Legal Practice Council welcomes ruling on Teffo
The Legal Practice Council (LPC), a statutory body responsible for regulatory affairs of the legal industry, has welcomed the ruling by the Gauteng North High Court to strike off Advocate Malesela Teffo from the roll of legal practitioners. This followed 22 complaints received by the LPC, which were presented to court in its application to have Teffo struck off or suspended as a legal practitioner.
The 22 complaints are from 2019 to 2022 include assault, misleading the court on several occasions; being in contemptuous in court; breaching court orders; consulting with clients without a brief from an attorney; and misappropriating funds received directly from clients. “The ruling means that he is not able to practice, cannot offer advice or appear in court as a legal practitioner or offer these services to members of the public. As the LPC, our role is always to safeguard the public, maintain the required legal standards in the profession. When complaints are brought to our attention, we have a strict process outlined in the Legal Practice Act (LPA), that we follow to investigate and determine whether there has been a contravention of rules and/or regulations,” says Janine Myburgh (Chairperson of the Legal Practice Council).
The LPC urges all legal practitioners to always act in line with the rules and requirements of the LPA and to act in a manner that upholds the high repute of the legal profession. “We encourage members of the public to check and ensure that a legal practitioner that they are dealing with is duly registered on the Legal Practice Council list, available on our website, before employing the services of a legal practitioner,” adds Myburgh.
She explained that the LPC regularly receives complaints of individuals who misrepresents themselves as legal practitioners, who are not and are not authorised to practice – “unfortunately, when such matters are brought to our attention, they are outside the jurisdiction of the LPC and are therefore reported at criminal matters to the South African Police Services,” adds Myburgh.
“The LPC never takes pleasure in a legal practitioner being struck off or suspended, as many have worked hard to qualify and to be admitted – however, it important to protect the public from individuals that do not act in line with the rules and regulations of the profession,” concludes Myburgh.
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