For the (aspiring) lawyers – in today’s The Times:
PROFICIENCY in at least one indigenous African language should be demonstrated before anyone can be awarded a law degree, says parliament’s justice and corrections oversight committee.
Committee chairman Mathole Motshekga made the suggestion during yesterday’s meeting of the committee. He said the legal fraternity should do more to accommodate African languages in court.
Motshekga was speaking during the National Prosecuting Authority’s briefing of the committee on its performance plan for the 20172018 financial year.
Motshekga said there seemed to be a “communications breakdown” between the justice department, its entities and the people “because of the language question”.
“We are training so many lawyers. They are all English speaking, but the majority of the people speak indigenous languages. It is our view that going forward no one will be able to get a law degree unless they have passed [an examination in an] indigenous language,” said Motshekga.
He said changing the law curriculum to include social sciences should be considered.
“Law is not just mastery of rules, it has to do with people. If you don’t understand society and how it functions, then how do we extend rights to people?” asked Motshekga.