Poobalan Govindasamy

 Surname                          Govindasamy

Full names                        Poobalan

 

Telephone Number

Code      (033) 3453 427/9 (W)

(033) 3261 701    (H)

Mobile   079 2277 440

Fax       (033) 3427 583

E-Mail  gngattorneys@vodamail.co.za

 

  1. Date and place of birth

 

3.1.      Date of birth                10th February 1958

3.2       Place of birth               Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

3.3       Citizenship                  South African

3.4       Identity Number                      580210 5247 088

  1. Marital status

Married

4.1       Children

  1. a) Arayan Govindasamy, a boy born on 21 March 1981.
  2. b) Areshan Govindasamy, a boy born on 7 February 1987 (died on 7 January 2012

 

  1. Tertiary education.

5.1       Qualifications

B.A Law

LL.B

Certificate in Constitutional Litigation

 

Name of institution(s)

University of Durban Westville

University of Natal – Pietermaritzburg

University of Natal – Durban

 

Dates acquired

B.A Law (April1980)

LL.B       (May 1982)

Certificate in Constitutional Litigation (November1994)

 

  1. Chronological particulars of employment since leaving school or university

 

Name of employer Position held Period
Holly Brothers Messenger Dec/Jan 1976
Holly Brothers / Ahren’s Charcoal Delivery Assistant Dec/Jan 1978
Lincoln Footwear Staining of Shoes Dec/Jan 1979
Campden Hotel Waiter Dec/Jan 1980
A K Essack Morgan Naidoo & Co. Articled Clerk

 

Professional Assistant

12 Jan 1982 to

11 Jan 1984

12 Jan 1984 to

30 April 1984

Poobie Govindasamy & Co. Attorneys;

Govindasamy & Pillay Attorneys;

 

Govindasamy & Pillay Attorneys;

Govindasamy, Ndzingi & Govender Inc.

Sole Practitioner

 

Partner

 

Sole Practitioner

 

Director

1 May 1984 to

30 June 1995

1 July 1995 to 30 June 2006

1 July 2006 to

24 May 2011

25 May 2011 to 2017

 

 

  1. chronological particulars of membership of legal organizations – Past and Present.

 

Name of organization Position held Period
Lawyers for Democracy (Pietermaritzburg) Executive Member

General Secretary

1984 – 1986

1987 – 1989

National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) –Pietermaritzburg Branch Executive Member Member

Executive Member

1990 – 1993

1994 to date

1998 to date

Nadel (National)

 

 

 

Assistant Secretary

Deputy Treasurer

 

Treasurer

1991 – 1993

Feb 2014 to Feb 2016

 

Feb 2016 – to date

KwaZulu-Natal Law Society  (KZNLS) Member

Councillor representing Nadel

 

President

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chair – Human Rights Committee

 

Chair – RAF Committee

 

Member – RAF Committee

 

Chair – Complaints Committee

Chair – Contingency Fee Committee

 

Examiner – Attorneys Practice Procedure & Booking Exams

 

Chair – Pro Bono Committee

 

Chair – Human Resources Committee

 

Chair – Examining Committee

1984 to 2017

2001 to 2017

 

 

October 2013 to October 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001 to 2006

 

2001 to 2012

 

 

2012 – to date

 

 

 

2004 to 2012

2004 to date

 

 

2002 to date

 

 

 

 

2004 to date

 

 

2008 to 2015

 

 

2001 – to date

Law Society of South Africa (LSSA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member

RAF Committee

 

Contingency Fee Committee

 

Pro Bono Committee

 

Council Member

 

1984 to date

2004 to 2015

 

2006 to date

 

 

2006 to date

 

October 2013 to October 2014

 

Attorneys Fidelity Fund

 

 

Board Member

 

October 2013 to date

 

  1. particulars of membership of political organization – past and present
Name of organization Position held Period
United Democratic Front (UDF) Member 1983 – 1990
African National Congress (ANC) Northern Areas (B) Branch – Pietermaritzburg  

Member

 

1990 to date

 

  1. particulars of community and other organizations
Name of organisation Position held Period
Sai Baba Foundation of Pietermaritzburg Member  1992 to date
Education Culture & Welfare Foundation – Pietermaritzburg  

Member

 

1992 – 2017

Phelezela Executive Member       2005 – 2014
Protea Pre-Primary School Parent Committee  

Chair

 

