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Ms Rosina Podu Mdhluli

Capacity: Attorney
Admitted: 2008
Gender: Woman
Ethnicity: Black
Date of Birth: June 1982
Qualifications:  LLB (Limpopo) LLM (Venda)

Key Judgements

  • Manana and Mlondeli v State (BA08/2021) ZALMPPHC (14 May 2021)
  • Dipela v State (A21/2019) ZALMPPHC (11 September 2020)
  • Rasekholo v Rasekholo (HCA13/2019) ZALMPPHC (18 September 2020)

Candidate Bio

Although Polokwane-based attorney Podu Rosina Mdhluli (née Mamabolo) spent an impressive 23 weeks acting as a judge of the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane, she has nothing to show for it in the way of reported judgments. From publicly available records, she only has 3 written judgments. She will therefore have an uphill battle convincing the Judicial Service Commission that she is ready for permanent judicial appointment.

But what Mdhluli lacks in written judgments, she makes up for in her passion and commitment to the law in service of the poor and indigent. Mdhluli runs a boutique, generalist law firm that serves a diversity of clients who would otherwise not afford legal services. This is because, she says in her application form, “impacting lives is and has always been what I am about”.

Mdhluli graduated from the University of Venda Law School with an LLB degree in 2005 and started her legal career as a candidate attorney at M.L. Mashego Attorneys in 2006. Following her admission as an attorney in 2008, she continued with the firm for a few months before spreading her wings and starting her own law firm, Podu Mamabolo Attorneys, where she currently serves as director.

For 8 months between July 2016 and March 2017, Mdhluli took up an acting stint as a district magistrate at the Thabamoopo/Lebowakgomo Magistrates Court, where she dealt with criminal trials, family law, and civil law cases.

She briefly returned to private practice before taking up another acting stint at the Polokwane Magistrates Court from September 2017 to January 2018, this time working in the immigration and traffic courts, among others.

These acting stints probably encouraged her to pursue a judicial career as it was not long before started acting as judge in the Limpopo High Court (Polokwane) from July to September 2020, and then again from May to June 2021.

While acting as judge, Mdhluli predominately worked in the criminal courts, with limited exposure to civil work. She sat in bail reviews and full bench appeals with other judges.

In Manana and Mlondeli v State, two accused were denied bail in the regional court and took the magistrate’s decision on review in the high court. The two accused were alleged to have stolen 268-metre-long copper cables worth R40 000 from the Mookgopong Railway Line.

In reviewing the magistrates’ denial of bail, Mdhluli found that the magistrate had relied only on the testimony of the investigating officer, without properly considering the full spectrum of evidence given at the bail hearing. Mdhluli also found that the magistrate made generalised findings on the accused’s risk of evading trial, without any evidence to support those findings. Having considered the record of proceedings, Mdhluli set aside the magistrate’s decision and placed the two accused on bail.

Mdhluli currently serves as the general secretary for the South African Women Lawyers’ Association, after having served in various capacities in the Limpopo branch. From 2016 – 2018 she was general secretary of the Polokwane Attorneys’ Association, while simultaneously being head of projects and events of the Black Lawyers’ Association’s Limpopo branch. She was elected chairperson of the Polokwane Legal Practitioners’ Association in 2021, a position she still holds.

No doubt, with sufficient experience and exposure, Mdhluli has the potential of being a rising star in the judiciary. Afterall, she graduated at the top of her LLM class at the University of Limpopo Law School, taking the class medal, and several other awards during the Practical Legal Training course with the Law Society of South Africa.

April 2023 interview

Ms Rosina Podu Mdhluli’s interview for a position on the Limpopo Division of the High Court (Thohoyandou) was unsuccessful.

Following deliberations, the JSC decided to leave the vacancy open. No candidate was recommended for appointment.