South Africa News

Legal Practice Council warns Malesela Teffo remains struck off the roll of advocates

The Legal Practice Council (LPC) has written to lawyers representing disbarred advocate Malesela Teffo, warning that it will continue with an application for contempt of court after Teffo continued to attend the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial and present himself as counsel.

The notice from the Legal Practice Council, seen by the publication, said Teffo is a former advocate and remains struck off the roll of legal practitioners.

“Following a number of queries received by the Council, the LPC confirms that Mr Malesela Teffo (formerly advocate Teffo) remains struck from the roll of legal practitioners. Mr Teffo’s status has not changed since he was struck off in September 2022,” the Council wrote in the notice.

“The LPC is aware of his recent conduct at the Pretoria High Court (Gauteng High Court, Pretoria), some of which was captured in the media and/or social media, which culminated in Judge Maumela ordering his removal from court. The LPC confirms that it is proceeding with a contempt of court application, which is scheduled for hearing on 23 May 2023.”

The Legal Practice Council has also urged legal practitioners and members of the public to always confirm that the person they are dealing with as a legal representative is indeed a legal practitioner who appears on the LPC database, as required by law.

The verification can be done here.

On Thursday, Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela ordered police officers in court to remove Teffo after he stood up and insisted on addressing the judge.

“Justice Maumela, I am advocate MD Teffo. I am appearing on behalf of Sifiso Stanley Meyiwa, the brother of the deceased …

The judge interjected: “Mr Teffo, there is no Sifiso Meyiwa in this case. Please, can you assist Mr Teffo to get out? There is no Sifiso Meyiwa in this case …”

Teffo continued as police officers walked towards him: “My lord, there is a life at stake here. I have to bring the application”.

At that moment, one police officer reached out to Teffo by hand and escorted him out of the courtroom.

Last year, Teffo, who represented four of the five men accused of killing Meyiwa, withdrew from the case, saying he was being harassed by the State and Maumela.

Teffo announced his decision after the trial resumed after almost a month of adjournment.

The adjournment came after Teffo said he wanted to challenge the jurisdiction of the court, saying the matter should be heard at the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, and not at the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

However, after the month’s adjournment, Teffo abandoned his application to challenge the jurisdiction; instead, he said he would make presentations to the National Director of Public Prosecution (NDPP) for the charges against his clients to be dropped.

Five men, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Mthobisi Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifokuhle Ntuli, are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and possession of ammunition.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

-IOL

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