1986 – 1987

Greenhill Pre-Primary School Parent Committee  

Chair

 

1988 – 1999

Governing Body – Merchiston Preparatory School  

Member

 

1997 – 1999

Governing Body –  Ramatha Road Primary Member 2004 – 2012
Young Natalians Football Club Member 1973 to 2017
Maritzburg Hotspurs Futsal Club Chair 2002 to 2017
 

Maritzburg Football Association

Minute Secretary

 

General Secretary

1983 – 1986

 

1987 – 1991

 

Pietermaritzburg Council on Sport (PRECOS) General Secretary 1986 – 1988
South African Council on Sport (SACOS) Member 1983 – 1988
National Sports Congress (NSC) Member 1989 – 1992
Northern Natal Soccer Board (NNSB) Member/Delegate

Secretary

1984 – 1986; (1989)

1987 – 1988

 

South African Soccer Federation (SASF)

Member

Member Appeal Committee

Delegate

1973 – 1990

1986 – 1989

1987 – 1989

 

South African Soccer Federation Professional League (SASF – FPL)  

Delegate

 

1987-1988

Natal Midlands Football Association  (NMFA)  

General Secretary

Delegate/SAFA

 

1991 – 1996

1991 – 1994

South African Football Association (SAFA)

 

 

 

 

National Executive Member

 

 

Member – Disciplinary Committee

 

Member – Appeal Committee

 

Member –  Legal & Constitutional Committee

 

Chair – Legal & Constitutional Committee

 

Member – Examinations Committee

 

Chair – Indoor

Football Committee

 

Member – Indoor Football Committee

 

Chair – Ethics Protocol Fair Play & Security Committee

 

 

1994 – 2001

2010 to 2017

 

1994 – 1998

2002 – 2008

 

2009 – 2010

 

 

1996 – 1998

2002 to 2013

 

2010 – 2013

 

 

2002 – 2006

 

 

1998 – 2001

 

 

2002 – 2005

2007 to 2013

 

2013 – date

South African Indoor Football Association (SAIFA)  

President

 

2002 to date

Local Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations

 

Local Organising Committee of the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations

 

Confederation of African Football (CAF)

 

 

Board Member

 

 

Chairman

 

 

 

Member of the Legal Affairs & Player Status Committee

 

Club Licensing Instructor

 

Member of the Futsal &   Beach Football Committee

 

2012 to date

 

 

2015 – 2016

 

2013 to date

 

 

 

2013 – 2016

 

2013 – to date

 

2017 –  to date

 

 

  1. LEGAL BACKGROUND

10.1.    Outline of career in the law, principle areas of legal interest and involvement.

  1. a) I commenced Articles of Clerkship with the firm A K Essack, Morgan Naidoo & Co. in January 1982.

 

  1. b) I was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court on 20th February 1984.

 

I commenced practice for my own account as an Attorney in Pietermaritzburg on 1st May 1984 until June 1995 under the name and style  of Poobie Govindasamy & Co.

I continued to practice thereafter in partnership under the name and style of   Govindasamy and Pillay. On 25th May 2011 I became one of seven directors of the new firm Govindasamy,

Ndzingi & Govender Incorporated. The incorporated firm then consisted of three female directors, one of whom was Xolisile Ndzingi, who was formerly employed by me as a professional assistant for three years. In this way I have attempted to advance the careers of young women into the legal profession. The vision of the new incorporated firm is to serve the wider community in the best possible way, through one of the largest black legal practice in KwaZulu-Natal. Presently although the legal firm consists of three directors, it has grown such that there are five professional assistants including candidate attorneys, secretarial and other staff, totaling 37 employees

I obtained my right of appearance in the High Court of South Africa (Natal Provincial Division) on 12th December 1995.

Throughout my practice I have been involved in Magistrates Court litigation, High Court litigation, Administration of Estates, Family Law, Commercial and Property transactions, Labour Law, Criminal Law and Human Rights litigation.

I may mention that since my university days commencing in 1976 at the then University of Durban Westville, I became actively involved in the community and have been a strong opponent of the apartheid government.  I boycotted both my graduation ceremonies at university much to the disappointment of my parents.

As a lawyer I am always conscious of the fact that I first come from a broader disadvantaged community and then from the legal community. Therefore my entry into the legal profession more than 31 years ago resulted in my natural progression as an active member of Lawyers for Democracy and later the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel). Both organizations opposed not only the then legal establishment but also campaigned relentlessly for a non-racial, non-sexist, united and democratic South Africa.

