Daniel Pretorius

Daniel Pretorius

Head of Education
Johannesburg, South Africa
T: +27 11 669 9654
E: daniel.pretorius@bowmanslaw.com
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Publications & Insights


Daniel Pretorius is a partner in our Johannesburg office and practises in the public law, regulatory and dispute resolution areas.  He specialises in constitutional and administrative law, judicial review, education law, public procurement, access to information, legislative drafting and interpretation of statutes.

Daniel did his articles at Bowmans in 1993-’94 and became a partner in the firm in 1998.  He was a part-time lecturer in the post-graduate Advanced Broadcasting Law course at the University of the Witwatersrand for several years, and in 2008 was appointed by the Minister of Justice to the South African Law Reform Commission’s advisory committee on statutory law revision.  The UK-based Chambers Global publication The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2007) described him as ‘one of the best public litigators in the country’, saying that he ‘always gives excellent advice and delivers a high-quality product’.  Chambers Global (2010) ranked him as the only band 1 telecoms lawyer in South Africa. 

Daniel has served on the governing bodies of several independent schools: St John’s College, Johannesburg; Holy Family College, Parktown; and St Martin de Porres School, Orlando West. He also served on the board of a Southern Africa regional refugee support service for ten years.  He took an extended sabbatical from legal practice from 2013 until 2018, during which period he taught History and Latin at St John’s College.  While on the staff at St John’s, he served on the school’s admissions committee, disciplinary council, transformation & diversity committee, employment equity committee and library committee, and was chairman of the school’s heritage committee and cultural awards committee.  He returned to legal practice at Bowmans in 2019, and heads up the firm’s education law practice group.  He is a trustee of the Realema Teacher Internship Programme Trust, and serves on the board of the Alexandra Education Committee.

Daniel has published articles on constitutional, administrative, broadcasting and education law in leading peer-reviewed law journals.  Several of these publications have been cited in judgments of the superior courts of South Africa and of other African jurisdictions.  He holds BA and LLB degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, an Honours degree in History and an LLM from the University of South Africa, and a PhD in administrative law from the University of the Witwatersrand. 

Specialist Services

Relevant Experience

Seminal matters in which Daniel has been involved include the following:

  • Represented Old Mutual in litigation arising from the termination of the employment of its former CEO, Mr Peter Moyo, and in his application to have the non-executive directors of Old Mutual declared delinquent in terms of section 162 of the Companies Act, 2008
  • Advised various independent schools on several aspects of their governance and regulatory regime
  • Advised the regulatory authority and private-sector clients on various aspects of broadcasting licensing
  • Participated in several legislative drafting projects, including drafting regulations on various broadcasting and telecommunications matters in South Africa, the Electronic Communications Act for Tanzania, a Trade and Investment Act for South Sudan, and assisting NEDLAC with an analysis of the Basic Education Laws Bill

A selection of Daniel’s experience includes:

  • Advised the University of the Witwatersrand on the incorporation of Johannesburg College of Education, on a dispute arising from the appointment of professors, on its retirement age policy, and on disciplinary proceedings against, and the termination of the services of, a former Principal and Vice-Chancellor
  • Advised various independent schools on admissions and disciplinary policies, privacy and access to information policies, and contractual relationships with parents
  • Advised various independent schools on disciplinary proceedings against students and staff
  • Advised international clients on various aspects of the Higher Education Act, including the registration of private higher education institutions and the regulation of such institutions and their activities, e.g. new models of distance education and blended learning
  • Advised corporate clients on various aspects of the South African Schools Act and provincial education legislation, including:
    • registration of independent schools
    • acquisition of commercial interests in independent schools
    • changes in control of independent schools
    • payment of state subsidies to independent schools
    • accreditation of independent schools with the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi)
  • Advised the Independent Schools Association of South Africa on the legal implications of the Copyright Bill for independent schools, on various regulatory issues pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic, and on schools’ responsibilities in relation to contraceptives for female students
  • Represented the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court proceedings, including: Radio Islam v IBA [1999] 1 All SA 96 (W); Radio Kingfisher v Langa N.O. [2000] JOL 7471 (SECLD); Barkhuizen v ICASA [2002] 1 All SA 469 (E); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2003 (5) SA 431 (T); Trinity Broadcasting (Ciskei) v ICASA 2003 (5) SA 97 (W); Trinity Broadcasting (Ciskei) v ICASA 2004 (3) SA 346 (SCA); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2005 (1) SA 47 (SCA); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2005 (4) SA 319 (CC); Good News Community Radio v ICASA [2006] JOL 17514 (N); Radio Pretoria v Onafhanklike Kommunikasie-Owerheid van Suid-Afrika [2006] 1 All SA 143 (T); Kingdom Radio (Pty) Ltd v IBA [2006] 1 All SA 521 (JHC); Radio Pretoria v ICASA 2008 (2) SA 164 (SCA)
  • Advised ICASA on judicial review applications in respect of its decision to award a subscription television licence to MultiChoice, and its decision not to award such a licence to Deukom
  • Represented the IBA in a dispute with Radio Islam about the constitutionality of the latter’s refusal to allow women to participate in its broadcasting activities
  • Advised the IBA on the licensing of the first private free-to-air television service (awarded to e.tv), and in respect of e.tv’s applications for amendments to its licence and in hearings before the Broadcasting Monitoring & Complaints Committee regarding contraventions by e.tv of its licence
  • Advised ICASA on applications by M-Net and SABC for renewal and amendment of broadcasting licences
  • Advised ICASA on numerous applications for broadcasting licences and applications for renewal and amendment of such licences, including applications for secondary market commercial licences, amendment of Radio 702’s licence and amendment of Trinity Broadcasting’s licence
  • Drafted licence conditions for e-tv, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and SABC
  • Advised ICASA on the Department of Communications’ digital migration strategy
  • Advised Telecom Lesotho regarding dispute with Lesotho Telecommunications Authority (LTA) and represented it in review application against LTA in Lesotho High Court
  • Advised various clients on aspects of Namibian and Botswana telecommunications law
  • Advised US clients on South African law regarding proposed installation of submarine fibre-optic cable around African continent
  • Advised Nexus Connexion on regulatory aspects of its successful application for 19% BEE stake in Neotel, and represented it in judicial review proceedings against Minister of Communications
  • Advised FIFA-appointed host broadcaster for 2010 World Cup on South African broadcasting law
  • Advised clients on regulatory aspects of public-private partnerships, including the Gautrain project
  • Advised the Eswatini government on the resolution of a constitutional crisis arising from dispute between monarchy and judiciary, and on regulatory aspects of a dispute with US Trade Representative
  • Advised Standard Bank regarding regulatory aspects of take-over bid by Nedbank and regarding Myburgh judicial commission of inquiry into rapid depreciation of the South African currency
  • Advised Standard Bank on various aspects of the International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards (the Basel Accords), issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
  • Represented a United Arab Emirates client in proceedings in Eswatini High Court arising from a dispute with the Swazi Directorate of Civil Aviation
  • Advised retirement funds on aspects of the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017

Publications & Insights