Enter your keyword

Advocate Bulelwa Ndzondo

Profile and Interview Synopsis

When asked by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for “suggestions” to hasten gender transformation and “attract women to the high and superior courts” Ndzondo was forthright with her answer during her interview on Monday evening: “More work should be given to women so that they can sustain their practise…”

“We are not given work at all, not in the Eastern Cape,” said Ndzondo, “I have approached the State Attorney’s office both as an individual and as an organisation, as SAWLA [the South African Women Lawyers Association] and we were told that the State Attorneys will do the work.”

She went on to confirm that female lawyers were rarely briefed by state parastatals and private companies.

Ndzondo had demonstrated mindfulness for constitutional rights when adjudicating cases. Ruling on a damages claim for wrongful arrest and detention by police after a witness had spotted a yellow Toyota Corolla in the vicinity of a rape and murder, Ndzondo noted that South Africa’s new Constitutional order “places a high premium on individual freedom and liberty” and that any attempt to restrict these “be subject to strict and exacting but not unreasonable standards”.

Highlighting that while the “scourge of crime and violence represents a significant threat to our democracy” she warned that it could not, however, “serve as a justification to depart from the norms and standards… committed to fairness and justice. What is required is a suspicion that is based on substantial grounds not arbitrary.”

Finding that the police officer involved had “arrested the driver of the first available Yellow Toyota Corolla”, thus falling short of the reasonable suspicion test, the claim succeeded.

Graduating from the University of Fort Hare with a B.Proc in 1980, Ndzondo has previously worked as an attorney and spent two stints acting in the East London Magistrates Court and several terms at the High Court in the Eastern Cape since 2004. She is a former vice-president and acting president of the Cape Law Society. She was unsuccessful in a 2013 interview for a position on the Eastern Cape Bench.