Oct 21, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Son of anti-apartheid lawyer Denis Kuny tells JSC panel he pursued law to follow in father’s footsteps

The son of anti-apartheid defender Denis Kuny was interviewed for a position as judge in the Gauteng division of the Supreme Court.

Denis Kuny defended along with other lawyers including George Bizos, Arthur Chaskalson and Ismail Mohammed. At 89 years old, Denis is one of the few white legal minds who have shown solidarity with the likes of the late former President Nelson Mandela, Tokyo Sexwale and Steve Biko.

Before it came to light that Steven Kuny SC was Denis Son, his interview with the Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday went pretty well, but when the question of his parentage was brought to the fore by Commissioner Dali Mpofu SC, Steven was put in a different light when he gave details of his values. Ethics and where they come from.

Commissioner Griffith Madonsela had previously asked Steven what was written on his resume about him as an executive member of Advocates for Transformation – an unusual achievement, Madonsela said for a white lawyer.

“I consider myself an African,” he replied.

At that time, Mpofu revealed that his father had represented many political prisoners, some of whom were killed by the apartheid regime.

Steven stated that he grew up in a family where he was made aware of the injustices of apartheid. He said that was precisely why he became a lawyer.

“I am very much aware of the painful past we come from and how it accompanies us today. It is not something we can forget. It has shaped my life in every way, ”he said. “One of the reasons I became a public defender was because I knew people didn’t have access to lawyers,” he added.

He went to law school hoping he would follow his own Father’s footsteps, but apartheid collapsed. “Fortunately, that kind of work has been eliminated,” he said.

But, he said, he has always been a defender of black rights. He told the commission that several years ago he represented 400 miners in the Labor Court after they were fired “because they were not Zulu”.

He won this case.

Mpofu pointed out that in addition to the Johannesburg bar, Steven was also known in some Johannesburg bars – which made some of the commissioners laugh.

“I don’t want people to get the wrong idea that I go to bars after work. ” he said. “I happen to be a jazz pianist. It’s one of my passions and love, ”he said, adding that he had played in a popular beer hall for more than 20 years. “That was something I did and love to do and still do today,” he replied.

He is one of 17 candidates who are interviewed for 10 positions in the Gauteng department.

< p> He brings a wealth of experience with him, having worked in the judicial sector in various courts and is now acting judge.

“I feel ready to take on this post [permanent judge],” he said.

The interviews continue.