Paul Pretorius is a South African advocate with extensive experience in public law, commercial law, contract law, mediation, and arbitration. He is the head of the legal team for the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture (Zondo Commission) since 2018. Keep reading to find out more about him.
Advocate Paul Pretorius is known for his calm and collected demeanor during proceedings, an aspect that has helped South Africans restore confidence in the country's legal process. He was once a vicious student leader in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. His involvement in leftist student politics led to him being banned and his passport confiscated in the early 1970s. So, who is Advocate Pretorius? Below is his detailed biography.
Paul Pretorius' profile summary
- Full name: Paul Joseph Pretorius
- Year of birth: Early 1950s
- Paul Pretorius SC age: Early 70s as of 2021
- Place of birth: Durban
- Nationality: South African
- Ethnicity: Afrikaans
- Gender: Male
- Sexuality: Straight
- Marital status: Married
- Paul Pretorius wife: Not known
- Children: Three, including son Sam Pretorius
- Parents: Mr. S.T. Pretorius (father)
- Education: The University of Natal and later University of South Africa (LLB)
- Profession: Advocate, advocacy trainer
- Legal specialty: public law, commercial law, contract law, mediation, and arbitration
- Known for: Head of Zondo Commission legal team
How old is advocate Paul Pretorius? He was born in the early 1950s and is in his early 70s in 2021. The attorney was brought up in Durban, and his family followed white social norms despite being Afrikaans. Paul Pretorius' father, Mr. S.T Pretorius, worked as a Natal Supreme Court Acting Judge. He made his sons do either law or engineering, and Paul chose to follow in his dad's footsteps.
Paul Pretorius' family
Advocate Paul Pretorius SC has been in more than one marriage and has three children. His son, Sam, is a leukemia survivor and currently resides in Australia. Details about Paul Pretorius' wife have not been made public.
Paul Pretorius' education
He attended a private English school run by a Catholic order of Brothers called Marist Brothers in Natal, where he matriculated as dux. At this time, there were few Afrikaans schools. He later enrolled at the University of Natal in Durban to study law. He had to complete his LLB by correspondence at the University of South Africa after receiving a banning order from the apartheid leader John Vorster.
Paul Pretorius' student politics
Upon joining the University of Natal, Pretorius SC became part of the Student Representative Council (SRC) and later became its president in 1969. As a student leader, he interacted with other leaders who were mostly blacks, and that is when he met Steve Biko. Biko was a student at the University of Natal Medical School and headed SASO and BCM student organizations. Paul once organized an interracial rugby match in which Steve Biko took part.
As he gained more interest in politics, he joined the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) and became its president in 1971 and 1972. Paul Pretorius' NUSAS was against racism and sexism. He received a banning order in 1973 from John Vorster's government for his work at NUSAS as a left-leaning student leader and had no passport until 1986.
Paul Pretorius' law career
The South African lawyer was admitted as an advocate in 1977 and took silk in 1994. He is currently an evidence leader and the head of the legal team for the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture since 2018.
Early in his career, he worked at the Legal Resources Centre between 1981 and 1986, and his specialty was labor litigation and human rights. He has since been an advocate in several senior South African courts.
The attorney is an experienced arbitrator and mediator. Paul Pretorius is also an accredited advocacy trainer and a member of several tribunals and panels, including being an Ashoka Fellow since 1992 and the head of The Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa Mediation Division.
Advocate Paul Pretorius has risen to become one of South Africa's most loved lawyers. Despite being from a privileged race, he never shied away from fighting against racism during apartheid. South Africans have confidence that Paul Pretorius' Zondo Commission position will help fight corruption in public offices.
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