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Payment of sheriffs' accounts, ad hoc appointments and general court matters

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

ADVISORY FROM THE LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA


Dear Colleagues

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has had a very productive meeting with the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr John Jeffery, where matters of mutual interest were discussed.

The Deputy Minister has been delegated to deal with the sheriffs' profession and the sheriffs have raised some concerns with him, inter alia the issue of delayed or non-payment of their accounts.

It appears that some attorneys tend to delay the payment of sheriffs' accounts to the last possible date. They interpret the Magistrates' Courts Act in such a way as to allow them to pay the sheriff only after three months, and then they still want to have the bill taxed, thus delaying payment even further.

Practitioners are urged not to delay or withhold payment of sheriffs' accounts, unless it is for exceptional reason.

The issue of ad hoc appointments was also discussed. The concern is that, when the working relationship between the sheriff appointed for a particular area and the attorneys is strained, attorneys approach the Court Manager or the Registrar to appoint an acting sheriff (often an attorney) in terms of Section 5(1)(a) of the Sheriffs Act to serve processes, thereby undermining the office of the appointed sheriff. These ad hoc appointments may, of course, also lead to a conflict of interest when attorneys serve processes in the same area where they work.

Efforts should be made to desist from applying for ad hoc appointments and, in any event, ad hoc appointments should be applied for only if there is no potential conflict of interest on a specific matter.

We are conscious of the fact that there are also problems as far as the level of service provided by some sheriffs is concerned.  

The Deputy Minister has invited practitioners to escalate any problem that cannot be resolved through this avenue to him.

Other court matters
The Deputy Minister has indicated that practitioners can also alert his office to other problems relating to the functioning of the courts.

Submissions can be copied to the LSSA, so that it can engage through its Court Committees.

E-mail the Deputy Minister at deputyminister@justice.gov.za and blwilliams@justice.gov.za
Also copy the LSSA in at professionalaffairs@LSSA.org.za.
 

Regards

NIC SWART
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA

LSSA Advisory: 26 June 2017


Visit our website - www.LSSA.org.za
Telephone: (012) 366 8800 Email: LSSA@LSSA.org.za

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Media Statement – Justice Deputy Minister appoints new persons as sheriffs to fill vacant offices countrywide

Monday, July 03, 2017

Justice Deputy Minister appoints new persons as sheriffs to fill vacant offices countrywide

 

Sheriffs play an extremely important role in the civil justice system as they serve court processes and execute warrants and orders of court.  They are officers of the court and appointed in terms of the Sheriffs Act.

 

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr John Jeffery, has appointed 33 new sheriffs to fill vacant offices countrywide.

 

The appointments followed an open process whereby the posts were advertised and successful applicants were shortlisted and interviewed by an Advisory Committee which was established in each of the nine provinces. Advisory Committees are chaired by Chief Magistrates or Regional Court Presidents and make recommendations to the Deputy Minister regarding fit and proper persons to be considered for appointment.

 

The Deputy Minister would therefore like to extend his appreciation to the members of the Provincial Advisory Committees for the work done.

 

The need to make the Sheriffs profession more representative in terms of race and gender was one of the factors that the Deputy Minister took into account in making his decision.

 

Of the 33 appointed sheriffs, 18 are African (54%), 8 are White (24%), 4 are Coloured (13%) and 3 are Indian (9%). The 16 women appointed represent 48% of the new appointees and the 17 men 52%.  

 

Twelve of the 33 appointed sheriffs were already holding office as sheriff in other smaller areas and will therefore not affect the demographics in terms of race and gender.

 

The new appointments will now bring the total number of permanent sheriffs countrywide to 289. Of these 289 sheriffs, 122 are African (43%), 108 are White (37%), 34 are Coloured (12%) and 25 are Indian (8%). There are 90 female sheriffs (thus 31% of the total sheriffs) and 199 male sheriffs (69%).  

 

The majority of the new appointments will take effect from 1 September 2017 so as to enable the incumbent sheriffs to set up office, to employ personnel, to attend the compulsory prescribed training courses and to ensure a smooth handover of court documents.    

 

Unfortunately some of the vacant offices could not be filled as either no applications were received or the Advisory Committees were not able to recommend fit and proper applicants, as the case may be. This often occurs in small offices which are not economically viable and the Advisory Committees would therefore either recommend that the vacant offices be re-advertised, be allocated to an adjacent sheriff or that the sheriff’s office for the high and lower court be merged.

The Judicial Matters Amendment Bill that was approved by Parliament last week will in future enable the Deputy Minister to appoint sheriffs to these offices after the recommendations of the Advisory Committee and the South African Board for Sheriffs have been considered. 

 

It was decided not to fill the vacant office of Pretoria West, which is one of the larger sheriff’s service areas, so that a more equitable division of the sheriffs’ areas in the Pretoria Magisterial District can be done. It is the intention of the Department to recommend to the Deputy Minister to re-describe and allocate this service area to adjacent sheriffs to try and bridge the income disparities in Tshwane Central.

