SAPA CONSTITUTION

1. NAME

The name of the Association shall be “The South African Paralegal Association” (hereinafter referred to as “the Association”). The registered office of the Association shall be determined as the committee shall and may decide.

2. OBJECTIVES/AIMS

The objectives of the Association are:

to prepare, collect, tabulate and disseminate information on matters of professional interest to its members,

to represent their collective opinions and views in any appropriate quarter, forum,

to act as a consultative body and to promote the interests of the Association itself and Paralegals in general in South Africa

to provide opportunities for social contacts among paralegals and to take such action as may be deemed desirable in relation to any subject/(s) in which the Association and its members are concerned or which may affect their interests.

3. MEMBERSHIP

The Association shall be open to persons who support the objects of the Association and shall consist of those Paralegals who meet the requirements for membership as laid down in the Grading Scheme set out in Appendix One to these articles and such other paralegals as the committee shall from time to time deem fit to be admitted as members of the Association.

Every application for admission as member must be in the requisite form as laid out in Appendix Two to these articles or such other form as the committee shall from time to time stipulate. Any such form shall include all of the applicant’s qualifications and experience. Each applicant shall have such qualifications and/or experience as the committee shall from time to time decide appropriate for admission as a member of the Association.

Any application for membership shall be decided at the discretion of the committee or a person or persons duly authorized by the committee to decide on such applications.

Any member wishing to withdraw from the Association may do so by giving notice in writing to the committee. On receiving such a notice, the committee or person(s) duly authorized by them shall confirm the withdrawal in writing and the member’s name shall be removed from the membership list forthwith.

4. SUBSCRIPTIONS

The annual subscription from each member shall be such amount as may be determined from time to time by the Committee.

The subscriptions shall be payable on or by 31st December of each year. Any member not paying the required subscription by the due date shall receive a reminder in writing from the committee within 6 weeks of the subscription falling due.

Any members whose subscription remains outstanding at the end of that 6-week period shall receive one further reminder. Failure to pay the dues within 21 days of receiving such reminder shall result in that member being suspended from the membership list and they will no longer be regarded as a member of the association, unless with the approval of the association and upon payment of the appropriate rejoining fee, the member is re-enrolled as a member of the Association.

5. COMMITTEE

The association and its finances shall be under the management of a committee, consisting of not less than four(4) and no more than eight (8) members of the association.

The Committee shall meet as often as they may deem expedient. Three (3) members of the Committee shall be a quorum. The Committee shall have power to co-opt members from time to time for such purposes as it deems fit.

The members of the committee shall serve for no more than five (5) consecutive years, except with the consent of the members.

6. OFFICE BEARERS

The first duty of the Committee after the Annual General Meeting shall be to elect (or confirm) from its own number a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer (hereinafter referred to as “the office bearers”). Any person appointed as an office-bearer shall hold that position for a period of five (5) years and three executive committee members

7. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Association shall, in each financial year, hold a general meeting as its Annual General Meeting for the purpose of receiving the Report/s of the Committee, the accounts of the association, appointing an accountant and for carrying through any other competent business. The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than 90days after the financial year end (February of each succeeding year) in each year.

The Secretary shall give at least twenty one clear days’ notice of such meeting and of the agenda therefore to the members of the Association. In the event of any member not receiving notice of the meeting through an accidental omission shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

8. AGENDA

No business shall be transacted at a meeting of the Association other than that specified in the Agenda relating thereto, save any matter that may, by the votes of at least three-quarters of the members present, be declared to be ‘urgent’.

9. SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings of the Association shall be held:

  1. a) at any time the committee deems desirable; or
  2. b) In the event that not less than 30% of signed and paid up members desire a special meeting of the association to consider any matter of urgency or of immediate importance.

In the event of a special meeting being desired by such member’s notice signed by the requisitionists of the said special meeting shall be given to the secretary who, if directed by the Chairperson, shall call such special meeting. The Chairperson or Vice Chairperson shall be entitled to decide whether the matter is urgent or important. The secretary shall give at least fourteen days’ notice of such special meeting, together with the Agenda therefore to the members of the Association. Thirty percent shall be a quorum for such special meeting.

10. ELECTIONS

Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled by election at the Annual General Meeting of the Association every year. The elections shall be by ballot amongst the members present at the meeting.

