JOHANNESBURG - Mondo Mazwai has made history as the first female or black South African to lead the Competition Tribunal after being appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new chairperson of the tribunal with effect from Thursday, the Trade and Industry Department (dti) said. 

Mazwai, who holds an LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, previously served as national head of competition at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr before joining the tribunal on a full-time basis in 2013, the dti said in a statement. She had taken over from Norman Manoim who served as a member of the tribunal for 20 years; the last 10 years as chairperson.

Ramaphosa had also re-appointed three other Competition Tribunal members in terms of the Competition Act at the recommendation of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel. The reappointed members were Yasmin Carrim, who had been a tribunal member for 15 years; Andreas Wessels, who had been a member for 10 years; and Andiswa Ndoni, who had been a tribunal member for 10 years, the dti said. Thando Vilakazi, who had not previously served as a tribunal member, had been appointed to the tribunal as a part-time member on a five-year term. 

The Competition Tribunal is a body set up under the Competition Act to adjudicate cases referred to it by the Competition Commission, covering matters such as mergers, abuse of dominance, and cartels. In the past five years, penalties imposed by the tribunal for anti-competitive conduct have totalled R2.8billion, and have resulted in the break-up of cartels in the construction, automotive components, and media industries. The dti said Patel had commended Manoim for his 20 years of selfless service to the Competition Tribunal. 

“Norman was part of the team which drafted the original Competition Act, and was a thoughtful adviser to me last year as I considered a number of changes to the Act, in the most significant revision of our competition law over the past two decades. He has been there at the birth of the Act and helped guide the institution during its infancy and its teething stages, later through its first faltering and then confident steps, through its rough teenage years until today, when the Act is about to celebrate its 21st birthday,” said Patel. 

 African News Agency (ANA)