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‘He is disrespectful and has made the case about him’: Malema’s tirade against advocate Teffo

EFF leader Julius Malema says advocate Malesela Teffo is disrespectful. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema says advocate Malesela Teffo is disrespectful. File photo.
Image: ALAISTER RUSSELL/ SUNDAY TIMES

EFF leader Julius Malema has launched a tirade against advocate Malesela Teffo, saying his decision to withdraw from the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial is “disrespectful”.

Malema, who was addressing the media on Thursday, said Teffo was making the trial about himself.

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“I am not sympathetic towards advocate Teffo. He is disrespectful and has made the case about him. That is why we are being asked about him and not about how the case is going,” said Malema. 

According to Malema, Teffo’s lack of skill is the reason the EFF says he is disrespectful. 

“I have chickens where I stay in Polokwane. If they steal those chickens, I will not call advocate Teffo to represent me. He has no skill, no decorum and no respect for the bench at all,” he said.

Malema said as a lawyer, Teffo has set a wrong precedent by talking loosely and disrespecting the courts.

“We can be angry, but the courts must be respected. If he starts speaking like that to our judges, everybody is going to do that and then we will have nowhere to run to. 

“I do not believe there is any [President] Cyril [Ramaphosa] who concocted anything on that guy. He is self-destructive and has himself to blame. He throws people’s names loosely and he does not back them with anything,” said Malema.

Teffo represented four of the five accused in the murder trial but withdrew as counsel, citing “harassment” and claiming he received threats. 

He alleged a plan to remove him from the trial was hatched in Ramaphosa’s office.

He also alleged that the state and judge Tshifhiwa Maumela were part of the “clique” that wants him removed from the case.

The presidency has denied Teffo’s claims. 

It said it found the “unsubstantiated and baseless claims” mischievous and harmful to the standing of the office of the president.

“The presidency has noted and strongly refutes the false claims made by advocate Malesela Teffo that the presidency is behind his alleged intimidation and subsequent decision to withdraw from the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial,” said spokesperson for the president Vincent Magwenya.

Magwenya said the presidency does not participate in criminal investigations and trials and is not involved in any perceived or actual harassment of Teffo.

“As an officer of the court and a professional in the legal fraternity, advocate Teffo must appreciate the level of veracity that is necessary to support such claims about any institution or individual. The presidency espouses the values of our constitution and cherishes protection, safety and justice for all.” 

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