Business organisation Sakeliga today announced its request for joinder as amicus curiae in a landmark case on the constitutionality of race quotas.
The case is brought by the Cape Bar against the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and fourteen others. It involves the legitimacy of race quotas in the composition of the Western Cape Provincial Legal Practice Council (WCPLPC) prescribed by regulations promulgated under the Legal Practice Act, 28 of 2014.
The problematic regulations impose on provincial councils inflexible quotas of race and gender. The quotas have led to candidates who were otherwise duly elected to the WCPLPC being disqualified based on race. The Cape Bar seeks to have the relevant stipulations declared unconstitutional, or alternatively as unfair discrimination.
“This case is of significant public importance. Various constitutional rights are at stake, of which most prominently the right of all people in South Africa to be protected against unfair and unreasonable racial discrimination. The outcome will have a marked impact on the way not only the legal profession but also the country applies discriminatory policies based on race and other criteria. As amicus curiae, Sakeliga intends to not only assist the court and the parties by placing the matter within the perspective of the business community, but will also provide valuable additional submissions on constitutional issues,” says Piet le Roux, CEO of Sakeliga.
The case is brought simultaneously in the Cape High Court and Equality Court on an urgent basis. No date for the case has yet been set, but it is expected that a date will be arranged with the office of the Deputy Judge President on 29 July 2019.