Mahube Betty Molemela (née Eister) was born and raised in Bloemfontein. She matriculated at Albert Moroka High School in Thaba ’Nchu in 1981, after which she obtained the following tertiary degrees and diplomas: BA (University of Fort Hare (UFH)); BProc (UFH); LLB (University of the Free State (UFS)); LLM (in Mercantile Law) (UFS); Advanced Diploma in Labour Law (the University of Johannesburg (UJ)); Certificate in Human Rights (Danish Centre for Human Rights, Denmark); Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management (Buckinghamshire University in association with the Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA)); Certificate in Advanced Military Law (Thaba Tshwane College) and Certificate in Socio-economic Rights (University of Pretoria (UP)) (attendance).
Her legal career commenced in 1987 with her appointment as Prosecutor at the Thaba ’Nchu Magistrate’s Court. She later served her articles of clerkship at the firms EG Cooper & Sons and Peete Jake Moloi Attorneys respectively. She was admitted as Attorney in 1993, and as Conveyancer and Notary in 1996. She was Director at MB Molemela Attorneys; Kubushi-Molemela Attorneys; Claude Reid Inc. and Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes Inc. in Johannesburg respectively. Judge Molemela served the attorney’s profession as a Councillor of the Law Society of the Free State; member of the Board of Control of the Law Society of South Africa’s School for Legal Practice, Free State; an examiner for the conveyancing examinations, under the auspices of the Law Society of the Free State; member of the Board of Control of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund; and Trustee of the Black Lawyers Association’s Legal Education Centre (BLA LEC). In addition to practising as Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer, she served as Commissioner at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
She later served as an arbitrator for various dispute resolution organisations. She was a part-time lecturer at the UFS for a period of two years. Furthermore, she served as Chairperson of the Valuation Court, and on a number of boards, including as Director of a non-governmental organisation (NGO); as Chairperson of Centlec; as a provincial board member of ABSA Bank; and a Council member of the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT). She was on the bench in various capacities, and serves on a number of committees within the judiciary. She was appointed as a Military Judge in 2004. She had several stints as an Acting Judge of the Free State High Court from 2005, and of the Gauteng Division of the High Court from 2007. She took permanent appointment at the Free State Division of the High Court in July 2008. She also serves as a Judge of the Labour Appeal Court. She was appointed as an Acting Judge of the Competition Appeal Court, and also as a Justice of the Constitutional Court from 1 February 2015 to 31 May 2015.
She made history when she was appointed as the first female Judge President of the Free State Division of the High Court of South Africa. She and her husband, Mr Sello Molemela, are blessed with two sons, Moeketsi and Moeletsi. Her hobbies include travelling, jogging, hiking, movies, theatre and listening to jazz music.
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