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Mr Vinesh Naidu

Capacity: Attorney
Admitted as an attorney: 2001
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Indian
Date of Birth: October 1973
Qualifications: BA (UCT) LLB (UKZN)  Dip. (Insolvency Law and Practice) (UP).

Key Judgments:

  • Saki v The Member of the Executive Council of the Department of Health, Eastern Cape Government and Another (CA 161/2019) [2020] ZAECGHC 107 (18 September 2020).
  • Scribrante Construction (EC) (Pty) (Ltd) v SP Excel Holdings (Pty)(Ltd) and Others (Case No. 3115/2020) [2021] ZAECPEHC (12 October 2021).
  • Tryzone Fourteen (Pty) (Ltd) v Batchelor N.O and Others (3535/2013) [2018] ZAECPEHC 56 (2 October 2018).
  • S v Siyoni (Case No. CC 26/2018) [2021] ZAECPEHC (25 November 2021).

Candidate Bio:

Gqeberha attorney Mr. Vinesh Naidu discloses in his JSC candidate form that he believes that “true justice is manifested when everyone is treated equally before the law”. This probably rings true as he has spent the majority of his legal career at the Legal Aid South Africa, representing indigent people who could not afford legal representation. This experience, he says, has prompted him to participate in community outreach programmes to educate poor and vulnerable about their legal rights and what legal assistance is available to them.

Naidu started his legal career in 1999 as an articled clerk (candidate attorney) at Burmeister De Lange Attorneys in Gqeberha. He was retained at the firm as a professional assistant (associate attorney) in 2001, and five years later became director. He joined Legal Aid South Africa in 2010, where he currently works as an attorney in the High Court Litigation Unit.  He specialises in constitutional and administrative law, with a mix of family and commercial law.

Apart from his career in legal practice, Naidu is an instructor at Nelson Mandela University’s Practical Law School, where he lectures budding lawyers in court procedure and legal professional ethics.

Since 2019, Naidu has held several stints as an acting judge at the Eastern Cape High Court, where he sat in both civil and criminal cases. During this time, he wrote the judgment in Saki v The Member of the Executive Council of the Department of Health, Eastern Cape Government and Another, an appeal of a magistrates court judgment in a medical negligence case. The appellant had argued that hospital employees were negligent in the treatment of the injuries sustained, which the magistrate dismissed. Naidu found that the magistrate erred in finding that the appellant failed to prove that the hospital employees had been negligent in carrying out their legal duty to treat the patient. He held that the appellant had discharged his onus to prove the negligence, and the appeal was upheld.

Naidu also presided over the murder trial of Luthando Siyoni, who was accused of being the assassin hired by Christopher Panayiotou, the husband of murdered teacher Jayde Panayiotou. Siyoni was charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, in a trial that sent chills throughout the then Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha). In S v Siyoni, Naidu found the accused guilty of murder.

In an objection submitted to the JSC, legal journalist Tony Beamish took issue with Naidu’s decision not to allow public broadcasting of the Siyoni trial, and criticized Naidu for misreading the law on open justice, which requires that broadcasting be denied only in exceptional circumstances.

Naidu was born in Port Elizabeth in 1973. He holds a BA from the University of Cape Town, an LLB from the then University of Natal (now UKZN), and a Diploma in Insolvency Law and Practice from the University of Pretoria.

April 2022 JSC Interview