Lawyer charged department R6m for research
The attorney linked to the mega National Lotteries Commission (NLC) scandal charged the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land & Environmental Affairs R6m for work such as researching labour issues, says a News24 report.
Rhulani Howard Ndobela's law firm, Ndobela & Associates, is once again mired in controversy over exorbitant fees, according to the department, sources and two reports by the department's labour relations head and a law firm.
Two investigations found ‘confidently’ that the law firm was overcharging the department for predominantly labour-related matters – some internal and others at the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council and the Labour Court.
The department has referred the matter to the Legal Practice Council.
A report by the department's Labour Relations official, Sebabatso Molefi, stated Ndobela invoiced the department ‘exorbitant amounts’ and up to R5.9m between April 2022 and November 2022.
It also suggested that Ndobela should have known labour matters without researching them.
A second investigation by Majavu Inc said they could ‘confidently conclude that there was indeed an overreach in respect of these invoices’.
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.