Adv Bokankatla J Malatji
Category: Mainstreaming Gender & Disability
Adv Bokankatla Joseph Malatji studied his legal career in the former University of the North in 1971, where he enrolled for B. Iuris degree during 1971 and completed same at the end of 1974 with two awards from Transvaal Law Society for the best Law student during 1972 and 1973. He also completed his LLB degree during 1976 with Latin III as an extra curriculum course. It must be noted that Bokankatla was the first African visually impaired student to be admitted at the University of the North. He was also the first African visually impaired person to be admitted as an advocate of the Supreme Court in Africa during 1977.
Bokankatla served the public sector for 24 years. From 1977 to 1981 he served as Legal Adviser in the Department of Justice; from 1981 to 1985 he was promoted to the position of Senior Legal Adviser in the same department; from 1985 to 1995 he served as Principal Legal Adviser in the same department; and from 1995 up to 2001 he served as a Head of Provincial Legal Services for South African Police Services in Limpopo Province.
During his stay in the Department of Justice, he was in charge of Civil Litigation and handled both claims by and against the government. He rendered both verbal and written legal opinions to the various divisions of government and he sat on various committees in the department of Justice
When he was transferred to the South African Police Services he rendered legal opinions to the Provincial Commissioner and different sections of the police units in the province. He was charged with the responsibility of transformation in the legal division of the department and has made recommendations for amendments of the Standing Orders for the police and he supervised the unit for disciplinary actions.
Due to his love for his fellow community, Bokankatla decided to volunteer as legal advisor to various rural communities in Limpopo from 2002 until 2006. Furthermore, Bokankatla was also involved in job creation in 2003 to 2008. He established a training centre which was accredited with Agri-Seta which conducted training and skills development through learnerships to over four hundred learners from various farming projects in plant production.
Bokankatla was a member of the School Governing Body for Siloe School for the Blind for the period of six years i.e from 2001 – 2007. He is also currently serving as a board member for Are Itireleng Trust for the Blind.
In 2009, Bokankatla was unanimously appointed by parliament to serve as a commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission being responsible amongst others for the following portfolios: Disability & Older Persons.
His motto is “Per Perspera Ad Astra”