After attaining his BA (1978) and LLB (1980) from University of Western Cape, Justice Mahomed Navsa started his law career in 1981 as a fellow at the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), a public interest law firm. Admitted as an advocate in 1981, Navsa served as director of the LRC’s advice centre program, traveling to townships in the East and West Rand to assist people at community advice centres with their legal problems. From 1991-1994 he was director of the Johannesburg office of the LRC.
In 1995 Navsa was appointed a judge of the High Court, stationed at the Johannesburg High Court, and in 2001 he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal. He has also served as a member of a Special Electoral Court. From 1997 Navsa was involved in judicial training as part of the JSC’s Legal Education Subcommittee. In 2004 he became a member of the Interim Advisory Committee of the National Justice College of South Africa where he continued to be involved in judicial training.
Together with George Bizos, Navsa was involved in drafting the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995. This legislation, after amendments and approval by Government, resulted in the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In addition to service in these capacities, Justice Mahomed Navsa has served South Africa’s legislative and legal environment in a number of other ways. From 1998- 2002 Navsa was chairperson of the state-funded Legal Aid Board. In 2003 he was appointed an honorary Professor at the University of the Western Cape. Navsa was a trustee of the Legal Resources Trust for over two decades. Further, Navsa has over the years served as a member of a number of developmental institutions.
Justice Navsa, who has written over 170 reported judgments, has served as Acting President of the Supreme Court of Appeal for 5 terms since 2013.
Ben and Shirley Rabinowitz established the Rabinowitz Visitorship in 2009 with the aim of bringing leading local and international lawyers to participate in the intellectual life of UCT’s Faculty of Law. The faculty has benefited enormously from impressive speakers from around the globe.
Mr Bennie Rabinowitz, Friend of the UCT Faculty of Law