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Judge Zolashe Mzikazi Lallie

Capacity: Judge
First appointed as a judge: 1 January 2012 (Labour Court)
Gender:  Woman
Ethnicity: African
Date of Birth: September 1961
Qualifications: BIuris (1987)(WSU) LLB (1991)(UKZN) BA.Hons (Industrial Relations)(2002)(NMU)

Key judgments:

Candidate Bio | Updated October 2023

Judge Zolashe Lallie is a judge of the Labour Court, Gqeberha.

At a time when very few women had the option to pursue a legal career, Lallie was determined to break that mould. In an interview on the SABC’s Channel Africa show Womanity Women in Unity , Lallie reveals that her father – who pursued a law degree at the age of 40 – was her inspiration. Quoting from her father, she said, “women and men are created differently, however that difference has nothing to do with capacity.”

While she was registered for a B.Iuris degree at the then University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University), she took up employment as a clerk at Transkei Government’s departments of health and justice. She would later join the Department of Justice as a prosecutor (1987 – 1989).

In 1991 she graduated with an LLB degree from the University of Natal.

At the dawn of democracy in 1994, she joined the law firm Burman, Katz, Saks & Shady as a candidate attorney.

From 1997 she joined the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) as full time commissioner dealing with labour disputes. Although she left the CCMA in 2000 to start up her own legal consultancy, she later returned to the CCMA as a senior commissioner in 2002.

To deepen her knowledge of the labour relations, Lallie graduated with a BA (honours) degree in industrial relations from the then University of Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela University), this while still working full time as a labour consultant.

In 2008, Lallie was admitted as an advocate of the High Court, and would stay in practice until her elevation to the Labour Court bench in 2011.

As a judge, Lallie has written several important judgments, including in Solidarity v SAPS.

In that case, a police captain suffered several instances of unwelcome sexual advances and utterances from her immediate supervisor over the course of two years. When she reported these as sexual harassment, not much was done other than to request that she report to a different supervisor while her previous supervisor was told not interact with police captain. Later, the complaint was adjudicated and the supervisor was issued with a fine. When the police captain appealed, her appeal was dismissed but only after seven years of inaction. The police captain took the appeal dismissal on review.

Lallie, sitting in the Labour Court on review of this decision, found that the SA Police Service as the employer took far too long to investigate the complaint, and when they eventually did the investigations were ineffective. She also found that there were inadequate steps to deal with the sexual harassment in the workplace, and this constituted unfair discrimination. Lallie therefore ordered the SAPS to compensate the police captain with R50 000 in terms of the Employment Equity Act.

While she has spent a decade as a judge, Lallie only has a handful of reported judgments. A quick search on electronic databases also reveals that a significant number of her judgments (over 20) have been taken on appeal. Of those taken to the Labour Appeal Court, an equal number (11) have been confirmed on appeal with those that have been overturned on appeal. From a sample of Lallie’s written judgments, several of them have taken much longer than the three months prescribed by the Judicial Norms and Standards. Furthermore, at the time of her submitting her application form for appointment to the Labour Appeal Court, she had a whopping 17 reserved judgments, some going as far back as two years prior to the date of submission. These are serious concerns for a judge aspiring for elevation to the appellate courts. The Judicial Service Commission is likely to challenge her on these issues.

October 2023 Interview

Judge Mzikazi Lallie’s October 2023 interview for a position on the Labour Appeal Court was unsuccessful. She was not nominated for appointment.