Honorary members are elected by the Executive Council who then puts the proposal to the Annual General Meeting, per the IAASA Constitution.
IAASA has five honorary members:
1) A.S.van der Spuy S.C. He was a member of the Executive Committee in 1994 and 1995. He was a S.C. since 1964, honorary member IAASA 1998.
Adv Attie Van Der Spuy was one of the founder members of IAASA. Also one of the first senior counsels to join IAASA. Attie passed away in 2010 but will be remembered for his good judgments that were reported whilst acting as judge in Venda.
2) M.A. Bulbulia S.C. He was a member of the Executive Committee from 1994 to 1998. He was Vice Chairman from 1996-1998. He was an Honorary Professor at Law as well as President of the Industrial Court up to 1998. He was awarded Honorary member status of IAASA in 1998. He was the second person of colour in South Africa to sit on an Executive Bar council. (The first was Adv Ike Tholoe, who was vice chair of IAASA in 1994 and 1995.)
3) Quim De Freitas was an Executive Member from 1995. He was Secretary and Treasurer from 1996 to 1999. He became an Honorary member in 2003. The case of De Freitas is well known as his case was a test case to see whether advocates get work direct from the streets. IAASA is forced to abide by the court’s rulings but the debate is not finished. IAASA still maintain:
There was no Roman or Roman Dutch authority at common law requiring the intervention of an attorney when instructed by a client(s).
The previous decisions in South African Courts elevate the intervention of an attorney between the client and counsel which was a rule of the traditional bar adopted from the British bar by sheer tradition and usage to a rule of law governing the entire profession of advocates including advocates outside the traditional bars.
This elevation no longer applies since the creation of the new South Africa which under its Constitution allows all citizens to make direct approaches to an advocate or an attorney as “Legal practitioners of its choice”. (Section 35 Constitution, Act 108 of 1996.)
The following contentions are of a constitutional import:
a. Access to the legal system is a critical problem in South Africa.
b. Should the Honourable Minister allow the practice to continue where advocates can only be briefed by attorneys, but attorneys can go to the highest courts and do everything and more than an advocate can do, they are entrenching unfair competition. The fact that advocates are barred from taking instructions directly from members of the public is discriminatory in its essence. It is submitted that it is in violation of an advocate’s right to free economic activity and fair and free competition to be instructed only by a competitor, namely an attorney.
c. The preference of attorneys over advocates is discriminatory and offends advocates’ rights to equality before the law. (In addition the practice whereby the General Bar Council freely amends its ethical rules concerning those bodies that are permitted to instruct its advocate members without the intervention of an attorney, offends the other advocates’ rights to do the same and is therefore discriminatory and violates the advocates’ rights to equality. Rule 9(ii)(e) of the traditional bar leave scope for the extension of the rule of briefing in that it say “which meet with the Council’s approval”. The rule has been extended to include the Legal Aid Board which is not a state organisation.)
We are aware of the practical difficulties of advocates doing what is commonly known as attorneys work what we verily believe that what has been stated alone is not attorneys work but an advocates work without traditional briefs. If briefs were omitted under our view it does not follow that we are sponsoring unprofessional conduct. The absence of a brief can in any event not rank as conduct by advocates per se as immoral, scandalous and strike-worthy nature.
The second serious criticism was and is the absence of protection of trust monies where counsel are in a position to receive their remuneration from the public directly. We verily believe and humbly submit that this objection omits the reflection that in most cases the advocates receive their fee for work done in advance and in fact pre determined and the monies received are not trust monies at all. If monies are deposited in trust the position should be catered for as soon as possible by legislation and in any event deposits of trust monies can and should be made by advocates in trust accounts of their own or allied professions such as attorneys and auditors, estate agents or trust companies catering especially for holding of trust monies.
4) Adam Klein passed away in 2011 but will be remembered as IAASA Honorary member and as an unsung hero.
Adv Mattie Klein wrote this about him:
Adv. Adam Klein (18 February 1956 – 2 July 2011)
The newspapers had this to say about my brother who was a prosecutor in the 70’s and who refused to prosecute people under the draconic pass laws:
“Adam Klein, in his early twenties at the time, was single handedly responsible for finally sinking the past laws and the pseudo courts that applied them.” The Sunday Times dated 23 November 1980 had the heading:“The Department of co-operation and development has embarked on a dramatic clean-up operation in a Commissioners Court which enforces the past laws. The result from the walk out by Pretoria Commissioner’s Court prosecutor Mr Adam Klein earlier this year and after Sunday Times investigation at the court.”
Adam suffered a severe heart attack and passed on. He was an honorary member of IAASA.
I remember when he walked out of court and then the security police arrested him, when he was released pending further investigation, he exiled to Namibia. He came back some years later only to be interrogated by the security police , again, they so badly wanted to link him to other activities. Yet he was only a staunch supporter of the rule of law, righteousness and justice. He is the ONLY JURIST that I know who worked for the government and stood up against the government in the apartheid years. Yes there were others, Bram Fisher, Bizoz etc, but they were in private practise.
5) Matthew Klein also called Mattie was a founder member and the first chairperson of IAASA from 1994-1999. He was made an honorary member in 2003. He contributed to the pupillage programme by making a DVD on advocacy and compiling a manual on Advocacy.
Adv De Freitas recalls:
“I was still in the dept when in 1994 when I came across a Sunday paper advertising the formation of a new legal body –IAASA-The Independent Bar. This caught my attention. I travelled to Pretoria in Sept of 1994 and was pleasantly surprised to find a large lecture/boardroom packed to capacity with lawyers of all colours. There was genuine excitement in the room. There was the promise/hope of change. The general consensus was that a new legal body of lawyers was desperately needed in our country-a body capable of representing all the peoples of our country, where all lawyers would be equal. It was the expressed desire of those gathered that this body would counter-weight the dominance of the GSB and Law Society.
In the spirit of change, the idea of dual or fused Bar was introduced by a confident and soft spoken lawyer whom I did not know-Matthew Klein. This was a new idea which was hotly debated by those present. Some felt that there should be a new but integrated bar and sidebar. After some discussion it was accepted that this new legal creature would be cautiously welcomed, along with the rider that IAASA would need to acquire a fidelity fund trust of some sort to protect the public.
All accepted that change was happening and there was goodwill expressed. Of course there were dissenting voices who expressed fearful reservations about this change, being easily embraced by the powers that existed at the time. And they were prophetically accurate.
In attendance, on that day were attorneys, advocates as well as legal advisors and other legal persons who were from the republic as well as from the former ‘BANTU’ states. Many if not most were seasoned lawyers, for example Chief Justice of Venda , President of the Labour Relations Tribunal, senior attorneys and counsel at the “established “ bar.”
Independent Association of Advocates of South Africa Suite 800A, 8th Floor, Salmon Grove Chambers,407 Smith Street, DurbanTel: (031) 304-6825