Letters to the editor – June 2022

June 1st, 2022
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PO Box 36626, Menlo Park 0102

Docex 82, Pretoria

E-mail: derebus@derebus.org.za

Fax: (012) 362 0969

Letters are not published under noms de plume. However, letters from practising attorneys who make their identities and addresses known to the editor may be considered for publication anonymously.

Arrest of advocate Teffo

I am an admitted legal practitioner and I have practised for 11 years for my own account. I am currently one of the director’s responsible for the Mpumalanga Rental Housing Tribunal in the Department of Human Settlement.

I wish to raise my disgust in the way and manner in which advocate, Malesela Teffo, was arrested and humiliated in front of the media by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria on 28 April 2022.

The ‘Hollywood style’ arrest with guns and all the police used to handcuff Mr Teffo was unnecessary and uncalled for, no matter what the charges were for which he was wanted for.

It is common cause that Mr Teffo is involved in a very high-profile murder case, and the public interest in this specific case is high. Mr Teffo has been in court every day, thus I cannot understand what the threat or need was for such behaviour by members of the SAPS who effected the arrest of Mr Teffo. Was there any urgency to even arrest Mr Teffo while in court?

I believe the arrest could have been handled better, where for example, the investigating officer could have brought the arrest warrant to the attention of the prosecutor. Thus, the prosecution could have brought it to the attention of the judge and request that all the parties go into chambers for such an arrest to be affected.

According to my knowledge and understanding, Mr Teffo is an officer of the court and is expected to behave in a professional manner in terms of the ethics of the legal profession. Thus, I believe this kind of behaviour should be discouraged, as it will cause tension between the various justice clusters.

Thus, I call on the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) to discourage this behaviour against all legal professionals, including prosecutors, magistrates, and judges. I call on the LSSA to demand an apology from both the Minister of Police and the Minister of Justice to Mr Teffo.

Roy Ledwaba BProc (University of Limpopo) is a non-practising legal practitioner and

a director at the Department of Human Settlement in Mpumalanga.

 

Response from the LSSA

On 10 May 2022, the Law Society of South Africa released a press statement expressing its dismay at the manner in which legal practitioner Mr Teffo was arrested, read the full press release here: www.lssa.org.za/press-releases. Editor

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2022 (June) DR 5.

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