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Judge Moleboheng Mdalana-Mayisela

Mdalana Mayisela - JSC Interviews - October 2019


Current position: Advocate

Date appointed: Joined the bar in 2008

Candidate bio:

Forty-eight year-old Mdalana-Mayisela holds a BJuris (1994) and an LLB (1996) from the University of Fort Hare. After serving her pupillage she joined the Bar and then started working as a senior state advocate at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) where she was promoted to deputy director of public prosecutions (2001-2004) and then regional head of the NPA in the Free State and the Northern Cape.

According to her CV she joined SizweNtsaluba VSP as the auditing firm’s national director in 2007. She returned to the Bar in 2008 and has spent several stints acting at the Gauteng Division of the High Court from 2013 to present.

In the 2018 matter of First Rand Bank Ltd v Fondse and Others the applicant sought an eviction order against the three respondents, who opposed the application and raised two points in limine. The only issue the court had to decide was whether the applicant lacked locus standi.

At the time when the proceedings commenced, the applicant was not the registered owner of the property. In determining the case, Mdalana–Mayisela held that the unlawful occupation by the respondents was to be decided with regard to whether the applicant was the registered owner of the property when the application was launched.

She noted that there was “nothing in this letter [submitted as evidence of ownership] and the conditions of sale which demonstrates that the applicant was in charge of the property at the relevant time. In fact on the papers as they stand the persons who have been in occupation and in charge of the property are the respondents.”

Since the property was only transferred to the applicant’s name three months after the commencement of the proceeding, the applicant lacked the requisite standing to launch the application, Mdalana-Mayisela found in dismissing the argument.

October 2019 Interview:

October 2019 Interview Synopsis

Advocate Moleboheng Mdalana-Mayisela’s interview oozed confidence and a general warmth from the JSC. Perhaps it might have been because her interview stood between the commissioners and their lunch? In an interview lasting a little over 35 minutes, it was not hard to guess where the JSC’s decision was going.

Adv Mdalana-Mayisela comes to the JSC with 29 years’ experience in the legal profession as a prosecutor, a corporate executive at a forensics firm and an advocate in private practice – including 39 weeks as an acting judge. On the question of reserved judgments, she mentioned that, at the end of her acting stint,  she had booked a hotel (at her own cost) to deal with all reserved judgments before she went back to practice.

MEC Jacob Mamabolo (representing the Premier) asked how Adv Mdalana-Mayisela  would uphold judicial ethics, and whether an ethical question had ever been raised about her. Denying any ethical blemishes, she mentioned that the General Council of the Bar (GCB) was complementary of her temperament, and that she would in any event uphold the highest ethical standards. Immediately afterwards, Commissioner Mpofu, for the GCB, probed Adv Mdalana-Mayisela on an objection received from the a senior advocate regarding the her conduct while she was part of a panel of judges hearing an appeal. Explaining the extraordinary circumstances of the case, she convincingly denied the merits of the objection.

A series of questions followed from the members of Parliament on the JSC, including on the dearth of female judges on the Bench, ways to deal with organised like money laundering, and on why she left the National Prosecuting Authority for private practice. Dealing with these questions deftly, she lamented the lack of transformation in the profession and the judiciary, and how SA is losing the battle against organised crime.  She then traced her illustrious career, where she moved between the State and private practice, as she received one opportunity after the other.

Finally, Supreme Court of Appeal President Maya asked Adv Mdalana-Mayisela, asked how she balanced her professional roles and family responsibilities. She explained that she works late at night and over weekends to cover the work she is required to do. She also mentioned that her practice is sustained by briefs from the State Attorney and private attorneys, even though she struggles to receive good quality work on a sustainable basis.

Advocate Moleboheng Mdalana-Mayisela was recommended for appointment.