Leading anti-crime marches, running clean-ups, volunteering on the Walking Bus, Warren Abrahams, of Hangberg, has spent a large part of his life helping his community, and now he hopes to do more after finally graduating as a paralegal this month.
Mr Abrahams was meant to graduate in 2021, but the ceremony was placed on hold due to the uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.
He sees the qualification as another milestone in achieving his dream of becoming a lawyer.
“This is a major achievement and a stepping stone for me to a brighter future for me, my family and my community,” he says.
His interest in the law grew out of the aftermath of the Hangberg Uprising in 2011, he says.
“I was nominated and elected as one of the representatives for my ratepayers’ cluster to the Peace and Mediation Forum, and, sitting in meetings with the three spheres of government, I noted they were always well prepared because they had a legal department and we, as a community, had none.
“We relied on others to explain everything to us and dissect it paragraph by paragraph.”
The Hangberg Peace Accord and high court order – an agreement stating that nobody would be allowed to build or rebuild homes above or on the fire break – further cemented his resolve to become Hangberg’s next legal eagle.
After applying unsuccessfully at UCT, UWC and Unisa, he enrolled at the South African Law School, after landing bursaries, in 2018 and 2019, from the Hout Bay Lions Club, to complete a accredited paralegal-studies course.
Mr Abrahams – who made headlines last year for his community work in Hangberg and Hout Bay (“Leading the way in Hangberg,” Sentinel News, April 29, 2021) – has already assisted people, at the Hangberg Advice Office, to complete legal documents and helped with cases at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
“With this achievement, I will be able to also advise and guide on procedures and steps to follow with regards to legal matters. I am also now better equipped to run and manage the advice office to it’s full potential, and will soon knock on doors for assistance to get the advice office running the entire week.
“The Hangberg community was marginalised and forgotten. I always say we are the orphan that nobody understands or wants.”
He now has his sights set on getting his law degree.
“A dream is a dream until you make it a reality,” he says.
Mr Abrahams can be contacted at 074 803 2513.