Attorney who stole cash struck off roll

2015-04-20 00:00

DURBAN attorney Faizal Suleman, who admittedly stole R2,1 million in trust funds from a client, has been struck off the roll of attorneys by Pietermaritzburg high court judges.

Judge Gregory Kruger and Graham Lopes refused a request to postpone striking off Suleman for another two months by when, the court was told, he hoped he would have received funds that were due to him to pay back his creditors.

Attorney Siva Chetty, for the KZN Law Society, told the court Suleman had made several promises dating back to October 2013 that he would pay back the money, but to date he had not made any payments.

Chetty added that although the Law Society is “not a debt collector” it gave Suleman a chance to pay back the money as he had undertaken to do for the benefit of his creditors. Suleman admitted in court papers that he had loaned money he was holding in trust on behalf of businessman B.Z. Qwabe, to a “friend” who ran a business, TNS Geo Technical & Construction, saying the friend needed the money to complete a building project.

Judge Kruger said Suleman had had “enough chances” and said the court’s duty was to protect the public.

He said Suleman had “already tainted” the legal profession through his actions, and he himself confirmed that due to the manner he had behaved he was not worthy to remain on the roll of attorneys.

“That is about the only decent thing he has done in two years,” said Judge Kruger.

According to the court papers in 2013 the KZN Law Society received five complaints against Suleman, who had previously been struck off the roll of attorneys in February 2002 and was again re-admitted on June 13, 2006.

The most serious complaint was that of businessman B. Qwabe for whom Suleman was asked to hold R2 116 652 in trust pending the outcome of a dispute between him and a business partner, Bruce Galloway. When Qwabe requested the money, Suleman was unable to pay him.

The dispute arose following the sale by Qwabe and Galloway of their businesses Maphumulo Spar, Maphumulo Build It and Maphumulo Fuel Station for a total of R14 million.

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