Former advocate in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, Malesela Teffo struck off the roll.
Malesela Daniel Teffo, the former attorney for the Senzo Meyiwa murder case, has been removed from the legal practitioner’s roll. A Legal Practice Council (LPC) application was approved by the Pretoria high court on Friday in the absence of Teffo.[/caption]
Teffo’s removal from the list of attorneys was mandated by Judge Justice Nyathi and Acting Judge Thembi Bokako. “The Respondent shall give and surrender to the Registrar of this Court his certificate of enrolment as a legal practitioner, “Bokako, who delivered the verdict, added. If he doesn’t adhere to this instruction within two weeks, the sheriff is instructed to seize the certificate and submit it to the court registrar.”
Bokako claimed Teffo was also forbidden from managing bank accounts that were used to receive payments from customers.
Teffo began working as a referral advocate on January 5, 2009, after being admitted as an advocate.
The high court was earlier informed by LPC attorney Mfesane Ka-Siboto that Teffo was the subject of 22 malpractice allegations. These included failing to conduct ethically and professionally during court hearings, lying to the judge, and threatening clients.
Court documents, affidavits, and letters were provided by the LPC. According to Ka-Siboto, “more than 75% of the accusations relate to how Teffo behaves himself.” Teffo has also been accused of assaulting a female police officer working out of the provincial offices in Parktown, Gauteng.
In another incident, he is accused of using an attorney’s signature on case communication without permission. According to Bokako, the court was persuaded that Teffo’s actions no longer fulfill the standards for a fit and proper person. She stated that tolerating his legal practice “would pose danger to the public or the good name of the profession.”
This court concludes that the respondent frequently misled the courts and was even disrespectful on several occasions. Teffo’s claim that the LPC had not afforded him a fair right of reply during its investigation was denied by the judge.
“It is our opinion that the respondent’s contention — that the applicant failed to give him an opportunity to address the complaints with him personally by way of an inquiry before the [application for disbarring] — should not be given as a justification to not deal with them,” she said. “The respondent was given yet another opportunity to address the said complaints in these proceedings.”
What the court is dealing with are simple denials because the respondent hasn’t provided any specific defenses to the allegations made against him. She claimed that Teffo lacked the feeling of accountability, sincerity, and integrity necessary for an advocate. “It is obvious that the advocate lacks all of the aforementioned qualities. It is appropriate in this situation to strike his name from the list of attorneys.
After making broad accusations against the prosecution, defense attorney Zandile Mshololo, and presiding judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, Teffo left the Meyiwa trial in July. One of his assertions was that Teffo’s legal defeat was the result of consultation with a sangoma. In reference to this, Bokako stated that the court will not waste time addressing delinquent allegations made against court employees.
“This court will not concentrate much on untested and false charges brought by the respondent,” she added. “This court does not have jurisdiction to deal with the current events of another court.” “The court is short of words in attributing the level of this behavior projected by the defendant, safe to state that he has no regard for justice,” the judge wrote in her judgment about Teffo’s behavior.