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'I was brought to a slaughterhouse' — advocate Teffo on facing legal sanction

Advocate Malesela Teffo. File image
Advocate Malesela Teffo. File image
Image: Thulani Mbele

Advocate Malesela Teffo on Friday denied allegations of misconduct levelled against him by the Legal Practice Council (LPC).

Misleading the court, threatening clients and failing to act in an ethical and professional manner during court proceeding are among the 22 complaints against Teffo. The council brought an application in the Pretoria high court to have Teffo struck from the roll or alternatively suspended.

“I deny all these allegations against me,” said Teffo.

Teffo was meant to respond to the submissions by advocate Mfesane Ka-Siboto, for the LPC, but told the court he wanted the matter postponed so he could have more time to deal with the allegations.

Armed with the constitution and papers, he said, “my rights have been grossly violated”.

He was not given the right to a legal representative and was being ambushed, he said.

Accusing the LPC of trying him in absentia, he argued he was entitled to a disciplinary hearing by the council before being dragged to court.

“I was never called by LPC to come and give my side. There are serious allegations that make me a monster of scamming other people, committing fraud, corruption, taking people's money, I failed to account, I failed to pay due diligence — I deny that,” Teffo said.

“The principle audi alteram partem [the rule that each party must be given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them] did not apply to me, it was not applied by the legal counsel.

“I was brought here to the slaughterhouse.”

Despite Justice J Bokako putting it to Teffo that the state has documents proving the allegations were communicated to him and even invited him to answer, Teffo vehemently denied this.

Extracts from LPC documents sent to Teffo by e-mail were submitted to the court. Bokako said this was the same e-mail address he used when he sent his complaint e-mail.

“I do not accept that,” Teffo said.

Justices Bokako and Nyathi reserved judgment.

TimesLIVE


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