Seth Nthai 'humbled' by High Court ruling readmitting him as an advocate

2019-05-28 05:32
Advocate Seth Nthai. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Advocate Seth Nthai. (PHOTO: Supplied)

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Lawyer Seth Nthai says he is "humbled" by the ruling of the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane, which has granted him permission to practise as a senior counsel after having been disbarred for attempting to solicit a R5m payoff from an Italian businessman. 

More than six years after having been disbarred, Nthai believes he has been given a second chance.  

On Friday, the High Court ruled that Nthai's application to be re-admitted as an advocate was successful. 

Limpopo Judge President Ephraim Makgoba and Judge Peter Mabuse, in their judgment, said the lawyer had "made out a good case for the relief he seeks".

Speaking to News24 on Monday, Nthai said: "I am humbled by the second chance given to me by the court to practice law again which remains my real passion.

"I intend to continue to play a significant role in the transformation of the legal profession and society in general.

"Since my departure from the legal profession in January 2010, I always had a burning desire to return to the profession as a reformed person who is fit and proper to serve the people of South Africa."

READ: George Bizos steps in to offer support to disbarred lawyer Seth Nthai

Nthai is now part of the Polokwane Bar, which supported his application.

The chairperson of the Polokwane Bar, Advocate William Mokhari SC, told News24 the Bar believed he made a full disclosure before the court.

"Our support was based on the facts he presented to the court," he said.

Nthai was a member of the Johannesburg and Pretoria bars before he was struck from the roll. He admitted to serious transgressions when he tried to solicit a R5m payment from an Italian businessman, who was party to a dispute with the South African government over mining rights.

At the time, Nthai had been instructed to represent the government in the legal wrangle, News24 previously reported.

Secret recordings revealed the lawyer sharing his client's confidential information with the chief executive of one of the Italian companies linked to the case.

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

Nthai was heard promising a Mr Marcenaro - as he is referred to in court papers - that he would convince government to settle the matter outside of an arbitration process in return for the R5m payment.

The prosecutor who appointed Nthai as the lead counsel in the matter, laid a complaint about his conduct with the Johannesburg and Pretoria bar councils (now known as the Johannesburg Society of Advocates and Pretoria Society of Advocates).

Nthai, who was once vice-president of the General Council of the Bar, admitted wrongdoing and to breach of confidence.

The Pretoria Bar insisted he be struck off the roll as an advocate, after a disciplinary committee found him guilty. He was disbarred following an order of the High Court in April 2013.

Read more on:    seth nthai  |  polokwane  |  judiciary  |  courts

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