Attorney struck off over missing millions
Eastern Cape attorney Andrew Masimila has been struck of the roll of attorneys for allegedly stealing most of a hefty Road Accident Fund payout to a client who lost the use of his legs in a car accident.
A Daily Dispatch report says Masimila had been an attorney for almost two decades when he was interdicted from practising in 2018 after the disabled man and his wife, who takes care of him, complained to the Legal Practice Council that Masimila had paid them out only a fraction of their R3.5m RAF payout.
Between 2012 and 2017 Masimila took out just R1.1m in paltry instalments from his trust account to the disabled man’s bank account.
Judge Gerald Bloem said this amounted to just 32.28% of the capital.
‘The question is what happened to the remaining sum of R2,391,238?’
Masimila claimed the couple had loaned him the remainder of the money as he was experiencing financial difficulties.
However, his clients said they would never have agreed to a loan as they themselves were in desperate need of the money.
Bloem agreed, labelling the claim ‘far-fetched and palpably implausible’ because of their own personal impecunious circumstances.
He said it had been established on a balance of probabilities that Masimila had stolen a substantial amount of money intended for a disabled man.
‘He then sought to cover up the theft by relying on a loan agreement, which in itself constitutes unethical conduct.’
His dishonesty and lack of integrity were a clear indication he was not a fit and proper person to continue to practise as an attorney.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.