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Meet Lihan Pretorius – sought after rugby ref, theatre enthusiast and lawyer extraordinaire

Lihan Pretorius is an individual you’re likely to be hearing more about in the years to come. As Lead Laundry and Catering’s Commercial Manager and Head of Legal, we relish this opportunity to shout out about our friend and colleague, who shines a light wherever he goes – whether in all matters legal, in the field of drama, or as an up and coming rugby referee where we believe he is set to take South African Rugby Refereeing by storm.

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Lihan Pretorius was born on 28 July 1986 in Vereeniging. He matriculated in 2004 from Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark, whereafter he studied Law and lectured briefly at the North West University: Potchefstroom Campus.

During the past decade, Lihan Pretorius has made his mark in South African theatre productions. Lihan started directing pageants and school plays as early as his high school days. Lihan’s big break came in 2008, when he and a university friend, Franco Prinsloo, co-wrote the cabaret ‘Maanmond’, based on the poems of Breyten Breytenbach. The show was a theatrical success, went on a national tour, and was nominated for four Independant South African Theatre Awards – as was Lihan, who won the award for Best Newcomer Director. After the success of ‘Maanmond’, Lihan worked in television as a freelance director on the soap-opera Egoli (for Franz Marx Films), under the guidance of producer Burgert Muller. Hereafter, Lihan acted as a consultant and freelance director on local productions of Beauty and the Beast, Grease and Evita.

Lihan was also an avid choir singer, and sang in various youth- and university choirs, and also served on the management of the North-West University choir, under the direction of Prof. Awie van Wyk. During 2011 to 2013, he acted as an adjudicator on the National Theatre Awards-control panel, representing the Department of Arts and Culture.

lihan-pretorius-director-playwriterAfter a sabbatical from theatre, Lihan returned in 2016 as director of (the) ‘Last Supper’, a play written by Weslee Swain Lauder and based on the book by Pinto Ferreira, which had a brief preview run in Johannesburg – whereafter it premiered at the National Arts Festival 2016 in Grahamstown.

A lawyer by profession, currently Commercial Manager and Head of Legal at LEAD LAUNDRY & CATERING and freelance lecturer for the Law Society in the Law of Civil Procedure, Lihan is also a talented rugby referee.

Lihan started his refereeing career at a young age. In 1998, at age 12, he became a member of the Valke Rugby Referee Society – at that time, the youngest active rugby referee in the world.

At age 31, he already has some impressive achievements under his belt. Here are a few of his successes so far…

2005
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Golden Lions Pirates Reserve Panel)

2006
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Golden Lions Pirates Reserve Panel – Award: Pirates Reserve Referee of the Year 2006)

2007
• P
rovincial Rugby Referee (Promoted to Golden Lions Pirates Panel – Award: Best Pirates Referee 2007)

2008
• 
National Rugby Referee (Promoted to SA Rugby Contender Reserve Panel)
• Award: Golden Lions Most Promising Referee 2008
• Referee: U/16 Grant Khomo Rugby Week, Ermelo
• December 2008: Promoted to SA Rugby Referees National Contenders Panel

2009
• 
National Rugby Referee (National Contenders Panel)
• Provincial Rugby Referee (Golden Lions Pirates Panel)
• Referee: National Schools Easter Rugby Festival, St. Johns College, Jhb.

2010
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Golden Lions Pirates Panel)
• Referee: National Schools Easter Rugby Festival, Saint Stithian’s Boys College
• Referee: Appointed to Provincial 7’s Panel

2011
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Valke Super League Panel)
• Referee: u/19 Currie Cup
• Referee: Appointed to Provincial 7’s Panel (Nr.1 rated referee)

2012
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Valke Super League Panel)
• National Rugby Referee (SARRA Contenders Panel)
• Valke Referee of the Year 2012-award
• Referee: National u/18 Academy Rugby Week, Wellington
• Referee: Appointed to Provincial 7’s Panel (Nr.1 rated referee)
• Referee: National Craven Week 7’s (Nr. 1 referee)

2013
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Valke Super League Panel)
• National Rugby Referee (SARU National Panel)
• Referee: Varsity Cup
• Referee: Vodacom Cup
• Referee: Coca-Cola U/18 Craven Week (Final – WP vs Lions)
• Valke Referee of the Year 2013-award

2014
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Valke Super League Panel)
• National Rugby Referee (SARU National Panel)
• Referee: Appointed to Provincial 7’s Panel (Nr.1 rated referee)
• Dubai Invitational 7’s Tournament Referee (Gulf Men Open Final)

2015
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Valke Super League Panel)
• Valke Super League Referee of the Year 2015-award
• Valke Referees’ Referee of the Year-award
• Dubai Invitational 7’s Tournament Referee (International Social Final)

2016
• 
Provincial Rugby Referee (Valke Super League Panel)
• National Rugby Referee (SARRA Academy Squad)
• Selected as referee to Wildeklawer Super Schools Tournament (30 April 2016 – 2 May 2016)
• Selected as Assistant-Referee to both the African leg of the Men and Women World Rugby Sevens Olympic Qualifier tournaments
• Valke Super League Referee of the Year 2016-award
• Selected as Assistant-Referee to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Dubai.

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