Over the weekend, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) held its Annual General Meeting of the Convocation where Judge Nathan Erasmus and Dr. Llewellyn MacMaster were elected to the UWC Council. The Council governs UWC and is voted in by the entire convocation. The convocation includes all UWC graduates and employees.
A Short Profile of Judge Nathan Erasmus
After matriculating from Elswood Senior Secondary, Judge Erasmus completed his law degree at the University of the Western Cape after which he worked as a control prosecutor for Mitchell’s Plain. He joined the Cape Bar in 1994 under the pupillage of Justice Siraj Desai, eventually going on to establish his own successful trail practice. In 1999, he acted as a Judge of the High Court and in 2001, he was appointed as a permanent Judge in the High Court as well as in the Equality Court.
He has served as a ministerial task team member, a national task team Chairperson to address awaiting trial juveniles, a director at the National Sea Rescue Institute, the Chairperson of the South African Board for Sheriffs and an acting Judge of Prisons.
In addition to his position of judge, he is also expert adviser to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, a Convener of the National Efficiency Enhancement Committee for courts in South Africa, a member of the National Judicial Case Flow Management Committee, and the Chairperson of the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders. He is a member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, the International Corrections and Prisons Association, and the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation. Other roles include being a Patron of both the Boland Sports Council and Ithemba Community Trust.
Judge Erasmus has presided over many high profile cases which resulted in several death threats being levelled against him and his family, as well as several attempts on his life. These include a drive by shooting on his home where the shooters used heavy-calibre weapons.
A Short Profile of Dr. Llewellyn MacMaster
Dr. MacMaster matriculated from John Bisseker High School in East London after which he completed a Theology Degree at the University of the Western Cape. He began teaching at Belhar High School in 1979 and also taught at Greenpoint Senior Secondary in East London. He was the Student Chaplain at UWC; and a Lecturer, Vice Rector and Acting Rector at Hugeunot College.
He completed his Masters and Doctorate in Theology at the University of Stellenbosch and his doctoral thesis dealt with the social, economic and political factors that result in kids joining gangs.
Dr. MacMaster is currently the Manager for Civil Society Relations at the University of Stellenbosch and a Pastor at the Belhar Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. His past positions at the University of Stellenbosch include the project leader for the Centre for Inclusivity, the Dean of Students and a Lecturer in Practical Theology.
He is a member of the Society for Practical Theology in South Africa, the Theological Society of South Africa, the African Association for Pastoral Care and Counselling and serves as the General Secretary of the African Association for Pastoral Studies and Counselling. He was the president of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Professionals.
During the 1970’s, he was the president of UWC’s Student Representative Council and an anti-apartheid activist. At that time, the police use to say that there is a place in jail for every UWC student and it was especially dangerous for leaders like Dr. MacMaster who regularly got beaten up and jailed. He is considered one of the student leaders that forged UWC’s identity as an institution of struggle against the apartheid regime.