Adverse findings against Teffo will 'set whole country on fire', advocate warns in court papers

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Advocate Malesela Teffo is seen during the murder trial of Senzo Meyiwa in the Gauteng High Court.
Advocate Malesela Teffo is seen during the murder trial of Senzo Meyiwa in the Gauteng High Court.
Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images
  • The Legal Practice Council has gone to court in a bid to have advocate Malesela Teffo disbarred.
  • Teffo, in his heads of argument, accused the court of bias.
  • He claimed there would be unrest should he be struck from the roll of advocates.

Advocate Malesela Teffo warned there would be "serious unrest in the country" if he was struck from the roll of advocates. 

This was contained in Teffo's heads of argument in response to an application, which was heard earlier this month in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, by the Legal Practice Council (LPC) that he should be disbarred.

The LPC argued there were at least 22 allegations of misconduct against Teffo, including disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour in court, misleading the court, assault, and the misappropriation of money from clients. 

READ | Teffo provides no proof in denying allegations against him in application to have him disbarred

Apart from a blanket denial of the allegations, Teffo focused on having the matter either postponed or dismissed. 

His submissions included that his constitutional rights were being violated; there were conflicting case numbers; he was not aware of the application; and the LPC never informed him of the complaints nor offered him an opportunity to respond before being hauled before the court. 

In his papers, Teffo accused the court, without providing any evidence, of bias and collusion by the parties involved in the matter. 

Kangaroo court and bias 

Teffo started off by referring to the court as a kangaroo court, which typically meant an unauthorised court or official presiding over a matter, with the intent of finding someone guilty without regard for the evidence.  

This was seemingly a jibe at the court when, after judgment was reserved in a matter, Teffo continued to make arguments, but was stopped midway as the court adjourned.

Teffo said: 

It is regrettable, in this democratic country, to see the judiciary officers being overcome by emotion to the extent that they could not even hide their biases against the respondent.

"I felt vindicated that the two judges had proven they carried the mandate of their bosses, namely Deputy Judge Presidents of Pretoria and Johannesburg, Messrs Ledwaba and Sutherland."

Teffo then claimed that his rights, as envisioned by Section 35 of the Constitution, were violated. These provisions refer to the rights of an accused, arrested or detained person. 

The LPC had previously pointed out to the court that Teffo was not an accused, but a respondent in a civil matter, so his referring to Section 35 had no bearing on the case.

Despite this, Teffo included this argument in his heads and again took a swipe at the judges.

"Therefore, the gross violation of the above-mentioned constitutional rights of the respondent had immensely relegated the supposedly high standards of the esteemed judges of the high court and the court of equity to nothing but a kangaroo court at its worst."

Political interference 

Teffo then inexplicably referred to the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, where he represented four of the accused before withdrawing as counsel. 

Without providing evidence, Teffo claimed that both the ANC and EFF were interfering with the case - and he took it one step further by alleging that an advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa had met with "certain senior judges to connive against me".

Teffo had previously claimed a plan had been hatched in Ramaphosa's office to have him removed from the trial. However, Teffo has, so far, not provided a single shred of evidence to back up his claims.

He also took a stab at EFF leader Julius Malema, who had previously questioned Teffo's ability as defence counsel in the Meyiwa case. 

"The so-called Legal Practice Council hearing, which resembled a kangaroo court, has been influenced by these dirty politics and the Minister of Police Bheki Cele played a serious role politically," Teffo claimed. 

Unrest 

In his application, Teffo warned the court not to make findings against him.

He wrote: 

The two presiding officers are warned not to make a decision on the basis of emotions. The decision informed by emotions on the part of these two judges will cause serious unrest in the country, considering the fact that the decision may adversely affect people who advocate Teffo is legally representing, including the emotionally-charged Senzo Meyiwa murder case.

Teffo added that the family of the men accused of murdering the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper had pinned their hopes on him representing them, and that South Africans were hoping that Teffo would expose a corrupt relationship between the police and NPA. 

Teffo is no longer a defence counsel in the matter.

READ | Corruption, unethical conduct and lies: Teffo faces mounting claims as regulator seeks to disbar him

In the most recent court appearance, it was placed on record that the instructing attorney, TT Thobane, would continue with the trial. 

In conclusion, Teffo again alluded to the possibility of unrest if he was disbarred. 

"In light of the above paragraphs, any adverse finding against advocate Malesela Teffo will set the whole country on fire. Our African Arab spring may be inevitable, as stated by former state president Thabo Mbeki recently.

"Therefore, the decision-makers in this regard must not allow their emotions to take charge of them, for the sake of peace and justice in the country."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 311 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 3943 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 578 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.07
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
20.08
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
17.66
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.62
+0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.5%
Gold
1,670.04
+0.6%
Silver
19.17
+1.9%
Palladium
2,187.56
-0.8%
Platinum
867.50
-0.1%
Brent Crude
88.49
-0.9%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE