Judges’ joy as daughter admitted

Eastern Cape Judge President Selby Mbenenge and his long-time friend Judge Bantubonke Tokota together admitted Mbenenge’s daughter, Nontlahla Mbenenge, as an attorney in the Grahamstown High Court yesterday.

It is a tradition for judges to admit their own offspring if they choose to follow a career in the law.

But it is the first time that two judges, both jovially claiming to be a father to the candidate, have sat together to admit their progeny.

In fact, had Judge Gerald Bloem been present in Grahamstown, he would have made up a judicial threesome to admit the popular Mbenenge.

However, he was presiding in a case in the Mthatha High Court.

Grahamstown attorney Mark Nettelton, who moved Nontlahla’s application for admission, said the Bloem, Mbenenge and Tokota families had played a significant role in Nontlahla’s life.

Both Tokota and Mbenenge urged all six attorneys admitted yesterday to always act with honesty, dignity, objectivity, and honour.

They said lawyers were required to have technical skills, a capacity for hard work, and respect for the constitution and the rule of law.

Nontlahla told the Daily Dispatch she had initially run from the law as a calling. But, during the pursuit of her first degree, which had involved a course in labour law, she had realised it was what she wanted to do. She went on to study her LLB at Fort Hare University.

She aspires to follow in her father’s footsteps and one day become a judge.

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