--- Annual General Meetings (AGM) ---

AGM 2019

15th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, 8-10 August 2019, Mbombela, South Africa.

The South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges in partnership with the University of Mpumalanga hosts the SAC-IAWJ 15th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting from the 8-10 August 2019, Mpumalanga, Mbombela, South Africa. The conference theme is: ‘Women Empowerment: A shawl and a shield in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence.’ Save the date, we look forward to seeing you in ‘the place where the sun rises’.

Follow this link to view the invite and registration document.

AGM 2018

14th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, 09-11 August 2018, Kimberley.

The South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges in partnership with the Sol Plaatje University and the University of Free State’s Faculty of Law hosts the SAC-IAWJ 14th Annual Conference and AGM from 9-11 August 2018, Venue: Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa. The conference theme is “Women Breaking Barriers and Crossing Bridges towards Achieving 2030 Sustainable development Goals (SDG)".

View the invite and registration document.

AGM 2017

SAC-IAWJ 13th Annual Conference & AGM, August  11-13, 2017

Protea Hotel Ranch Resort, Polokwane, South Africa 

The South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges together with the University of Limpopo and the University of Venda is proud to host the SAC-IAWJ 13th Annual AGM and Conference. Conference theme: “Let’s wrap the wide arms of the Law around those who need it.”

Follow this link to download the registration form.

AGM 2016

12th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, 12 - 14 August 2016, University of Cape Town.

In line with the United Nations Women theme for this year and gearing towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, our theme for the conference is “THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY IN REALIZING SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AS A TOOL TOWARDS ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS”.

View programme

AGM 2015

The Annual General Meeting of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges will be held at the University of South Africa, Gauteng, South Africa on 8 August 2015, in conjunction with the Africa Regional Conference which will be held from 7 -10 August 2015.

Read more

AGM 2014

Synopsis of the events taking place during the SAC-IAWJ 2014 Annual Conference, University of Pretoria, 8-10 August 2014, South Africa on Reshaping Women’s Participation for Gender Equality in the South African Judiciary

AGM 2013

Annual Conference from the 9th to the 11th of August 2013

The SAC-IAWJ, in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (UCT) and the Department of Justice: Gender Directorate; will be hosting its 9th Annual Conference from the 9th to the 11th of August 2013, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Howard College in Durban.

The theme for this year’s conference is “ A Promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.

The Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will deliver the Keynote address at the conference on the 9th of August 2013.


Vuyo Ngobe
SAC –IAWJ, Provincial Coordinator, KZN
Tel: 031-302 4413, Cell: 082 929 8045, Email: vunoncembu@justice.gov.za



DAY ONE Friday: 9th AUGUST 2013


Members of the SAC – IAWJ converged in Durban at the University of Natal Campus for the 9th Annual Conference of the IAWJ. The conference was held from the 9th to the 11th August 2013 to mark Women’s Day celebrations under the theme: “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”. Represented at the conference were members of the judiciary, mostly women, members of the academia from South African universities, donors and friends of the Chapter. The conference was graced by the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who gave a keynote address as well as other senior judicial officers.

Conference Objectives by the President of the SAC-IAWJ: Judge Baratang Connie Mocumie

Prefacing the conference objectives, Judge Mocumie began by reflecting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are a set of development targets agreed upon by the international community to inter alia, promote gender equality and empowerment of women, combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases and developing global relationships. These targets are a response to what the Beijing Platform for Action asked of governments and NGOs at the 4th World Conference in September 1995 namely “to commit to the principle of shared power and responsibility between men and women because equality between men and women is a human right and a condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development and peace”.

Welcome Address by Professor Managay Reddy: Dean and Head – UKZN School of Law

“Those few of you who have been appointed to the judiciary or magistracy also need, at all times, to be mindful of the whimpers of pain of the majority of the women in South Africa, the nature of whose lives bear no reflection to the ideals of our Constitution. You more than anybody else, therefore need to embrace the transformative ethos of our Constitution in the interpretation of the law that you apply in your court rooms to ensure that there is not just formal, but substantive transformation in the lives of all women in our country”

Opening Address by the Deputy Judge President Ahmed Jappie - Who Made The Promise And Who Will Keep The Promise?

In his address, he reflected how problems that women face are well known and are reflected in the statistics that are found in newspapers daily. The number one problem women face is gender based violence. He then reflected on the theme of the conference: “A promise is a promise, time for action to end violence against women”, and asked: “who made the promise and who will keep the promise?” Unfortunately, he observed, men are not keeping this promise. This is reflected in the statistics that in the period of 2011 and 2012 there were 65000 rapes in South Africa. It is women that have to do something to change the situation. When women come together and work towards a common goal there is very little that they cannot achieve as proven by the 1956 march to the Union Buildings. This is a challenge that he left the conference delegates with. He then introduced the Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, giving a brief biography on him and his credentials.

Keynote Address by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng - “If The Judiciary Is Solid And Stable To Keep Everybody In Check: Then There Is Hope. Treasure The Judiciary, It Is Our Only Hope”

Other speakers:

  • Gender Based Violence, Domestic Violence and other Aspects of Gender Based Violence by Professor Puleng LenkaBula (UNISA)
    “There is one universal truth applicable to all countries, all cultures and all communities: violence against women or against anyone or any community is never acceptable, never excusable and never tolerable”
  • Judgment Writing & Time Management in the Judiciary by Mr. Louis Podbielski (Juta)
    “What will the future generations think when they look at our reports; what will they think?”
  • Gender and Health in the Judiciary by Dr Lungile Bhengu-Baloyi: Development and Social Justice Advocate
    She first requested a moment of silence be observed for the passing of Chief Justice Pius Langa. Though the content of her session was spiritual and emotional, she presented it in a light-hearted style filled with humour, which helped delegates to relax and have fun. Sharing stories and anecdotes, she also shared very serious words of wisdom and ways of dealing with heavy emotional baggage.

