The Law Faculty Trust
Introduction and background
The Faculty of Law (the “Faculty”) boasts of rich tradition since its inauguration in 1921. Various prominent alumni have made lasting impressions on society; both in South Africa and globally. We believe that the Faculty must continue to build upon this foundation and produce graduates of excellence. To achieve this goal, two important tenets should shape our approach: Academic staff should be highly qualified and accessible and secondly, they must create a welcoming space in which the Faculty can engage with and prepare excellent students. Or, put differently: “[W]ith a view to strengthening the rule of law and the administration of justice, we want to support legal education and research of the highest order”.
To deliver the next judge presidents and educate and bolster the ranks of those truly learned in the law requires substantial additional funding. This necessity led to the creation of the Law Faculty Trust (the “Trust”) in 2013. Currently, the Trust capital is comprising a healthy amount, due in large part to the contributions of alumni and friends of the Faculty. Our aim is to have amassed R100 million by the Faculty’s centenary in 2021.
Use of funds
The Trust supports several projects including but not limited to bursaries for postgraduate students that enrol for LLM (research) and LLD degrees. Where necessary, the Trust also provides support to academic staff, including funding for study opportunities, (international and national) research initiatives such as conference presentations and hosting of research seminars. An example that illustrates this is that of a lecturer who attended Oxford University and attained a first class BCL. He is currently a senior lecturer at the Faculty. A further important project is the recruitment and retaining of academic staff as our prominent lecturers are sometimes targeted for recruitment by local and international institutions. A recent example of recruiting excellent staff, is the establishment of the Chair in Social Justice (2018) with Professor Thuli Madonsela as first incumbent (https://socialjustice.sun.ac.za/). (The Trust co-funds this chair together with the Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University.) The Trust also supports the funding of academic materials, in particular books, as SU is only able to contribute a limited amount towards this need. Outstanding library resources are indispensable to educate law students and conduct pioneering research. The Trust also provides seed funding for innovative projects; the Writing Lab is such a Trust-funded initiative born of the realisation that although we have high performing law students, they do not necessarily possess the requisite writing skills for successful legal studies and ultimately the legal profession. The Trust also recognises academic achievements through sponsoring a prize for top performing students. Finally, guest-lectures by foreign and visiting academic colleagues, as well as by practising legal professionals, contribute to excellence and “internationalisation at home”. The Trust therefore supports visits by international scholars that contribute to scholarly debates and help the Faculty’s staff to build and maintain excellent international networks.
How can you assist?
Please make a donation to the Trust. You are more than welcome to specify to what ends your money should be utilised. These donations can be made in monetary value or listed shares (excluding Capital Gains Tax), and the relevant tax exemptions apply. For more details click here to donate.
South African universities are under constant financial strain. If we, as alumni and friends, wish to further help build the Faculty’s reputation and not only maintain the current quality and standards but also grow it, we need to support the Faculty and contribute towards such goals.
CHRIS OTTO (CHAIRMAN)
BCOM (LAW) (1970) LLB (1972) (STELL)
Chris is an entrepreneur and a founding member of the PSG Group, and formed part of the team that founded Capitec Bank. He still serves as director of both companies. After graduation he spent 25 years in Johannesburg, learning of business and people. He has lived in Stellenbosch since 1997, and both his children are alumni of the University. He hopes that his grandchildren will become Maties one day, too.
BA (LAW) (1983) LLB (1985) (STELL)
George matriculated from Paarl Gymnasium. He joined the PEP Group immediately after graduation, was appointed managing director in 2005 and served in this position until his retirement in 2011. He also serves on the Council of the University of Stellenbosch. George currently resides in Stellenbosch with his wife, Miets. They are also the proud parents of four children, all alumni of the University.
PROFESSOR GERHARD LUBBE
BA LLB (STELL) LLM (YALE)
Professor Lubbe started his professional academic career in 1977 as a lecturer in Private Law at the Faculty. Professor Lubbe served as acting Dean of the Faculty of Law for parts of the year in 2005 and 2006. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Law for five years, retiring from this position in 2012. Professor Lubbe’s main research areas are the law of contract, cession, and estoppel and he has published extensively in these areas. He follows in the footsteps of the legendary Professor JC de Wet. He is married to Lyn and the proud father of three daughters.