11. PROPERTY

So much of the property and funds of the Association as the Committee may determine shall be vested in the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson for the time being as Trustees of the Association. The secretary of the Association shall maintain a record of the property of the association (with the exception of standard stationery items) and shall detail where such property is held and by whom.

12. CHAIRMANSHIP OF MEETINGS

Meetings of the Committee and of the Association shall be presided over by the Chairperson or, in his/her absence, the vice Chairperson. In the absence of both, the other members shall elect a Chairman from amongst the other members of the Committee present whom failing from among their own number (in the case of a general meeting).

13. SUB-COMMITTEES

The Committee shall have power to appoint sub-Committees, either permanently or temporarily, to deal with special subjects as they may think fit and to make rules for the transaction of business connected therewith. Such sub-Committee shall have power to appoint their own office bearers. Any such sub-committee shall have power to co-opt members from time to time and for such purposes as it may deem appropriate.

Any subcommittee appointed shall cease to exist on the purpose of the subcommittee having been fulfilled.

14. REPORTS

The Committee shall present to the Annual General Meeting a Report on the proceedings of the Association and of the Committee together with an audited Statement of Accounts for the preceding year.

15. MINUTES

Minutes of the proceedings of every meeting of the Association and Committees and of the attendance of members thereat respectively shall be recorded by the secretary in a book kept for such a purpose. This book must be signed by the Chairman of the meeting to which they refer, or of that at which they are read and approved. Every such minute when recorded and signed shall, in the absence of proof of error therein, be considered as a correct record.

16. VOTING

Every question at meetings of the association, other than that provided for in clause 27 of the Constitution, shall be determined by a majority on the votes of members of the Association with every member being entitled to one vote.

In the case of equality of votes, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote in addition to his vote as a member. In the event of the Chairperson not being present, any person acting as the chairman of that meeting shall have the casting vote.

17. BUSINESS AT THE MEETING

Any member of the Association may give notice of any motion to be tabled at an Annual General Meeting or special meeting but such notice must be given to the secretary at least seven clear days before the meeting. The Secretary shall forthwith send a copy of such Notice/Motion to all members of the Association.

18. ADJOURNMENT OF MEETINGS

A meeting of the Association other than the Annual General Meeting may adjourn and for such time and to such place as it may decide.

19. FINANCE

The financial year shall commence on the 1st day of March in each year and close on the 28 February of the following year.

All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objects of the Association and for no other purposes. The committee shall have the power to pay on request actual out of pocket expenses incurred by an office bearer or member whilst performing duties on behalf of the Association.

The committee shall open and operate such bank accounts with such a bank as it deems appropriate as it requires for the conduct of the Association’s business. The bank accounts are to be operated by the signatures of two of the office bearers.

20. ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION

The Constitution of the Association may from time to time be altered. Amendments to the Constitution may be made at any general meeting of the Association, provided that not less than two-thirds of the members of the Association present at such meeting and casting a vote in favour of the Motion.

21. NOTICES

All notices required hereby may be sent by fax or in electronic format and shall be deemed to be served forty eight hours after despatching. Any accidental failure or omission in connection with the issue of such a notice to any member shall not invalidate the proceedings to which the notice relates.

22. REMOVAL

In the event of any member acting contrary to the interests or in such manner as to bring discredit upon the Association, the Committee shall have power to expel such member. That member will thereupon cease to be a member or to have any right, interest or concerns with the Association, provided that :-

  • when the Committee proposes to expel a member, they shall give him written notice of their intention to do so;
  • upon receiving such notice the member shall be entitled within twenty-one days of service of such notice to make written representations to the Committee against proposed expulsion or;
  • to apply to be heard in that regard by the Committee and he shall accordingly be heard by the committee who shall report their findings in writing within 14 days of such a meeting. Any such hearing as required by (c) above shall be constituted by a panel of three committee members, including either the President or Vice-President.

23. WINDING UP

The Association may resolve at an Annual General Meeting or special meeting called for the purpose by a majority of two thirds of the members attending and voting at such meeting that the association shall be wound up. On settlement of all debts and liabilities of the Association, any surplus then remaining shall be donated to a non-profit association or to such association who has similar aims and ideals or sold and the proceeds thereof paid to such charity as the Association shall determine.

Signatories to the Constitution: being the Executive Committee members:

 

Quinton D’Oliveira (Chairman)

Mildred van der Scholtz (Secretary/PRO)

Qasim Noor (Treasurer)

Clive Petersen

Daniel Xantzi