The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) says it welcomes President Jacob Zuma's response to their concerns following a march to the Union Buildings.
"We demand the following ... that the president [Zuma] establishes a judicial commission of inquiry on the root cause of why state departments, state-owned enterprises and municipalities continue to appoint white male legal practitioners above their black and women counterparts, notwithstanding the presence of legal framework which requires them to prefer women and black legal practitioners", BLA president Lutendo Sigogo said during the protest in Pretoria.
"We expect lawyers to become judges or ministers one day, but if you are not being given quality briefs as you grow in the profession, and you happen to become a judge, you are going to judge on issues you were not exposed to", Sigogo said.
He said there were statistics which proved that "white legal professionals" continued to get the lion's share of legal briefs from the South African government. "We need that to be done away with", said Sigogo.
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"We are here today, 23 years after the inauguration of the democratic country, it is totally unacceptable that black legal practitioners of 2017 are faced with the same challenges experienced by legal practitioners of apartheid".
The BLA said the memorandum was directed at Zuma because he was the head of state, and the state was the biggest consumer of legal services in the country.
It gave Zuma 30 days to respond to the demands.
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