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Magistrate Amanda Isobel Venter

Capacity: Magistrate
First appointed:1988 (district) 2003 (regional)
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White
Date of Birth: February 1961
Qualifications: B.Iuris (UP); LLB (UNISA)

Key judgments:

  • S v Rudolph & Marie Dorrepaal (RC47/2011); Dorrepaal v S (CA&R26/2020) [2021] ZANCHC 14 (12 March 2021)
  • Mthini v S (CA & R 16/19) [2019] ZANCHC 34 (30 August 2019)
  • The State v Michael Monnapule Marema (Conviction) (KS2/2019) ZANCHC (15 March 2021)
  • The State v Michael Monnapule Marema (Sentence) (KS2/2019) ZANCHC (17 March 2021)

Candidate Bio:

With over 40 years of legal experience, De Aar Magistrate Amanda Venter seeks to be appointed as a judge in the Northern Cape High Court.

Venter’s legal career started in 1979 when she was first appointed as a clerk in the Department of Justice, Deeds Office in Pretoria. She held this position for a period of three years whereafter she was appointed a clerk of the magistrate’s court in 1981.

As was tradition at the time, magistrates start out as prosecutors. Venter is amongst this number. After working as a clerk of the magistrate’s court in 1982, in 1983 she was employed as a district prosecutor, and rose through the ranks until her appointment as a regional prosecutor from 1985 to 1987.

In 1988, Venter was appointed as a district magistrate, rising through the ranks to her current position of regional magistrate in 2003. Between 1999 and 2002, Venter acted as the Judicial Head Civil, Criminal and Quasi-Judicial work over four additional Magistrates in Sasolburg, during which time she mainly dealt with civil matters. Typical of magistrates’s dynamism, Venter has worked in several towns and cities:  Pretoria, Durban, eMpangeni, Sasolburg and De Aar.

Venter has extensive experience on the bench, with 35 years of experience under belt. In that time, she has handed down several judgments.

In S v Rudolph & Marie Dorrepaal, a married couple was arraigned before Venter in the regional court, held at De Aar on charges of rape and sexual assault of an 8 year old child. The 56 year-old husband faced eight counts, while the 43 year-old wife faced seven counts.

Venter convicted the husband on four of the seven counts, sentencing him to life imprisonment in respect of two of the counts. Venter acquitted the wife on all counts save for count seven, which was an attempt to defeat or obstruct the ends of justice. The wife was sentenced to a cumulative 3 years’ imprisonment.

The husband appealed both his conviction and sentence, while the wife did not appeal either the conviction nor the sentence. Both Venter’s conviction and sentencing were confirmed on appeal.

Venter is active in the magistrate’s profession, having previously been a member of the Judicial Officers Association of SA, and upon her elevation in 2003, a member of Association of Regional Magistrates of SA. In 2005 she served in the provincial committee of the SA Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges.

Venter wrote a publication titled: Expert evidence – the admissibility of and approach of the court, social worker and other professionals in sentencing proceedings, Primus, Volume I, 2006.

The Thabazimbi, Limpopo-born Venter holds a B.Iuris degree from the University of Pretoria, and an LLB degree from UNISA.

Venter comes to the bench after a long career in law. While her experience might give her a distinct advantage before the Judicial Service Commission, she might face some tough questions about whether or not she could have made herself available for appointment to the high court much earlier.

April 2023 interview

Ms Amanda Isobel Venter’s interview for a position on the Northern Cape Division of the High Court was unsuccessful.