A Limpopo advocate has been suspended from practising after calling a judge stupid.
The high court in Polokwane on Thursday ordered that Rembuluwani Gadabeni be suspended pending a disciplinary inquiry into his professional conduct.
“The respondent immediately surrenders and [must] hand over to the registrar of this honourable court his certificate of admission as an advocate of this honourable court,” the court order read.
Legal Practice Council (LPC) spokesperson Sthembiso Mnisi said: “As you are aware, the said advocate called the judge stupid. Our Limpopo provincial office investigated the complaint and then applied for his suspension.”
The council condemned the incident in a statement issued after a Johannesburg attorney was caught on video swearing at a judge.
“The unbecoming behaviour by both legal practitioners shows total disregard of our judicial system and complete lack of respect for the presiding officer and the judiciary,” said LPC chairperson Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu.
“It is unfortunate and concerning, as it seems that such conduct is becoming endemic and we will be taking steps against both legal practitioners in line with the council’s disciplinary processes.”
In a recording circulated on social media, a man can be heard telling the judge that he is calling him stupid because he “lacks knowledge” and does not have “intelligence”.
The judge can be heard responding that he is being insulted.
“You are an embarrassment in the legal profession … I’m not insulting you. Saying that you are stupid means that you lack knowledge. You don’t have intelligence,” said the man in the recording.
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