MICHIEL LE ROUX
BCOM LLB (1972) DCOM (HC) (STELL)
Michiel graduated from the University and, in addition, received an honorary doctorate in Commerce for his pioneering work in the field of banking. During his tenure at Stellenbosch University, he resided in Eendrag, where he shared a room with the Chair of the Law Faculty Trust, Chris Otto, in his first year. Michiel has been living in Stellenbosch since 1968 and has seen four of his children graduate from the University.
BA LLB (1975) (STELL)
Paul matriculated from Groote Schuur High School and subsequently studied law at the Faculty. He practised as a lawyer for nearly three decades, the bulk of which was as a partner at Cluver Markotter. His current occupation is that of businessman in Stellenbosch. He is married to Erna and the father of three children, all of them alumni of the University. They currently live in Stellenbosch.
PROFESSOR STAN DU PLESSIS
HonsBCOM (1994), MPHIL (CANTAB) (1996), PHD (STELL) (2003)
Stan du Plessis is a macroeconomist at Stellenbosch University where he is Chief Operating Officer and former Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. He is a Professor of Economics and specialised in macroeconomics and monetary policy. He has advised the South African Reserve Bank and National Treasury on macroeconomic policy. Stan studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Stellenbosch as well as the Wharton Business School and is a former President of the Economic Society of South Africa. He has published in the following fields: Macroeconomics, Monetary economics, Fiscal policy, International Finance, Economic history as well as History, Philosophy and Public Theology.
BCOM (LAW) (1979) LLB (1981) (STELL) HDIP CO LAW (WITS)
Steve completed his articles of clerkship at the renowned Big Five law firm Webber Wentzel and was transferred to the Luxembourg office of that firm in 1984. Steve became partner in Webber Wentzel in 1987. In 1990 the European office of Webber Wentzel were spun off as Maitland. Steve was instrumental in expanding Maitland International Holdings into the international financial services provider it is today. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Maitland Group. He is married to Corrie and has three children, currently living in London.
BA (LAW) LLB (1996) (STELL) ADV DIP (NWU) (2002)
Rodney graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with BA (Law) and LLB degrees, and also obtained an advanced diploma in Labour Law from the North-West University. He is currently a partner at the prominent Big Five law firm Webber Wentzel, which is in alliance with global law firm Linklaters. He grew up in Stellenbosch and currently resides in Rondebosch with his wife Lolita and his daughter Jade. Rodney also has his own personally funded bursary for underprivileged students at the University since 2010.
SC BA (LAW) LLB (1972) (STELL) LLM (CUM LAUDE) (STELL) LLD (HC) (UFS)
Fritz graduated with an LLB from Stellenbosch Universtiy in 1972. Before that he shared the same law class and residence in Eendrag with Chris Otto and Michiel le Roux for 5 years. Apart from his BA and LLB he also holds an LLM from Stellenbosch and an LLD (honoris causa) from the University of the Free State. Between 1973 and 1976 he lectured at this Faculty and between 1977 and 1992 he practiced as an advocate at the Cape Bar where he became a Senior Council in 1990. From 1992 he was a judge of the Cape High Court until his appointment to the Supreme Court of Appeal at the end of 2000. After his retirement from that Court in May 2015, he took judicial appointments in the Appeal Court of Botswana, the Supreme Court of Fiji and the International Commercial Court of Qatar. He is an Extraordinary Professor of Private Law at the University of the Free State and an Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Stellenbosch.
LOUIS DU PREEZ
BCOM (LAW) LLB (STELL)
Louis qualified as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 1997 after completing his articles. Louis joined Jan S de Villiers and was appointed a partner of the firm in 1998. With the merger of Werksmans Attorneys in 2009, he became a member of the national executive committee of the combined firm and served as such until early 2017. While practising as an attorney, he advised clients on a variety of corporate and commercial matters. Louis was appointed to the board of KAP Industrial Holdings Limited on 1 October 2017 as a non-executive director and resigned on the 1st of April 2019. He joined the Steinhoff Group as general counsel in mid-2017, was appointed as the commercial director of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V in December 2017 and as chief executive officer of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V with effect from 1 January 2019.