Disgruntled Legal Aid SA attorneys, constitutionally mandated to provide the poor with legal assistance, have said their planned protest action in Johannesburg on Wednesday would not affect cases on the court roll, for now. The lawyers are unhappy about their group life cover policy, what they claim are horrible working conditions and alleged abuse from the state-owned law firm’s senior executive, among other grievances. Other points pertain to the process being followed to appoint CEO Vidhu Vedalankar’s successor and the payment of subscription fees of about R2,500 per person per year to the Legal Practice Council, which the company has stopped. Speaking on behalf of his more than 200 colleagues, attorney Michael Motaung said their planned picket from 8.30am to 9.30am would not affect cases before the courts.

He said the law firm unilaterally replaced the lawyers’ group life cover policy, which initially paid almost R2m to beneficiaries upon a member’s death, with one that p...

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