National News November 2020

By ., Published in National News


Appointments: Cape Town: Charles de Wet has been appointed an Executive Consultant in the Tax department. He specialises in value-added tax (VAT"). He has nearly three decades' experience in advising local and international clients across multiple industries, including financial services companies, higher education and universities, as well as public benefit organisations. Charles was part of the team at the South African Revenue Service which implemented VAT in South Africa in 1991is an Associate in the Mauritius office.

Johannesburg: Nomonde Mbanjwa is an Associate in the Employment practice. Mauritius: Chetan Ramdass is an Associate in the Mauritius office.


Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

The firm welcomes five practitioners to its Employment Law practice: Directors: Imraan Mahomed, Bongani Masuku, Hedda Schensema and Phetheni Nkuna; Associate: Jordyne Löser and Consultant: Jean Ewang.


Imraan Mahomed is a leading strategic adviser on all matters affecting employers both in contentious and non-contentious matters. He has acted as Labour Court Judge and led clients through a number of precedent-setting cases. Imraan acts for State Agencies, global multinationals headquartered out of the US, Europe and Asia as well as mid-capped and listed South African entities. Apart from clients in South Africa, Imraan supports clients across the African continent and also represents clients in India, Europe, the US, and China.

Hedda Schensema advises employers on employment related aspects of transactional, litigation and dispute resolution, regulatory and compliance related matters in the public and private spheres. She acts as a judge in the Labour Court from time to time and regularly appears in the Labour Court, CCMA and bargaining councils for major corporations and public entities. Hedda also provides training on various aspects of labour relations and legislation.

Phetheni Nkuna's experience includes restraints of trade, section 197 transfers, organisational rights and wage disputes, drafting and reviewing HR policies, initiating disciplinary enquiries, drafting and reviewing employment contracts, and employment equity. She has serviced clients across the logistics, aviation, mining, conservation, medical, courier services, financial services and information technology sectors. She has also done work for special units of some government departments.

Bongani Masuku advises employers on dealing with collective and individual labour law and has been involved in major litigation in various labour law dispute resolution tribunals including alternative dispute resolution, discrimination litigation relating to race and victimisation, workforce reductions on a large scale, review of arbitration awards and rulings of Commissioners, Arbitrators and Panellists.

Lawtons Africa

Asafo & Co. and Lawtons Inc, trading as Lawtons Africa, joined forces in South Africa in May 2020 to create a separate company Asafo & Co. (Pty) Ltd, which trades in South Africa as "Asafo & Lawtons". Lawtons Africa's Johannesburg office supports Asafo & Co. through Asafo & Lawtons, and continues practising under the name Lawtons Africa in the domestic market.


In joining forces, Asafo & Co. and Lawtons Africa are transforming the African legal services landscape by creating a unique service offering dedicated to providing top tier legal services on a Pan-African basis. The tie-up resulted in a combined team of over 150 legal professionals who offer first class services in both common law and civil law systems across six offices spanning North, South, East and West Africa.

Asafo & Co. and Lawtons Africa's pooled strengths are in corporate/M&A, private equity, financing, projects, dispute resolution (litigation and arbitration), real estate, oil & gas, energy/power, anti-trust, and employment, mining and projects practices.

University of Pretoria

Prof Dire Tladi of the University of Pretoria's (UP) Department of Public Law and fellow at the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa has been appointed as the National Research Foundation's (NRF) South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Chair for International Constitutional Law as from 2021. Prof Tladi's appointment is for a five-year term.


On behalf of UP Law, Dean Professor Elsabe Schoeman congratulated Prof Tladi on this well-deserved appointment. "Well done, Dire! Once again, thank you for keeping UP Law on the global map where it belongs," she said.

Sun's legal eagles punch above their weight

In-house legal team wins accolades at African Legal Awards 2020

Sun International's in-house legal team scooped the award for In-house Legal Department of the Year – Small Team at The African Legal Awards 2020. The awards, which were held virtually on 17 September, acknowledge legal excellence across the African continent and are highly esteemed internationally. The team was nominated in three categories, including Innovation and In-house Rising Star for Shruti Singh, who was recognised as one of six rising star legal advisers in Africa.


"We are incredibly proud of the team for being nominated in three categories as first-time entrants," says Sun International's Head of Legal, Annabelle Thomas. "Winning the award for the best small in-house team is excellent recognition for a hardworking, dedicated and committed team."

"Sun International's team, which aside from its support team, comprises three in-house lawyers, works across an incredibly broad spectrum of law due to Sun International operating within a highly regulated environment – including mergers and acquisitions, events (such as Miss South Africa, SunMet, the Nedbank Golf Challenge and other sport), landlord and tenant disputes, debt collection, licencing, supplier and service provider arrangements, and other aspects related to general business acumen."

"You can't study how to pull this all together, you can only learn it by doing it and being thrown in the deep end. The hospitality, leisure and gaming industry is a very fast-paced environment and is complex from a legal perspective."

Thomas explains that Sun International submitted its entry in the midst of the nationwide lockdown which, on its own, was a trying time. "Although we were working from home, we continued operating at more than 100 percent of our capacity. There was quite a bit to handle due to the national lockdown as staff took salary sacrifices, business reviews impacted contracting with increased legal advising required, in addition to advising in line with the regularly amended alert level regulations; this came with new learnings and great challenges to overcome, coupled with the continued requirement to keep business as usual approach at Central Office."

Sun International's submission was a portfolio of work that demonstrated the range of work done in-house. It needed to show how the team deals with a variety of legal issues that cover all its properties: 13 hotel, casino, and resort properties across eight provinces together with the sport betting and limited pay-out machine businesses.

Commenting on the award, Operations Legal Adviser Toyah Pfafferott said, "Whilst I originally thought that the ladies may have been exaggerating when they said that Sun was a non-stop, 'go, go, go' operation, I quickly realised that, in fact, this was rather a statement of modesty. Every day at Sun is truly a 'razzle, dazzle' day and working with Sun people means together ensuring that the Sun shines even on a rainy day. What I have learnt in the past year at Sun does not have a Rand value. Sun sets out to create memories and life experiences for their customers, which means that being part of a team at Sun equates to an equal opportunity for a daily experience of a lifetime. There is truly never a dull day at Sun."

All legal issues are handled in-house by the small team, with the exception of very specialised advice.
For Sun International's first entry, the team went up against multiple other in-house legal departments across the continent.
"As a legal professional, an accolade of this magnitude is what dreams are made of. As Head of the team, I am humbled, yet overjoyed that the Sun Team

are winners – not only only of this prestigious award but also when it comes to upholding a work ethic that is professional and principled" Thomas said.