Ricochet News

‘Time for me to spend time with my family’ - Judge Chetty retires

By Jesica Slabbert - Apr 24, 2018
‘Time for me to spend time with my family’ - Judge Chetty retires

Speaking at a breakfast event in the Boardwalk Convention Centre hosted by BLC attorneys, trailblazing Port Elizabeth Judge Dalayin Chetty, spoke about his long and demanding career in the legal field, and how the laws of apartheid drove him to become the man he is today.

Judge Chetty, known for presiding over the Christopher Panayiotou trial, stated that his journey began when he was, but a teen living in Schauderville.

“The law prescribed where I should live, where I could walk, which school I could attend – and all these factors contributed to the decision that I would become a lawyer,” said Chetty.

Judge Chetty explained that his path was filled with many challenges during the apartheid years. The Separate Universities Act prevented him from studying law in Port Elizabeth, and his only option was to study in Durban.

“I was classified as an Indian and therefore, I could only study in Durban, that is where our political education began because we started questioning why we were there,” Chetty explained.

In protest of the Separation Act, he skipped his own graduation ceremony. He was officially admitted to the bar in 1979, where he began his fight for social justice.

Chetty has been a judge for 23 years, two of which were spent as an acting judge in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

He said, during his career, he across many memorable cases.

One of these cases include the divorce proceedings of former president FW de Klerk and the 2005 trial in which former Eastern Cape MEC for Finance, who is also a former Deputy Minister for Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, was acquitted of fraud around the sale of Mpekweni Resorts.

After dealing with the Panayiotou trial, Chetty decided it was time for him to retire.

“Sometime last year, after the Panayiotou case, I decided to retire this year, because I’ve had a long innings in this court, and it’s time for me to spend time with my family.”