Our website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience. By using our website, you agree to using cookies.
The Future. Reimagined.

Position Summary

EE position: Yes


he University is seeking to appoint a dynamic, decisive, innovative, motivated, qualified and energetic leader of high professional standing as University General Counsel. Reporting directly to the University’s Vice-Chancellor & Principal, and would be an invited member of the Executive Leadership Group, the University General Counsel acts as the principal legal officer to the University and provides leadership in all matters with legal implications. The individual oversees and manages the provision of all legal services to the institution to ensure maximum protection of its legal rights and to maintain its operations within the limits prescribed by law.

Job description

Are you able to deliver competently on the following?
  • Determine, articulate and lead the legal office portfolio‘s strategic and executive initiatives/matters in accordance with the University’s Strategic Plan, namely, attaining Global Excellence and Stature (GES) in the context of 4IR;
  • Maintain and promote excellence and innovation in the provision of legal services;
  • Provide legal counsel and guidance to the University management on all legal matters relevant to a large public institution, including governance, policies, procedures, rules and regulations, and legislation pertaining to students, grants, contracts, liability and insurance matters;
  • Anticipate and identify legal issues and counsel office-bearers of the institution to develop legal strategies and solutions, often in situations of great political, public relations or financial risk or significance, and with limited time for assessing alternatives;
  • Provide advice on ethical matters and risks that may have legal implications for the University;
  • Provide legal advice and legal services to senior management on a wide range of legal issues, including legal liability, labour and employment law and administrative law;
  • Oversee the University’s compliance with applicable privacy and access legislation;
  • Identify and recommend procedures and practices to protect the University from undue liability and to assist with risk assessment and control;
  • Provide training to the UJ’s management on various legal issues through seminars and meetings;
  • In conjunction with external counsel and, where appropriate, represent the University at mediations, arbitrations and before a variety of administrative boards, commissions or tribunals;
  • Provide legal advice and services directly to faculties and administrative units when requested by Executive Deans, Executive Directors and Senior Directors; 
  • Work in collaboration with external legal counsel, where appropriate, in providing advice on matters related to labour relations and employment law;
  • Maintain professional growth and development through seminars, workshops, and professional affiliations to keep abreast of the latest developments in higher education law and in other related areas;
  • Ensure institutional compliance with the relevant local and international statutory and regulatory framework in which the University functions;
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with stakeholders and partners, nationally and internationally;
  • Effectively manage related administrative and professional support staff, including development (recognition, retention and recruitment);
  • Ensure the highest level of portfolio governance, efficient administration and systems functioning;
  • Ensure effective and efficient management and utilisation of the portfolio’s finances and resources;
  • Respond to Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) academic-related policy documents, draft proposals and reports and initiate policy, when required;
  • Advise and present on pertinent issues before the relevant statutory, Senate and MEC Committees of the University and Council; and
  • Promote and sustain excellence, and to manage risk within the portfolio.

Minimum requirements

  • LLD or relevant PhD with senior management experience (at least 10 years) as a legal practitioner (attorney or advocate) in South Africa; or legal practitioner (attorney/advocate) with a relevant Masters qualification and at least 15 years of senior management experience in higher education in South Africa.
  • Membership in good standing or eligible to become a member of the Legal Practice Council of South Africa.
  • Previous experience in Public Law.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent conflict management and administrative skills, with established and valuable national and international networks.
  • The capacity for strategic leadership and operational excellence within the portfolio.
  • Established and valuable international networks. 
  • The ability to initiate and manage transformation and change effectively.
  • Proven resource, strategic and people management skills, with exceptional ability and resilience to function under pressure.
  • Exemplary personal qualities of integrity, sound judgement, energy, passion and constructive interpersonal skills.
  • An understanding of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and its impact on higher education and society.
  • Understanding and commitment to the UJ’s values and the ability to be a credible and effective exponent of these values.

  • Where applicable, professional registration with a relevant South African statutory body.
  • Understanding of the higher education legal framework.

Terms of appointment:
The position of University General Counsel is a 5-year contract appointment, with an executive-level remuneration and benefits package commensurate with experience and qualifications. The appointment may be renewed for a further term of office subject to performance.

Retirement age:
The normal retirement age for members of the Executive Leadership Group is 65. Consideration will be given to candidates who would be able to serve for a 5-year term. 

To apply, please send a detailed Curriculum Vitae and a letter of motivation outlining a possible vision and strategic direction for the position you are applying for. The names and full contact details (including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses) of at least 3 traceable and credible referees, should accompany applications.

Applications should be marked "Confidential" and addressed to the Executive Director: Human Resources, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park 2006 or e-mailed to bdumezweni@uj.ac.za

Enquiries: Ms Tokoza Kwinana, email: tkwinana@uj.ac.za

Do you require help with the registration process?

Our Support team is here to assist. Tel: 010 140 3099 Email: ujsupport@pnet.co.za

Privacy Statement Disclaimer Terms & Conditions