LPC to deliberate on Seth Nthai, sends complaint about Mkhwebane to provincial office for 'processing'

Seth Nthai in the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)
Seth Nthai in the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

The Legal Practice Council (LPC), which regulates the legal profession, is expected to deliberate on Friday whether it should approach the Supreme Court of Appeal in the case against lawyer Seth Nthai's readmission as an advocate.

Nthai, who was struck from the roll of advocates under a cloud of controversy, was allowed to practice again in terms of a ruling by the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane.

The court dismissed an application that the Johannesburg Society of Advocates (JSA) and LPC lodged for leave to appeal the ruling which allowed him to be readmitted as an advocate and to practice at all.

ALSO READ: Legal battle against Seth Nthai's readmission not over yet

The JSA confirmed to News24 it intended to approach the SCA for leave to appeal against the High Court ruling. 

In a separate matter, the LPC said the executive committee council had met last week and "acknowledged" the request it received over Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fitness as an advocate.  

The LPC said in a statement this week it had sent the complaint to the relevant provincial office for processing. 

"While the complaint is being processed, the LPC is prohibited by the Legal Practice Act from discussing the matter."

The council received the request in July from non-profit organisation Accountability Now following a ruling by the Constitutional Court that found Mkhwebane had acted in bad faith and put forward a "number of falsehoods" in the ABSA/Bankorp case.

The director at Accountability Now, advocate Paul Hoffman, told the LPC: "As you know, it is intolerable that an officer of the court should be found to be lying under oath.

"Our highest court has so found in respect of Ms Mkhwebane. Her response that the judgment of the court creates a bad precedent is contemptuous of the court and does her no credit."

READ MORE: ConCourt upholds cost order against Mkhwebane, rules she was 'not honest' in Absa investigation

The Constitutional Court majority judgment upheld a February 2018 Gauteng High Court ruling that Mkhwebane pay 15% of the SA Reserve Bank's legal fees in the ABSA/Bankorp review case.

Her remedial action that ABSA Bank should pay back R1.2bn for an apartheid era bailout to its subsidiary and the central bank's mandate should be widened were set aside.

The apex court found she had acted in bad faith and put forward a "number of falsehoods" during the litigation.

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