 

It is important that sheriffs perform their duties in a professional manner and continue to provide a reliable and effective serve to the public, the legal profession and other role players in the justice system. The Department will continue to support and strengthen the sheriffs’ profession in order to ensure that justice is accessible to all.

 

The names of the newly appointed sheriffs and the areas that each is responsible for are attached.

 

Issued by the Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Development

Enquiries: Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga

Spokesperson for the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development

083 641 8141

Newly Appointed Sheriffs 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

 LIST OF SHERIFFS APPOINTED ON 30 JUNE 2017

NO

PROVINCE

OFFICES

 

 CANDIDATE APPOINTED

1

Eastern Cape

Bathurst (Port Alfred) HL

Mr L Makwetu

2

Eastern Cape

Cathcart, Queenstown And Tarkastad HL

Ms JL Coetzer

3

Eastern Cape

Humansdorp HL

*Mr C Erasmus

4

Eastern Cape

Port Elizabeth South HL

Ms NL Nyabaza

5

Gauteng

Centurion East HL 

Ms SE Dhlamini

6

Gauteng

Sandton South HL

* Ms FR Moeletsi

7

Gauteng

Randburg West HL

 Ms SI Seboka

8

Gauteng

Palm Ridge HL

Mr IR Burton

9

Gauteng

Pretoria North HL

 *Mr PT Sedile

10

Gauteng

Krugersdorp HL

 Ms AM Erasmus

11

Gauteng

Johannesburg South HL

* Ms JA Thomas

12

KwaZulu-Natal

Inanda 1 HL

Mr TA Tembe 

(With effect from 15 August 2017)

13

KwaZulu-Natal

Newcastle HL

Mr ACBR Tsotetsi

14

KwaZulu-Natal

Msinga HL

Mr TA Mtsweni

15

KwaZulu-Natal

Kokstad HL  & Matatiele HL

Ms MAB Mahlangu

16

KwaZulu-Natal

Camperdown HL

Ms H Erasmus

17

Limpopo

Lepelle- Nkumpi HL

*Mr DJ Herman

18

Mpumalanga

Hendrina HL

Mr TB Ramaala

19

Mpumalanga

Middelburg H

Mr H Hoosen

20

Mpumalanga

Barberton HL

Ms LK Makhudu

21

Mpumalanga

Chief Albert Luthuli  HL

Ms EB Mahamba

22

Mpumalanga

Dr Pixley Ka Seme HL

*Mr LE Chuene

(With effect from 27 September 2017)

23

Northern Cape

Calvinia HL

Mr HP Burger

 

24

Northern Cape

De Aar, Hanover, Britstown And Phillipstown HL

Mr TP Mokwena

25

Northern Cape

Groblershoop HL

Ms AJ Daniëls

 

26

Northern Cape

Hay (Griekwastad); Hopetown; & Herbert (Douglas) HL

*Mrs MJ Brooks

 

27

Northern Cape

Postmasburg (Including The Service Area of Olifantshoek) H

*Mr MH Magkwane

 

28

Northern Cape

Kimberley & Galeshewe HL

*Ms KMM Mpe

 

29

North West

Stilfontein HL

Ms ME Ramasita

(With effect from 5 October 2017)

30

Western Cape

Bredasdorp HL

*Mr A Witbooi

31

Western Cape

Murraysburg HL

*Mr JR Nieuwenhuizen

32

Western Cape

Clanwilliam HL

Mr PR Hull

33

Western Cape

Wynberg East HL

*Ms G Naidoo

Note: * The person is already holding office as a sheriff.

Sheriffs Introductory Course 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Application and Pre-assessment Forms 2017- Sheriffs Application and Pre-assessment Forms 2017- Sheriffs (877 KB)

RSG Interview with SABFS Board Members Mrs Petro Roodt and Mr Igna Klynsmith ahead of World Sheriffs Day 2017

Monday, June 05, 2017

RSG Interview with SABFS Board Members RSG Interview with SABFS Board Members (21678 KB)

Insider News: Acting Sheriffs Appointed

Thursday, June 01, 2017

SABFS_Newsletter_May_2017

Thursday, June 01, 2017

SABFS_Newsletter_May_2017 SABFS_Newsletter_May_2017 (12903 KB)

Insider News: Acting Sheriffs Appointed

Friday, May 26, 2017

SABFS Board Member Ms Lephadi and Ms Shirley Thoke

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
SABFS Board Member Ms Lephadi and Ms Shirley Thoke, the sheriff for Germiston North promoting the sheriffs profession on SABC 1 TV programme - Yilungelo Lakho.

WSD 2017 Notice to Sheriffs

Monday, May 08, 2017

WSD 2017 Notice to Sheriffs WSD 2017 Notice to Sheriffs (331 KB)