MESSAGE FROM BOWMANS’ MANAGING PARTNER, ALAN KEEP, ON THE CIVIL UNREST IN SOUTH AFRICA

Wednesday, July 14, 2021
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It is deeply disturbing to witness the civil unrest gripping our country at a time where we are waging battle against this ruthless pandemic. We strongly condemn the violence, the opportunistic looting and sheer lawlessness that we are seeing in neighbourhoods and communities across South Africa. It is a tragic and very frightening time and we are conscious of the impact on our own employees, their families and the rest of our fellow South Africans. Many of our people, particularly in KZN and in certain parts of Gauteng, are not able to leave their homes for fear of their safety and the safety of their loved ones.  We are also aware that food and water supplies are under threat, and the impact this will have in our communities.

To each person in our Bowmans family, our thoughts and prayers go out to you all. Please keep safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones. We hope that law and order is restored as soon as possible, and that we can again focus our energy and resources on dealing with the pandemic and the roll-out of our vaccination programme. I cannot imagine that the resilience of the Bowmans family has been tested more than it has in the past while in our history dating some 136 years. We will support each other, and we shall overcome, as we have through challenging times before.

While economic unrest only makes the headlines when we reach these dire moments, the devastating impact is sadly long-lasting. We are however reassured by the consistent displays of human spirit and goodwill that are experienced daily within the firm. A welcome reminder that people are more naturally inclined to treating others with compassion and kindness, and  supporting others in a positive and inspirational manner.

As a law firm, the rule of law is very close to our heart, and we are deeply committed to it.   The violent unrest that we have witnessed is the antithesis of the rule of law.  The sustainability of our society fundamentally depends on adherence to the rule of law.  We express our unequivocal support to the judiciary for the vital role it exercises in upholding the rule of law. It is abundantly clear that our law enforcement agencies are not appropriately equipped for the role that they need to perform in upholding the rule of law, and we will add our voice to those calling for urgent work to be done to rebuild our nation’s capacity in that area. We are involved in an initiative with our peer law firms to reinforce our commitment to serving the rule of law, and asking our clients to do likewise.