A Gala Dinner was held at the Coastlands Hotel, where Justice Khayelihle Kenneth Mthiyane, the Acting President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, delivered the keynote address.



Session Five: Mentorship In The Workplace: The Judiciary and The Legal Fraternity and Institutions Of Higher Education

SA panel discussion made up of the following delegates:
Professor Viviene Lawack : Executive Dean (UNMM), Judge Margi Victor (SAC-IAWJ), Ms. Thandiwe Raikane (SAC-IAWJ), Professor M Reddy: Dean, UKZN, Professor Francis de Villiers: Dean, Department of Law, UNIZULU, Mr. Musa Kika: Law Student (UKZN), Ms. Seham Areff: Law Student (UKZN), Miss Asanda Nomsobo: Law Student (UNIZULU), Miss Bomikazi Ndukwane: Law Student (UNIZULU)

Even if you do not aspire to be a judge, you can take the opportunity to better your skills through the mentorship program.

Session Six: Dialogue on Gender and the Appointment of Judges: Lack of Women in Senior Positions in the Judiciary – A Reflection

Panelists: Prof. Richard Calland (Democratic Rights Unit UCT); Ms Tabeth Masengu (UCT); and Mr Chris Octoby (University of Cape Town)

In any constitutional democracy the legitimacy of the court is of fundamental profound importance. Today we are concerned with the issue that goes beyond the issue of gender equality; it goes to sustenance and integrity. The issue goes far beyond gender equity; it’s about the integrity and the sustainability of the public’s confidence in the rule of law for the long term.

Judicial Approach to Gender Equality: A Reflection by Devina Govender, UKZN
“If a promise is a promise…then let us promise ourselves that we vindicate the mandate to continue the constitutional journey that no doubt leads us to solutions to our challenges”

Session 7: Cocktail at the Coastland Hotel

Sponsored by Juta
Vote of Gratitude: Magistrate Lani Opperman
“This thesis behind my membership of the SAC-IAWJ is to make the scales in the hands of the Lady Justice hang even; be a balance. Lady Justice or Themis was an ancient Greek goddess. She is described as "of good counsel", and is the embodiment of divine order, law, and custom. She was created centuries ago: Centuries ago the insight was there that justice has a feminine aura: the feminine aura that prevails in the SAC-IAWJ.

Thus, a vote of gratitude to the SAC-IAWJ that has become the Themis of the South African legal world; Recognition of an assembly of 71 women and 8 men that came together to, amongst others, decide that A Promise Is A Promise: Time For Action To End Violence Against Women.

We are a proud people of the organisation and Thank you.”


The last day of the conference was spent on Conference Resolutions. A group of conference delegates, which included members of the Executive deliberated on the Resolutions. A decision was taken that these Resolutions will be further polished by selected members of the Executive and the conference scribe, after which they would be circulated to all members.

Follow this link to read the 2nd Newsletter.

AGM 2012

2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Conference


DATE:            10-12 AUGUST 2012


TIME:             08h30 (each day)



The aims and objectives of the SACIAWJ focus primarily on the promotion of the interests of women and also include other vulnerable groups. The broad theme of the 2012 conference is “Judicial Leadership: An Inclusive Judiciary”. Sub-themes will focus on empowerment of women as leaders in the judiciary. The conference will also interrogate, amongst others, topics such as Judicial Ethics in the context of the Bangalore Principles, Mentorship in the judiciary, Documenting the Work of Women, Judicial Health and Safety, Women, Work and Health and Judicial Responsibility v Social Responsibility. Speakers and Panelists will include judges of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and High Courts.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to accept our invitation, as we will be greatly honoured by your presence. Kindly let us have your response by 29 June 2012 by completing and submitting the application form.

You may contact the following persons to confirm your attendance or seek further details:

Yoliswa Sidlova, Secretary: SAC-IAWJ,
Telephone: 011 9985300 ext 2114/ 011 7812291, Fax: 0866880670, E-Mail: YSidlova@justice.gov.za


Jinx Bhoola,  Asst Secretary: SAC- IAWJ
Telephone: 011 8148261, Fax: 0866446985, Email:ChBhoola@justice.gov.za

AGM 2011


THE THEME OF WHICH IS: “Equal access to Education and Training for Women: Pathway to Decent work for Women”

DATE:      12 – 14 August 2011


TIME:       14H00 ON 12 August 2011


Once a year the SAC-IAWJ holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and accompanying national conference.  The conference theme is different every year.  The 2011 theme is: “Equal Access to Education and Training for Women: Pathways to Decent Work for Women”.
This theme is complementary to the international and domestic emphasis on women and their educational needs as well as the duty of the state to secure among males and females, equal access to and benefits of opportunity.


Goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals states that the target by 2005 was to have gender disparity eliminated in primary and secondary education and by 2015 to have gender disparity eliminated at all levels of education and to empower women.


Keynote speakers will be , among other, The Deputy Chief Justice: Dikgang Moseneke and the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr A Nel.
View the Draft Programme PDF.


Sabrina Sonnenberg (Acting secretary) or Leonie Windell
Email: LWindell@justice.gov.za
Fax: 086 507 4886
Tel: 018 294 1633


NB**  A resolution was taken at the 2010 AGM that transport to AGM 2011 will be at own cost


--- AGM Reports ---


Condensed Report of 2010 AGM PDF

The conference focused on human trafficking under the theme: ”Human Trafficking: Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities and Progress for All.” The different subthemes which were addressed included: An Introduction to Human Trafficking, The Impacts of Human Trafficking on Human Rights and The Comprehensive Response to Human Trafficking.