The gist of SA Qualifications Authority’s (SAQA) CEO Joe Samuels’ reply to my article (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2019-11-18-state-policies-are-at-odds-with-investment-drive/) on how the government is eroding people’s right to legal representation implies that excluding attorneys from representing clients in their interaction with SAQA is perfectly fine, and that it even somehow benefits the applicants. (SAQA works within the ambit of the law, November 26 (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2019-11-26-letter-saqa-works-within-the-ambit-of-the-law/)).

The benefits he mentioned are dubious, to say the least. I have yet to hear from a single client who views this with the same enthusiasm as Samuels. He cites various legal provisions to justify SAQA’s stance, that it is permissible (even desirable) not to allow legal representation, but conveniently ignores the body of constitutional case law favouring legal representation in the interest of fairness....

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