Joost's legal woes are not over yet

By Jana van der Merwe
16 September 2016

The terminally ill rugby hero won't be getting his money back soon.

Joost van der Westhuizen's legal battle against the Attorneys’ Fidelity Fund is not over.

The company announced on Friday that they plan to appeal Judge Lester Adams' ruling, two days after he delivered his verdict in the Pretoria High Court.

The judge ruled in the ailing rugby hero's favour after Joost lodged an urgent application to reclaim R385 665 his former attorney Robert Klinkenberg, who is believed to have stolen the money Joost asked him to invest.

Judge Adams ordered the Attorneys’ Fidelity Fund to pay Joost the disputed cash, as well as cover all his legal fees.

The company's Claims Executive Jerome Losper said in a press release they have studied the judge's ruling and their lawyers advised the Fund that they have valid reasons to appeal the decision.

Jerome told YOU their appeal will be based on legal technicalities of Joost's statement in court about how he had wanted the money to be used. The grounds are still being finalised, and "he did not want Joost or his lawyers to read it in the media."

The company's said while the Attorneys Fidelity Fund "appreciates the circumstances pertaining to Mr Joost van der Westhuizen, as well as the public sentiment in support of Mr Van der Westhuizen", they have "a duty to ensure that the provisions of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979 are applied consistently and without favour of any particular person."

Joost has suffered from incurable motor neurone disease since 2011 and although there’s nothing wrong with his mind, he’s confined to a wheelchair.

Unfortunately, the move by the Attorneys Fidelity Fund means that Joost will not be receiving the R385 665 yet.

Joost's former attorney and business partner Robert died under mysterious circumstances in December last year.

The court heard Robert had committed suicide, but the police had earlier told YOU that the 46-year-old attorney had in fact been murdered.

Robert’s body was found on 3 December with a single gunshot wound in the head. It was lying about 6 m from his Porsche in the veld beside a road at Magaliesburg on the West Rand.

“Nothing had been stolen from the victim; that’s why suicide was the logical first conclusion,” said Captain Appel Ernst, police spokesman for the Randfontein police station. But a post mortem showed it was murder.

The murder is being investigated but no suspect has been arrested.

Meanwhile the Attorneys’ Fidelity Fund has received more than 118 claims worth more than R40 million from former clients of Robert. At least R24 million has been paid out, according to Rapport newspaper.

Read more:

Joost application is ‘a case of life and death’, says judge

Joost shares heartwarming family photos from 45th birthday party

Samoan rugby team sing touching hymn for Joost

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