On a professional level I have been the Principal of more than 30 Candidate Attorneys to date. To this end I have ensured their proper training and development resulting in all being admitted as Attorneys except for one who is now a Senior Counsel in Pietermaritzburg.

As a progressive lawyer, the former Natal Law Society was boycotted by me. When my organization, Nadel , decided to engage the Natal Law Society in order to transform it so that it may reflect not only the demographics of our country but also what the legal profession should look like in a Constitutional democracy, I  was deployed to serve as a Councilor in that structure. I am the current President of the KwaZulu Natal Law Society. Much progress has been made in the transformation of the now KwaZulu-Natal Law Society as a result of the combined efforts of Nadel, the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) and right minded attorneys from the so called Statutory side. In this regard it is satisfying to note that the Legal Practice Bill which has been on the profession’s mind over the past 17 years has been passed by Parliament and has been signed by the State President into law.

I am passionate about Pro Bono work. For many years I have served on the Human Rights and Pro Bono Committees of the Pietermaritzburg branch of Nadel. Since my deployment as a Councilor into the KwaZulu Law Society (KZNLS) I have chaired the Pro Bono Committee and I am also a member of the Pro Bono committee of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). At the 2011 annual general meeting of the KZNLS a resolution was passed making it compulsory for all attorneys to do at least 24 hours of pro bono work per year. Happily, the pro bono project has kicked off and members of the public are making use of the services of many of our practising attorneys.

 

  1. Other activities having a bearing on my legal experience:

Pro Bono – Legal Advisor – Pietermaritzburg Combined Residents & Ratepayers Association  – (1989 -1992)

Pro Bono – Legal Advisor – Education Culture & Welfare Foundation (1992 – to date)

Legal Advisor – National Union of Leather Workers(Pietermaritzburg Branch) – (1988 – 1993)

Delivered Paper: “Taking Sport into the Townships” – Natal Midlands Volleyball Association – 1998.

Delivered Paper: “The Importance of Language and Education in the

context of a non-racial South Africa” – Veda Dharma Sabha

Pietermaritzburg – 1990

Delivered Paper: “The Public Defender – A Challenge to NICRO”

NICRO’S National Conference  – 1993

Attended 11th Annual Conference of The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) – A Progressive Group of Lawyers in the United States of America (11th – 23rd October 1991)

Addressed Law Students at the City University of New York (CUNY) on current political developments in South Africa and the progress towards a non-racist, non-sexist and democratic South Africa (11th – 23rd October 1991)

Participated in a Judicial Training Programme in Canada – through the efforts of the South African Education & Trust Fund (SAETF), Nadel & BLA (11th June – 5th July 1993

Delivered Paper: “Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival in South Africa: The incident which prompted Ghandhi into politics” – conference – island of Reunion -(October 1997)

Member of the Planning and Strategic Commission of the South African Football Association, investigating football structures in England, Germany and Switzerland, making recommendations for the restructuring of football in South Africa (September 1995)

Head of Delegation – Orlando Pirates FC, Sundowns FC, Manning Rangers FC and Bafana Bafana both within South Africa and internationally  (1995 – 1997)

Commissioner Small Claims Court – 1996 to date

Head of Delegation – South African under 14 National team – France 1998

Head of Delegation – Fifa Futsal Symposium – Guatemala 2000

Chair – Commission of Enquiry into the Financial Affairs and Administration of the Western Province Football Association – 2001

Fifa World Cup 2006 Bid Presentation – jointly with Dr Danny Jordaan on behalf of SAFA to the South American Football Federation – Paraguay 2001

Head of Delegation – South African National Futsal Team – Egypt 2002

Head of Delegation – South African National Futsal Team – Malyasia 2003

Head of Delegation – Fifa Futsal Symposium – Chinese Taipei 2004

Delivered Paper; “The Importance of Education in a non-racial Democratic South Africa” – Durban University Technology – Imbali -Pietermaritzburg – 2007

Delivered Paper: “The Constitutional Rights of Children” – Arthur Blaxwel School – Pietermaritzburg – 2008

Presentation to staff at Arthur Blaxwell School – on Disciplinary Procedures affecting learners – November 2010

Head of Delegation – South Africa (Bafana Bafana)/Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe May 2012

Head of Delegation – South Africa (Bafana Bafana)/Equatorial Guinea –  Durban June 2012

Head of Delegation – South Africa (National Fustal team) / Zimbabwe – Johannesburg May 2012

Head of Delegation – South Africa (National Futsal team) / Libya – Johannesburg June 2012.

