Pretoria, Johannesburg bars oppose Seth Nthai's bid to be admitted into Polokwane bar

2018-12-03 13:05


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Lawyer Seth Nthai is set for a bitter legal battle with both the bars of Pretoria and Johannesburg over his bid to be readmitted as an advocate.

Nthai has lodged an application in the Limpopo High Court to be admitted by the Polokwane Bar. He was a member of both the Pretoria and Johannesburg bars before he was struck off the roll in 2013.

The Polokwane Bar is supporting his application.

Initially, the application was not opposed until at the last minute when the Pretoria and Johannesburg bars tried to stop the hearing in the Limpopo High Court on Friday, November 30, 2018.

After legal arguments, Judge President Ephraim Makgoba and Judge MG Phatudi issued an order allowing both the Pretoria and Johannesburg bars to intervene in the matter of readmission.

Read: ‘Transformation’ is a farce in law

This is subject to Nthai exercising a right to argue that both bars have no locus standi in the matter. This means Nthai can argue that neither bar has the right or capacity to intervene in his application.

Both the Pretoria and Johannesburg bars have until the end of February 2019 to file their papers

The matter has been set down to be heard on April 15 and 16, 2019.

Support from Pretoria advocates' association

Meanwhile, News24 was reliably informed that Nthai launched the readmission process in October 2018. In terms of the law, such applications have to wait for six weeks before they can be heard in court.

However, on Thursday, November 29, a day before the application was to be heard in court, Nthai received a letter requesting that the matter be removed from the court roll. He opposed the move.

Advocates For Transformation in Pretoria, an organisation of advocates that is part of the Pretoria Bar, has indicated to News24 its intention to also intervene in the matter in support of Nthai. However, the body will first hold its meeting within the next three weeks to take a resolution.

Also read: 'Leak' leads to bar law exam being aborted

Nthai, who was the first safety and security MEC in Limpopo, was struck off the roll in 2013 after it was found that he tried to solicit R5m in a mining rights case.

The allegation arose from an arbitration case involving the South African government and an international conglomerate over mining rights. Nthai was at the time representing the government.

It was alleged that he met directly with the CEO of Finstone, Mario Marcenaro, who was said to have recorded the conversation.

Nthai at the time vehemently denied the allegations.

However, he was hauled before the disciplinary hearing by the Pretoria Bar and found guilty of misconduct.

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Read more on:    polokwane  |  judiciary  |  courts

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