SASLAW’s Young Scholars SASLAW’s Young Scholars Society (YSS) is the student membership association for those involved in all aspects of Labour Law in South Africa. The goal of SASLAW YSS is to advance and support labour law students and young professionals within the process to promote the advancement of labour law as a legal and academic discipline, and encourage collaboration between lawyers and other experts within the field of labour law. YSS welcomes members under the age of 35 to be part of this young and vibrant community as they transition to the corporate world. Events and forums have been created especially for this category of membership as they engage in continued learning.



Beyond networking opportunities and engaging with labour law professionals, students can also benefit from these aspects of joining the SASLAW YSS:

  • Pro-Bono Student Assistance Opportunities
  • Free attendance to all standard seminars and webinars in all chapters
  • Hugely discounted membership fee
  • Free attendance to the SASLAW YSS National Virtual Conference
  • Updates on labour law and judgements and other knowledge resources
  • Membership Certificate


The Committee proposes that any person under the age of 35, may be eligible to be part of the YSS. Members include final year and master’s degree students (in the law and human resources management), candidate attorneys in the employment law division, junior advocate sand young members working in public sector and corporate fields. 



The members of the YSS would join SASLAW and pay the relevant membership fee to belong to the society. the 2020/2021 membership fees are currently:

  • R250 excl VAT- Full time student in academic institution 
  • R800excl VAT – Candidate Attorney


At SASLAW we recognise the importance to advance young professionals within the field of labour law. To celebrate the 25 years of SASLAW, we have invited top academic students from tertiary institutions around the country to attend the National Conference free of charge. This is an extension of SASLAW’s commitment to providing resources and opportunities geared towards professional development and to facilitate connecting with like-minded professionals.

We would like to introduce our students who have been selected by the academic institutions to participate and attend the 25th SASLAW Hybrid National Conference in SANDTON, Johannesburg.

Read more on the students and their bios below:

Bonga Sekani
Bonga Sekani

My name is Bonga Sekani Detshe. I completed my LLB degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2021. Currently, I am a Masters Candidate at the same institution, pursuing my masters in Labour Law. I am also the President of Amnesty International, the UJ Chapter (AISA@UJ). AISA@UJ is a human rights organisation campaigning for a society where human rights are enjoyed by all. My biggest achievement to date, is when I was recognised as one of the academic top 1 at the University. As such, I had the privilege of joining the Ujenius club, a club initiative by the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Johannesburg to acknowledge outstanding academic performance by undergraduate students.  I am also a Senior coordinating tutor for Law of Persons and Family.

Emma Dodgen
Emma Dodgen

As a resilient and driven BCom Law graduate and postgraduate law student, I always seek to challenge and develop my skills. My core values lie in professionalism and producing work that is of exceptional quality. I am passionate about the future of South Africa, and I hope one day contribute to the further realisation of South Africa’s true potential through my gained knowledge and expertise in employment law. My specific areas of interest are affirmative action policies and employment-based arbitration. I plan to gain some experience in practice where thereafter I hope to contribute to the improvement of South African labour relations by being an academic.”

Lara Keil

I am a candidate legal practitioner at Malcolm Lyons & Brivik Inc, specialists in Labour law and Personal Injury. My experience is premised in the fields of labour law, medical law and personal injury. 

I am also a LLM Candidate at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), specialising in Labour Law. My dissertation is titled “The regulation of mental health in the South African workplace: a comparative analysis of between South Africa, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom” and is funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. 

I am a former recipient of a scholarship to attend Leiden University in the Netherlands. During my time at UWC, I was a two – time Dean’s Award recipient, member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, former Graduate Lecturing Assistant, Chairperson of the Street Law Society and Golden Key Service Director. 

Michael Makalane
Michael Makalane

He is currently a registered Master’s (LLM) student at the University of the Free State (UFS) specializing in Labour Law with the research topic: A Labour Law Study of the Categories of Gender-Based Violence in the Health Care Sector – with a special focus on the female health employees.

His years of working experience span a period of approximately 8 years (6 years+ years in the academic sector and 2 years working with diverse individuals in the restaurant industry). He is currently employed as an Academic Facilitator (Mercantile Law Dept. UFS) and a Faculty of Law Academic Advisor (UFS). Previously he has served as an intern at the Faculty of Law (UFS) in 2019 soon after completing his LLB degree in 2018. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a Law Tutor for the Faculty of Law (UFS) tutoring Introduction to legal science and Labour Law modules respectively. He has also ventured into a mentorship programme (2016) and volunteered for the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (UFS) 2015-2016 where he was involved in community service projects and social cohesion focus groups.

Nontobeko Khumalo
Nontobeko Khumalo

I am a fourth-year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) full-time student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I have been on the dean’s list multiple times in my studies and achieved various Certificates of Merit for the top mark in a module (one of which was in Labour Law). On top of my dedication to my studies and acquiring extensive knowledge and skills required in the legal field, I am also part of organizations that have enabled me to gain invaluable experiences as a future legal practitioner, such as the Golden Key International Honours Society, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) and the South African Women Lawyer’s Association (SAWLA)

Susan Smook
Susan Smook

Admitted Attorney and Conveyancer practising for own account. I do General Litigation.

I became interested in Labour Law when Sasol and Mittal in the Vaal Triangle embarged on large scale retrenchments a few years ago. My knowledge in this field was limited and to enable me to assist clients with labour law issues, I did have to read and research a lot. A new world opened to me. And this was the motivation for me to enrol for Post Graduate studies in Labour Law (which I thoroughly enjoy!)

Tiya Balakisten

I am an academic Associate at the University of Pretoria Law Clinic.

I completed my LLB at the University of Pretoria in 2021 and this year I am doing my LLM Research in the field of Labour Law, with the title: An Appraisal of Mandatory Vaccinations in the South African Workplace. I will be presenting some of my research at the University of Ghent in Belgium this November.

I am passionate about the law and helping others. I love interacting with people and will not stop until I get the job done.