'He called everyone my brother' – Mihalik the first Cape Bar lawyer to be assassinated

Pete Mihalik was the first member of the Cape Bar to be assassinated, said bar chairperson Ismail Jamie, SC, after a private memorial service for the advocate in Cape Town on Monday.

"As I said inside, the Cape Bar does not ordinarily hold memorial services for its members," said Jamie.

"This is the first time that we can recall that a member has been assassinated. We felt the need to mark that, to come together as lawyers. We don't condone it. We won't be forced into submission."

Some of South Africa's top legal minds, including judges, walked from chambers up Queen Victoria Street to the service at the National Library's Centre for the Book next to the Company's Garden.

READ: Mihalik murder: Magistrate bars photos being taken of lawyers in underworld extortion case

Western Cape High Court judges Siraj Desai, Mushtak Parker and Robert Henney were among the lawyers and clerks walking up the steps.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) advocate Billy Downer was among those present to file in to the centre where rows of chairs and light refreshments had been set up.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille also made a low-key entrance to the service only open to the Bench, the NPA and the wider legal fraternity.

Mihalik was shot dead on October 30 while doing the school run near Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard school two weeks ago.

His son, 8, was injured during the shooting. His teenage daughter was also in the car, but was physically unharmed.

Vuyile Maliti, Sizwe Sinzokohle Biyela and Nkosinathi Khumalo have been charged with murder and attempted murder and will return to the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on November 15.

At their last appearance the court was heavily guarded by Cape Town's anti-gang unit.

A motive for the shooting has not been made public yet, but Mihalik had a broad client list.

His funeral was held at St Mary's Cathedral on Saturday.

Regarding Monday's service, Jamie said: "The gist of the service was that we as the Cape Bar wished to honour advocate Mihalik – to come together as advocates in the wider legal fraternity to express our condolences and our regret at his passing, particularly in the way in which it happened.

"The shock that many of us felt, that the fact that one of our own, a colleague, was attacked and killed in such a brutal fashion is part of it."

Asked how Mihalik would be most remembered, he replied: "He called everyone 'my brother'."

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