Areas of Law and Guides
Most recent Ethics Articles posted
Veteran attorney and former co-chair of the Law Society of SA Silas Nkanunu has fallen foul of the society’s provincial arm, which is seeking to interdict him from practising until he gets his fidelity fund certificate, says a Daily Dispatch report. The Cape Law Society claims in court papers that Nkanunu – a partner in Port Elizabeth firm Silas Nkanunu & Van Loggerenberg – has been practising throughout 2017 without a fidelity fund certificate.
Alleged fake lawyer Brenda Wardle, who regularly provided legal analysis for prominent news organisations for years, was yesterday adamant she would conduct her own defence in her fraud trial involving more than R0.5m. Not only will Wardle prepare her own papers for trial, she told the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court that she also wants to conduct her own defence at her intended bail appeal.
Penguin Random House SA acted swiftly yesterday to withdraw Dr Vejay Ramlakan’s book as legal action looms. The Star reports this came after the executors of Nelson Mandela’s estate – Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Advocate George Bizos and Judge Themba Sangoni – stepped in to consider laying a complaint with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) and the SANDF.
Former President Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, has threatened to sue Mandela’s doctor Vejay Ramlakan over his newly released book, Mandela’s Last Years, according to a City Press report. Ramlakan reportedly details Mandela’s last years, including intimate moments prior to his death. Machel has slammed the book, saying it is degrading and tarnishes the image of the struggle icon.
A bogus lawyer who forged his degree – and possibly a court order confirming his admission as a High Court advocate – is causing havoc in Free State courts, says a report in The Times. Mosebetsi Mofokeng was struck off the Pretoria Bar’s roll of advocates a year ago. Now judges at the Free State High Court (Bloemfontein) have ordered new trials for at least five alleged criminals he was representing.
Doctors have accused SA’s biggest medical aid schemes of spying on them and sneaking hidden cameras into their consulting rooms. The healthcare practitioners also claim the schemes are guilty of withholding payment from doctors without proof of misconduct. A Sunday Times report says these claims are contained in documents filed in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) by the National Healthcare Professionals Association, in a claim against 19 medical aid schemes.
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has found himself the focus of a searing SCA judgment handed down last week with regard to his conduct in another matter involving the alleged theft of R48-million by a businessman. The man was represented in court by the same attorney representing Hlophe in pending disciplinary proceedings before the Judicial Services Commission over allegations that the Judge President approached two Justices of the Constitutional Court in 2008 in an attempt to improperly influence that court’s pending judgment in a case involving Jacob Zuma. Hlophe was excoriated by the SCA for potential bias in ruling in favour of the crooked businessman.
The JSC says it is studying the SCA judgment – first reported in Legalbrief Today last week – which linked the Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe to a ‘reasonable apprehension’ of bias when ruling in favour of his personal lawyer in a multi-million lawsuit.
Controversial Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe is back in the spotlight following his contested handling of a High Court matter involving allegations of a multi-mi llion rand fraud. One side in the dispute claimed they had a ‘reasonable apprehension’ that the judge was biased against them. And the SCA has now set aside Hlophe’s disputed orders and findings, agreeing that, given his behaviour, this ‘apprehension’ was justified, notes leading legal writer Carmel Rickard in a report on the Legalbrief Today site.
Directors face many challenges, not least amongst them the constant danger of being held personally liable for any failure to comply with their statutory duties. In addition to facing civil claims for losses sustained, and even possible criminal liability, directors risk being declared “delinquent”.
Judge Neil Tuchten, of the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), has handed down an important judgment confirming the basis on which an attorney may bill a client, according to a report by Tony Beamish on the Moneyweb site. The case was brought by Cadac CEO Simon Nash and his company Midmacor Industries (Midmacor) against pension fund curator, Tony Mostert, his law firm AL Mostert & Co, the Financial Services Board (FSB), and the Registrar of Pension Funds.
A Cape Town lawyer accused of stealing millions from insolvent estates has lost his robes – which he may not have been legally entitled to in the first place, according to a Sunday Times report. The man, who goes by three names – Patel Muhamed, Mohamed Ismail and Muhamed Ismail Patel – could also soon find himself in the dock to answer to fraud charges. He is accused of contriving his qualifications by assuming the identity of lawyer Patel Muhamed, who died in 2006, and duping the High Court into admitting him as an attorney in 2011.
The Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) this week placed the estates of personal injury lawyers Ronald and Darren Bobroff under provisional sequestration, according to a report by investigative journalist Tony Beamish on the Moneyweb site. It notes the father and son duo are fugitives from justice who fled to Australia last March when the Hawks requested that they hand themselves over to be arrested.
The JSC has dismissed claims by drunk-driving judge Nkola Motata that the tribunal it appointed to help discipline him is unlawful. Motata has been on special leave since he crashed his Jaguar into the wall of a Johannesburg home in 2007 while drunk and is challenging the JSC’s disciplinary structures in the Constitutional Court, notes a TimesLIVE report.
Western Cape High Court Judge Leslie Weinkove has recused himself from one of the high-profile cases he had been presiding over. A Cape Argus report says Weinkove – who is presiding over the ongoing contentious Bromwell Street eviction saga – came under fire after he made what had been deemed racist remarks in court last month. Weinkove questioned the evicted residents’ request to be close to crucial amenities when they are eventually forced to vacate Woodstock.
Personal injury lawyers Ronald and Darren Bobroff abused their knowledge of court procedures to effectively prevent the court from examining their misconduct. This is one of the key reasons a full Bench at the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) decided the father and son duo, both directors of Ronald Bobroff and Partners (RBP), should be struck off the roll of attorneys in December last year, according to a Tony Beamish report on the Moneyweb site.
The terminally will not be able to approach the courts and ask for the right to die after the SCA upheld the government's appeal against a High Court judgment in which euthanasia advocate Robin Stransham-Ford won the right to doctor-assisted suicide last year‚ but died two hours before the ruling was given.
The SCA has found a racial quota policy implemented for the appointment of liquidators to be unlawful and invalid. It ruled on Friday that an appeal against a finding of its unconstitutionality be ‘dismissed with costs,’ upholding the High Court’s finding of the policy as ‘unconstitutional and irrational’ as well as ‘unlawful and invalid’, notes a News24 report.
What an amaBhungane report calls an ‘extraordinary’ complaint has been lodged with the KZN Society of Advocates against Nalini Govender, a member of the Durban Bar who has also served as a magistrate in the province. A local bond originator, Suchu Pillay, alleges that Govender disclosed to him in mid-2015 that she had received more than R500 000 from ‘Mpisane’, which he understood to refer to the husband-and-wife team of Sbu and Shauwn Mpisane.
Dodgy lawyers are stealing hundreds of millions from their clients by looting trust accounts, claims a Sunday Times report. It says Peter Cowling and Christiaan Janeke are the latest lawyers to be struck off the roll, and are facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing at least R65m from their clients, many of whom were pensioners.