Advocate Malesela Teffo is seen during the murder trial of Senzo Meyiwa in the Gauteng High Court.
Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images
- The Legal Practice Council has brought an application to have advocate Malesela Teffo either suspended or barred from practising law.
- In responding to the application, Teffo offered a blanket denial of the 22 allegations against him.
- In some instances, he claimed to have proof to help his defence, but did not offer this proof to the court.
Advocate Malesela Teffo gave a blanket denial to all the allegations against him in an application to have him barred from practising law, and argued that he should be given a postponement to prepare his defence.
On Thursday, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard an application by the Legal Practice Council (LPC) to have Teffo either suspended or struck off the roll of advocates.
The application was based on 22 allegations of misconduct against the controversial advocate, including disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour in court, misleading the court, assault, and the misappropriation of monies from clients.
The LPC’s allegations were backed up by correspondence, affidavits and court records.
On Friday, Teffo was expected to respond to the submissions made by the LPC, but instead he focused his main argument on why he should be given a postponement to prepare his defence.
Teffo said he had not received the court bundles containing all the allegations and evidence and as such had not been able to prepare.
However, this was dismissed by the court, who found that he had the documents and ample time to prepare.
Claims without proof
While arguing for a postponement, Teffo also attempted to argue against some of the allegations, despite earlier telling the court that he would not be responding to “utterances by the so-called applicant”.
His first claim was that the court did not have to hear the application, because other “forums” were dealing with the allegations against him, but didn’t state which forums these were.
Teffo, who has recently come under fire for making unsubstantiated claims, told the court there was a serious vendetta against him by the South African Police Service.
He claimed that the application to have him struck off the roll was nothing more than retaliation from the police, the National Prosecuting Authority, the court and President Cyril Ramaphosa, but offered no further explanation of his conspiracy theory.
Teffo had previously accused police and Ramaphosa of orchestrating his arrest in the High Court in Pretoria on 28 April this year. He said a plan had been hatched to remove him from the Senzo Meyiwa trial where he was a defence counsel for four of the accused.
After Teffo allegedly assaulted a female officer at a SAPS building in Johannesburg, a court order was obtained interdicting him from entering the building.
Teffo claimed that the court order was fraudulent and told the court that he had proof, but did not share his proof with the court.
Teffo then returned to his conspiracy theory that police, the NPA, the court and Ramaphosa were responsible for the application to have him struck off the roll, and demanded that an investigation into his claims take place.
No factual counter to allegations
Advocate Mfesane Ka-Siboto for the LPC told the court that Teffo had offered nothing to counter the allegations against him and that he could have attached evidence in his own defence and provided arguments.
Ka-Siboto maintained that the LPC had made out a factual case, which included affidavits by multiple people.
He further shot down the idea that there was some sort of collusion to bar Teffo from practising law.
Ka-Siboto said it was improbable that police management, the courts, and lay people had come together to make up a case against Teffo.
The LPC also pointed out that while Teffo made a blanket denial of the allegations against him, in some instances he submitted that he had proof to dispel the allegation, but failed to provide any proof to the court.
“The only form of rebuttal to factual claims was just denial,” Ka-Siboto argued.
Judgment had been reserved.