Head of Delegation – South Africa (Bafana Bafana) / Australia (May 2014)

Head of Delegation – South Africa (Bafana Bafana) / New Zealand (May 2014)

Head of Delegation – South Africa (Bafana Bafana / Mauritania)

(Sept 2015)

Club Licensing Instructor – Ethiopia , Zambia, Mozambique, Sudan

(2014-2016)

Participated in the Fifa Integrity & Ethics Symposium – Johannesburg  (Dec 2016)

Participated in the Fifa Professional Footballers Conference – Cairo (Dec 2017)

 

  1. Judicial and/or quasi-judicial experience:

Judicial Commissioner – Independent Electoral Commission April 1994

Chair – Protest, Appeal & Disciplinary Committee – African Cup of Nations Tournament – hosted by the South African Football Association (1996)

Chair and Member of numerous Disciplinary, Protest & Appeal Committees in football at local and national level (1983 to date)

Chair – Legal & Constitutional Committee of South African Football Association – (1998 – 2000)

Member – Legal & Constitutional Committee of South African Football Association – (1998 to 2013)

Member of Disciplinary Committee of Governing Body – Merchiston Preparatory School – Pietermaritzburg (1997 – 1999)

Commissioner – Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) – (2002 to 2012)

Commissioner – Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) – (2004 – 2008)

Member of Disciplinary Committee of Governing Body – Arthur Blaxwell School – Pietermaritzburg (2010 to 2012)

Presiding Officer in Disciplinary hearings for the Department of Health KwaZulu Natal (2013-2014)

 

  1. I also acted as a Regional Court Magistrate for one week in terms of the voluntary court assistance programme established by the DOJCD during March 2000 to August 2001.

 

  1. I also acted as a Judge of the High Court, KwaZulu Natal during.

 

  1. a) 16 August 2010 – 24 September 2010
  2. b) 24 January 2011 – 17 April 2011
  3. c) 30 May 2011 – 3 July 2011
  4. d) 1 August 2011 – 2nd September 2011
  5. e) 2nd July 2012 – 13 July 2012
  6. f) 29th August 2017 – 24th September 2017

 

  1. I sat as an Acting Judge in Criminal Appeals as part of the Side Bar’s Pro Bono Project on 23rd July 2007 in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

 

  1. Most significant contribution to the law and the pursuit of justice in South Africa?

Generally, not only in my personal and community life but also in my practice as a lawyer I have as far as possible tried to further the principles of non-racialism towards a better and just South Africa.

In particular, as a member of Nadel I have played a meaningful role in the road to the transformation of the legal profession. I understand that this process is far from complete.

My efforts in instilling a pro bono culture amongst legal practitioners to assist the poorest of the poor and the most disadvantaged members in our society.

My personal involvement in the training and development of my former and  current candidate attorneys and administrative staff.

I have two reported judgments:

  1. S v Mkhize 2011 (1) SACR 554 (KZD) – in this case I found that a confession obtained from an accused during his unlawful detention by     the police is in violation of the accused’s fundamental right to a fair trial and             is thus inadmissible.

 

  1. Shange v MEC for Education KwaZulu Natal 2012 (2) SA 519 (KZD) – in this case the application for condonation was granted in terms of         Institution of  Legal Proceedings Against Certain Organs of State Act  40 of            2002 against the Minister of Education.

 

The matter was taken on appeal. The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed    the appeal with costs on 1st June 2012.

I also delivered numerous unreported judgments. Of significance in personal injury matters the following judgments were delivered:

Pratish Gopal Odit v Road Accident Fund (Case No: 2222/2007). On 27 June 2011 in the Durban High Court I found that the Plaintiff failed to discharge the onus of proving that the insured driver was the sole cause of the collision alternatively was in some way jointly negligent and  granted an order of absolution from the instance with costs.

S S Sibiya v Road Accident Fund (Case No: 9323/2007). On 30th June 2011 in the Durban High Court  I made an order in favour of the Plaintiff whereby the Defendant was found to be liable to compensate Plaintiff for 70% of his proved or agreed damages and that Defendant shall pay Plaintiff’s costs including the costs of senior and junior counsel.

 

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