Paralegal Interns Exploited by Legal Firm

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In 2016, a 26-year-old, Siphumle Nkosana was hired as an intern in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Nkosana is now 30 years old and is still an intern.

Last year the department held a graduation ceremony for them, in order to mark the end of the course they did. The graduation ceremony was supposed to be done earlier, but was not.

Despite having completed the course, the interns were told to continue to work as interns, or volunteers. The department said when there are posts available, they will be given first preference as they have already been working for the department.

Nkosana explained the reality of being exploited by the department by saying, “Every time when staff goes on their annual leave, the interns stand in for them. We have to use our own means for transport.” said Nkosana

Sylvia Ramarutsi, another intern added that, “They keep hiring new staff members all the time, yet they do not consider us as promised.”

It is clear that no one will explain to the interns why they not being hired permanently. All they do is exploit them,  interns want their back payments, and to know what the future holds for them. They have knocked on different doors for help, including the unions. Even the unions have been turned back on them because they work for the department as ‘volunteers’ and not as employees. So now they want to tell the world about their story.


This article was submitted on 12 November 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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