Job Details

  • Reference number: REG/282/1023
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: October 27th

Background to Position

Stellenbosch University

Registrar’s Division

Legal Services

Director: Legal Services (Job Level 5)

Ref. REG/282/1023

Stellenbosch University (SU) is a research-intensive university where we attract outstanding students, employ talented staff and provide a world-class environment; a place connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities. Stellenbosch University's strategic positioning for the 21st century is articulated in the Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019-2024 (see:

The Director: Legal Services provides strategic leadership regarding the implementation of internal legal processes, including legal advice to the campus community, the management of legal risk, advice on commercial contracts at the University, and the implementation of the Student Disciplinary Code. This role reports to the Registrar and works closely with the General Counsel of the University in the Office of the Rector and Vice Chancellor.

Job Description



  • Providing strategic vision, leadership, and management to SU Legal Services.

Compliance and Risk Management at a strategic level, including:

  • Working closely with the Deputy Registrar: Governance Support and the Compliance Officer;
  • Providing expert advice on commercial contracts between SU and external parties;
  • Managing compliance with all contractual and institutional agreements;
  • Advising on legal risk.

Litigation, including:

  • Conducting factual investigations;
  • Supporting general counsel in selecting courses of action and allocating appropriate resources;
  • Supporting general counsel in briefing legal representatives, University management and council as applicable.

Knowledge management, including:

  • The establishment and maintenance of an internal database of all opinions, contracts, and other precedents;
  • Sharing legal knowledge and expertise with relevant internal stakeholders.

Stakeholder relations, including:

  • The development and maintenance of positive working partnerships with external stakeholders;
  • Liaising and collaborating with other environments in the institution as applicable;
  • Developing effective, collaborative relationships and networking with all internal clients and external stakeholders.

Operations management:

  • People management, including the development of a challenging and rewarding working environment;
  • Compiling an annual divisional budget and managing costs against an approved budget;
  • Regular reporting to the Registrar, Audit and Risk Committee and Social and Business Ethics Committee on functions in Legal Services.

Inherent Criteria


  • An LLB degree
  • Registration as attorney or advocate;
  • At least eight years’ relevant experience;
  • Proven ability to build strategic relationships and partnerships;
  • Proven ability to manage teams;
  • A high level of written and verbal communication skills;
  • Proven skills to negotiate at a senior level;
  • Excellent judgement, critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive situations with solid judgement and discretion;
  • Business acumen and highly effective negotiation skills;
  • The ability to represent the University externally as required and to build consensus and strong relationships with relevant stakeholders, including with executive management;
  • Demonstrated written analyses and verbal presentation skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a matrix environment which requires strong organisational skills, the ability to manage multiple priorities and the willingness to collaborate and work in cross-functional teams;
  • The ability to function effectively in a multilingual and multicultural environment;
  • The ability to work and function effectively in a high-pressure environment.

As part of the interview process, shortlisted candidates could be expected to perform an assessment test, including a short presentation, based on the requirements as set out in the advertisement.


  • Practical experience in litigation and legal processes;
  • Experience of working in a higher education environment;
  • Specialised knowledge of the regulatory environment of Higher Education institutions; 
  • The ability to communicate effectively in a second official South African language, other than English.

Application Requirement

Commencement Date:    1 January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter 

Closing date:    31 October 2023

Enquiries regarding this post: Ronel Retief on 021 808 4516, or at

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits, as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753, or at

Stellenbosch University is committed to employment equity (EE). In accordance with the institutional EE Plan of the University and that of the specific environment, only South African citizens from the designated groups will be considered for appointment. 

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to make an appointment.


Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and email addresses of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post. 

The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.

Should no feedback be received from the University within four to six weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

About Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (SU) is home to an academic community of 29 000 students (including 4 000 foreign students from 100 countries) as well as 3 000 permanent staff members (including 1 000 academics) on five campuses. ​The historical oak-lined university town amongst the Boland Mountains in the winelands of the Western Cape creates a unique campus atmosphere, which attracts local and foreign students alike. On the main campus, paved walkways wind between campus buildings – some dating from previous centuries; others just a few years old. Architecture from various eras attests to the sound academic foundation and establishment of an institution of excellence. This, together with the scenic beauty of the area; state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facilities and technology, as well as visionary thinking about the creation of a sustainable 21st-century institution, makes for the unique character of Stellenbosch University.