Hierdie is nie ‘n gewone “brug” nie – dit staan vir ‘n groep van mense wat al in 1971 die lig gesien het en na 1994 het dit voortbestaan. Lees gerus verder op meer skakels.
More realities today – realiteite vandag
Velaphi Khumalo (haatspraak)
LEES MEER – 2019
Members of the Johannesburg Bar have traditionally established Groups, akin to sets in the English Bar. The Bridge Group was founded in 1971 in Innes Chambers, and by convention, styled themselves by their address, Group 444. One founder member remains, Rob Wise SC, who celebrated our 45th anniversary with us in 2016.
Upon establishment, Wise recruited Anton Mostert SC to lead the Group and Richard Goldstone to join. When Mostert became a judge in 1974, Johann Kriegler SC was recruited to lead the Group, which he did until 1985 when he became a judge. In 1980, when Goldstone became a judge, Mostert returned to the Bar after his exposure of the government’s secret funding of the Citizen newspaper. He took up Goldstone’s chambers and practised until his tragic death in 1999.
Judge Fikile Bam, President of the Land Claims Court, served pupillage in 1979 with Rex Van Schalkwyk, himself a judge from 1988 – 1996. Bam was prevented from practicing in Johannesburg by the Group areas Act, and initially “returned” to the Transkei, and later joined the Legal Resources Centre in Port Elizabeth. Carol Bruyns, a founder member, and one of only a few women at the Bar in the 70s’ and early 80s’ left to pioneer the Public Defender’s office in Johannesburg. Smeath Thomas was among the eccentrics that populated the membership in the early days of the group, he was reputedly fluent in Latin and was frequently accompanied to Chambers by his Basset Hound called “Judge”.
Bridging the Divide
The High Court Precinct was the Bar’s home from 1961. In 1996 lawyers joined the migration to Sandton. Group opinion was divided on moving. The solution was to “bridge the divide” and be in the City and in Sandton.
“The Bridge” was adopted as our name. The City pillar of The Bridge was lost when the Innes Chambers lease ended, but the Group still keeps consultation facilities in Pitje Chambers as a door member. The Group is one of only four of the original 15 Groups from the City to preserve its identity after the migrations.
Several members served on the Bar Council, four as chairman, including Johann Kriegler and Lewis Goldblatt. Kriegler and Goldstone served on the SCA and on the CC.
Percy Blieden, Neels Claasen, Fritz Van Oosten, Piet Meyer and Roland Sutherland serve on the South Gauteng High Court.
Sharmin Ebrahim serves on the Free State High Court.
Robert Lagrange is a Labour Court judge
Commitment to Transformation and Diversity
The Group pioneered several transformation interventions. In 1999 it introduced the first “Junior Associate membership” which gave beginners the amenities of practice at a nominal fee for up to two years. In 2002 it added to the pupil/ pupil master pairing, a “Silk Mentor”, and later added a junior as confidant.
Since 2003 the Group has partnered with Wits Law Clinic to facilitate pro bono work, an example of combining professional training with access to justice.
Die Brug / The Bridge
Our Advocates :
- Sello Alcock
- Emma Anderson
- Fumani Baloyi
- Heidi Barnes
- Paul Belger
- Gillian Benson
- Daniel Berger SC
- Jonathan Berger
- Adriana Bevilacqua
- JP Coetzee SC
- Ashley Cook
- Craig Cothill
- Faye Ann Darby
- Marco De Oliveira
- Irene de Vos
- Melanie Feinstein
- Greg Fourie SC
- Chris Georgiades SC
- Grace-Marie Goedhart SC
- Julie-Anne Harwood
- Garth Hulley SC
- Chantelle Humphries
- Sekgothadi Kabelo
- Sha’ista Kazee
- Paul Kennedy SC
- Group Manager
- Abdullah Laher
- Alan Lamplough
- Lauren Leeuw
- Nicole Lewis
- Desirée Lundström
- Ndumiso Mahlangu
- Thabang Makgalemele
- Zweli Makgalemele
- Tebogo Manchu
- Gordon Mashigo
- Michael Matlapeng
- Xolani Matyolo
- Kerensa Millard
- Ntombi Mncube
- Loyiso Mnqandi
- Theodore Mokhatla
- Keabetswe Mokotedi
- Lerato Monnakgotla
- Les Morison SC
- Salim Nakhjavani
- Shirley Nathan SC
- Zinhle Ngwenya
- Annamart Nieman
- Mark Oppenheimer
- Chris Orr
- Ilana Ossin
- John Peter SC
- Gloria Phajane
- Lerato Phasha
- Erin Richards
- Michelle Rodrigues
- Raqeem Saint
- Robert Scholtz
- Nathan Segal
- Lee Segeels
- Thabo Seneke
- Ross Shepstone
- Mabasa Sibanda
- Brian Slon
- Luc Spiller
- Ashton Steenekamp
- Nicky Strathern
- Paul Strathern SC
- Naki Stylianou
- Cinzia Vallaro
- Michael van As
- Pieter van der Berg SC
- Hans van der Riet SC
- Marius van Wyk
- Esbie Venter
- Ferdi Venter
- Robert Wise SC
- Manfred Witz
- Gerhard Young
read about them at
Mark has a special interest in commercial disputes, municipal law, and constitutional law. He has published articles about property rights, freedom of expression and affirmative action. He has been called upon for legal commentary on both TV and radio. He also hosts the podcast ‘Freedom Versus’ on cliffcentral.
At the University of Cape Town, he taught a series of classes on moral philosophy and he went on to lecture law at Varsity College. Mark has produced submissions to parliament, the Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Recent / Major Cases:
A Constitutional Court case which decided that property purchasers are not liable to pay municipalities the historical debts that were incurred by sellers. Mark acted for the 4th Amicus to assist the court in determining whether conveyancers would have had a duty to inform purchasers of the existence of historical debt.
An appeal before the Press Council on whether an article calling for white men to be denied the right to vote amounted to hate speech or discriminatory speech in terms of the press code.
An application to set aside a sale in execution after transfer had occurred. The case deals with the intersection between property law and the law of insolvency.
An application to reverse water charges that had prescribed. The judgement sets out a municipality’s obligations in reading meters and collecting debt. In the circumstances a large portion of the Applicants debt was written off based on prescription.
An application to reverse electricity charges. The prior owner of the building had entered into an agreement with the City to have a large supply of electricity reserved for its use. The City attempted to impose this agreement on the new owner.
An eviction application that turned on whether the eviction should be stayed pending the outcome of an impending review application.
An urgent application to stay a CCMA hearing pending the outcome of a review. The case establishes the test for when such stays will be granted.
The Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident. He was unemployed at the time of the accident and had been unemployed for 18 years over a 30-year period. The court was asked to determine the appropriate contingency deduction for his future loss of earnings.
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Early warning report to United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Submission to Parliament on Films and Publications Amendment Bill
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Submission to South African Human Rights Commission
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Solidarity on Stopping Racism
- Gerhard Young