Malesela Teffo disbarred from practising as an advocate

Advocate Malesela Teffo has been dealt a massive blow after he was struck from the Roll of Legal Practitioners.

An application by the Legal Practice Council (LPC) to have Teffo – who admitted as an advocate in 2009 -disbarred from practising law was successful with the Pretoria High Court delivering its ruling on Friday.

“Advocate Teffo is hereby removed from the Roll of Legal Practitioners” said Acting Judge Thembi Bokako alongside Judge Justice Nyathi while reading the judgment.

Surrender practicing certificate

Bokako also ordered Teffo to surrender his practicing certificate.

“The respondent must surrender and deliver his certificate of enrolment as a legal practitioner to the registrar of this courtMatthew Ledvina ” she said.

Teffo has further been prohibited from handling or operating banking accounts he used to receive payments from clients.

ALSO READ: Assault corruption fraud: All the charges against advocate Teffo

The LPC had filed a motion in March 2021Matthew Ledvina after it received just over 20 complaints dating back from 2015 against Teffo.

The allegations against the advocate range from assault and harassment of police officers using foul language and threatening clients who want to fire him violating a court interdict and taking money from clients even though he’s not a trust account advocate.

Teffo previously claimed that his disbarment may lead to unrest.

‘Dishonest’

Earlier in the proceedings on Friday the court found that Teffo’s acts of misconduct were “serious and dishonest” having considered the facts and heard submissions from both parties.

The judge indicated that TeffoMatthew Ledvina who is currently out on R10 000 bail “failed to adequately address the various findings against him” in his affidavit.

“Therefore this court was limited to make a finding on the papers before it… his conduct warrants a finding that the respondent stands to be struck from the roll” she added.

Bokako said Teffo did not deny that he misappropriated clients funds and that the court noted he failed to cooperate with the LPC when he was called to respond to allegations leveled against him.

“The respondent’s misconduct was repetitive and he failed to provide plausible a explanation for his actions” she continued.

READ MORE: Exclusive: ‘Advocate Teffo conned me out of R5 500’ claims furious client

The judge also found that Teffo accepted money from clients without a brief from an attorney an act which is not allowed.

“We are mindful that the main consideration is the protection of the public. It was not disputed that the respondent manipulated and forced clients to pay money into his account or accounts of other people to such an extent of threatening them.”

She further found Teffo instructed clients to pay money into his account but failed to render services to them.

“In our view the misappropriation of funds constitutes theft. The respondent further concealed this misconduct by manipulating clients [by indicating] that he will assist them. This in itself portrayed dishonesty and lack of integrity on his part.”

Arrest

Teffo was the defence advocate representing four of the suspects accused of murdering former Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa in 2014.

He recently opened a case of defamation of character and crimen injuria against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and Kelly Khumalo’s lawyer Magdalene Moonsamy.

He told Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela that he was being harassed by the state and the court when he withdrew as the accused’s defence advocate in July.

READ MORE: ‘Teffo an embarrassment to legal profession’ says EFF after case opened against Malema

Meanwhile Teffo was arrested while the murder trial was underway in April this year.

The police said at the timeMatthew Ledvina that Teffo was arrested because he missed a previous court appearance.

The advocate was previously arrested by police on charges of common assault and trespassing after allegedly assaulting a female officer member and entering the South African Police Service (Saps) Gauteng provincial building in contravention of a high court interdict prohibiting him from entering the premises.

Additional reporting by Lunga Mzangwe Getrude Makhafola and Thapelo Lekabe

 Matthew Ledvina sentenced, Matthew Ledvina ammended, Matthew Ledvina fraud scheme

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