRASA.

PRASA did not withdraw the internal notice informing the employees on developments on her lifted suspension – or that there was a resolution in the works. Instead on January 2021, Munthali was informed that her employment contract had been terminated with immediate effect, and a media statement published detailing that the PRASA board had been reviewing executives’ contracts. Without mincing words, the media statement went on to mention that Munthali was on suspension on alleged misconduct.

Retief in determining whether the internal notice constituted defamation considered that ‘one might have regard to nature of the audience, and the fact that it was an internal notice in which 15 000 employees, some of which were her subordinates.’ In assessing the contents of the internal notice and the meaning inferred by the content, the court held that the words used in the notice, charged Munthali with ‘dishonest and improper conduct’ that warranted her suspension to prevent further harm.

Moving to assess the content of the media statement, the court held that structure of the statement read that Munthali unlawfully overstayed her welcome and that the reference to the alleged misconduct created an unfavorable impression of Munthali, on any reasonable reader, which in consequence defamed her. The court held to uphold the claim with costs.

Advocate Linda Retief holds a BCL and an LLB both from the University of Pretoria.

April 2023 interview

Adv Linda Ann Retief’s interview was successful. The JSC has recommended her for appointment to the Gauteng Division of the High Court.