The University of the Western Cape’s Faculty of Law is proud that another of the University’s alumni has been appointed to the Western Cape High Court bench.
Dèidre Kusevitsky will join Constitution Lane, along with 25 other alumni and former or existing staff at UWC who are currently serving, or who have served until recently, as judges in various South African courts as well as in the rest of Africa.
Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Jacques de Ville, opened Constitution Lane on September 2019 in front of the Faculty of Law building in honour of these judges, and as an inspiration to its current law students.
Judge Kusevitsky (née Le Roux) completed her matric at Athlone Senior Secondary School in 1989. She started studying part-time at UWC in the late 1990s, and completed her LLB degree in 2002 and her LLM degree (in Environmental Law) in 2005. She studied while working as a legal assistant at Standard Bank from 1996 to 2000, and as article clerk at Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes from 2001 to 2003.
Judge Kusevitsky joined the Cape Bar in 2003 where she practised as an advocate for 16 years. She is both an accredited mediator (London School of Mediation) and commercial arbitrator (Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa). She served as an acting judge in the Western Cape High Court in 2017 as well as 2018.
Judge Kusevitsky is also the chairperson of the Women’s Hope Education and Training Trust, a non-profit organisation that is committed to empowering women from rural and peri-urban areas in Southern Africa.
“My journey of struggle has taught me that the right to education should never be taken for granted. This experience has inspired me to mentor and inspire others to never give up on their dreams. It has taught me to persevere in the face of adversity and disappointment. There is no substitute for dedication, commitment, hard work and determination,” says Judge Kusevitsky.
The opening of Constitutional Lane is part of the UWC Law Faculty’s celebration in 2019 of its 40th anniversary as an independent faculty. The Law Faculty became an independent faculty on 1 January 1979 when the Faculty of Commerce and Law (established in 1973) was divided in two.
Many of UWC’s law students have since become law professors, law deans, senior advocates, partners or directors in big law firms, legal advisors, businessmen and women, members of Parliament and of the Executive, and magistrates and judges – not only in South Africa but across the African continent.
The highlight of the Faculty of Law’s 40-year celebrations will be the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture on 25 October 2019, with former alumnus Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Mahomed Navsa as keynote speaker.
Other UWC alumni and former/existing staff who have been appointed to the bench include:
- Chief Justice of Rwanda - Sam Rugege;
- Constitutional Court judges - Dikgang Moseneke, Albie Sachs, Yvonne Mokgoro and Steven Majiedt;
- Supreme Court of Appeal judges - Mahomed Navsa, and Steven Majiedt;
- Judge President of the Free State High Court - Cagney Musi;
- Deputy Judge President of the Western Cape High Court - Patricia Goliath;
- Western Cape High Court judges - Robert Henney, Andre le Grange, Taswell Papier, Elizabeth Baartman, Chantel Fortuin, Nathan Erasmus, Gayaat Salie-Hlope and James Yekiso;
- Bisho High Court judges - John Smith, Gloria Nozuko Zukiswa Mjali and Yusuf Ebrahim;
- Northern Cape High Court judge - Cecile Williams;
- KwaZulu-Natal High Court judge - Esther Steyn;
- North Gauteng High Court judge - John Murphy;
- South Gauteng High Court judge - Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane;
- Supreme Court of Namibia judge - Elton Hoff and
- High Court of Malawi judge - Sylvester Kalembera.