Seth Nthai resigns from bar councils

2010-03-26 09:29

THE Pretoria and Johannesburg Bar Councils are pressing ahead with

a misconduct inquiry into advocate Seth Nthai, Business Day reported

today.

Nthai resigned yesterday amid claims that he tried to solicit a

bribe from Italian mining companies contesting laws around mining rights.

In January, Nthai was accused of soliciting a bribe from 11 Italian

companies involved in a protracted €266 million (about R2.7 billion) dispute with

the government over mining laws.

He allegedly offered the investors a settlement in exchange for R5

million. He was not instructed by the government, whom he was representing, to

seek a settlement.

At the start of the misconduct hearing yesterday, he reportedly

tendered his resignation.

He did not admit to the panel any of the allegations levelled at

him, but in a press release said he held discussions with a representative of

the Italian companies without his client’s instructions.

He said he accepted that this “constitutes a breach of the

professional code of ethics”.

He then left the enquiry and it proceeded in his absence.

A seasoned practitioner, Nthai made his mark at the inquiry into

former National Director of Public Prosecutions Vusi Pikoli’s inquiry into his

fitness to hold office with his often theatrical and flamboyant style of

questioning.



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