Former legal adviser at Free State municipality convicted of fraud for not having law degree

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Mosebetsi Richard Mofokeng, a former legal advisor at Nketoane Local Municipality in the Free State, was convicted of fraud for not having for not having legal qualifications.
Mosebetsi Richard Mofokeng, a former legal advisor at Nketoane Local Municipality in the Free State, was convicted of fraud for not having for not having legal qualifications.
Free State Hawks
  • A former legal adviser at Nketoane local municipality in the Free State has been convicted of fraud. 
  • Mosebetsi Richard Mofokeng resigned when he was requested to produce his qualifications.
  • The municipality then opened a case with the Hawks and investigations later revealed that he did not have a law degree.

A 39-year-old former legal adviser in a Free State municipality has been convicted of fraud over a lack of legal qualifications.

Free State Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo said Mosebetsi Richard Mofokeng was convicted in the Bethlehem Regional Court on Monday.

Mofokeng worked at Nketoane local municipality as a legal representative, responsible for advising the mayor as well as employees on legal matters.

"It is further alleged that he also represented clients in the criminal court for his own benefits," Singo said.

However, Mofokeng resigned after the municipality requested that he produce his qualifications.

"The matter was then reported to the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in Bethlehem for further investigation.

"We did investigations and found that he didn't even have an LLB certificate. However, the issue is that we don't even know how he got the job at the municipality," said Singo.

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In 2018, Mofokeng was issued with a summons to appear in court. 

He appeared in court on several occasions until his recent conviction.

His case was postponed to 28 January 2022 for sentencing and he is currently out on R2 000 bail.

Nketoane municipal manager Monyane Sefantsi told News24 on Tuesday that Mofokeng was an assistant manager for legal services from 2010.

He, however resigned in October 2013 after he was charged by the municipality for doing "double work", he said. At the time of his employment, he was earning R215 981.52 annually from the municipality.  

In 2014, a rape matter could not go ahead because the accused was represented by Mofokeng. 

The Free State High Court in its 2017 judgment said that before the matter could proceed, the magistrate's court was informed that Mofokeng had been struck of the roll of advocates by virtue of an order by the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria in July 2016.

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"It has also become general knowledge that Mr Mofokeng was never properly qualified to represent anyone, let alone accused persons in criminal matters.

"All matters where Mr Mofokeng appeared on behalf of accused persons were subsequently struck off the roll pending the outcome on review of the matter. 

"Several matters which are part heard where Mr Mofokeng appeared on behalf of accused persons have subsequently been referred for special review," the judgment read.  

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