Tag Archives: South Africa

South Africa: Human rights lawyer charged with assault for pointing his finger at a police officer

October 12, 2018

‘The accused … did unlawfully and intentionally assault Andries Petrus Swart by pointing him with a finger [sic]’

Attorney Richard Spoor. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

South African human rights attorney Richard Spoor is well-known for his sharp mind and forthright tongue‚ but now he has run into deep trouble because of his finger — or‚ to be more exact‚ for assaulting a police officer “by pointing him with a finger”.

Two weeks ago‚ the Nelspruit-based attorney was involved in a heated verbal encounter with mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe and senior Eastern Cape police commissioner Maj-Gen Andre Swart on the Wild Coast‚ which ended with Spoor being taken off to the local police station and charged with assault.

Spoor‚ who represents members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee who are opposed to an Australian-led mineral sands mining project near the village of Xolobeni‚ had complained that anti-mining residents were being marginalised from Mantashe’s public meeting.

He later appeared in the Mzamba Magistrate’s Court‚ where the case was remanded to October 25.

But now Spoor is back in the news after posting a copy of his charge sheet on Facebook on Friday. The charge sheet reads: “The accused is guilty of the crime of assault in that on or about September 23 2018 … the accused did unlawfully and intentionally assault Andries Petrus Swart by pointing him with a finger [sic].”




South Africa: Attorney who marched on Mantashe’s mining meeting charged

September 25, 2018

Richard Spoor, the lawyer of Xolobeni anti-mining group.

An Eastern Cape attorney who was arrested after marching on a venue where Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe was meeting with residents over the weekend has appeared in the Bizana Magistrate’s Court.

Richard Spoor, who together with residents opposes an application for a mine in Xolobeni, was arrested at the weekend after marching with community members.

Read: Attorney arrested after bumping heads with Mantashe, marching at mining meeting

He was released over the weekend with a warning and ordered to appear in court on Tuesday.

Videos on social media showed Spoor and Mantashe in a heated exchange at the venue before an irate Mantashe was seen walking away.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said he had been charged with disobeying a police officer’s instruction, inciting public violence and common assault.

“The matter was postponed to October 25 for further investigations,” he said.

Tear gas, stun grenades

Mantashe had visited the village in the Mbizana local municipality, on the Wild Coast, on Sunday to engage with residents on issues emanating from an application by Australian company Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM) for rights to mine the titanium-rich sands.










South Africa: Tear gas and handcuffs at Mantashe’s meeting near Xolobeni village

September 24, 2018

Human rights attorney Richard Spoor arrested and charged with ‘incitement’ after altercation with minister

Lawyer Richard Spoor has a heated argument with mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe on the Wild Coast at the weekend. Image: AMADIBA CRISIS COMMITTEE/VIA FACEBOOK

Human rights attorney Richard Spoor was arrested after a heated fracas with mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe on the Wild Coast which reportedly ended with tear gas fired against anti-mining protesters on Sunday.

Spoor‚ who represents members of the Xolobeni community who are opposing an Australian-backed venture to mine ilmenite and other heavy minerals on community land south of the Wild Coast Sun Casino‚ was arrested on Sunday.

A video clip from the scene showed Spoor‚ shortly before his arrest‚ engaged in a heated discussion with Mantashe outside a large marquee erected during the minister’s weekend tour to KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape to address community tensions over several coal and dune mining ventures.

“Don’t call me a liar please! I am trying to help you. If you work with us we can work together to solve problems‚” Spoor told Mantashe in the clip.

Mantashe responded: “Okay. But you are disrupting my meeting.”

Attorney Johan Lorenzon told TimesLIVE that Spoor was released on warning on Sunday afternoon after being charged with “incitement” under the Riotous Assemblies Act and was due to appear in the Bizana Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.





South Africa: JUST IN: Sebenza SAPS hunt for two “hitmen” after lawyer is beaten, shot and hospitalised

September 17, 2018

A 26-year-old suspect believed to be connected to the attempted murder of a lawyer in the Sebenza police precinct earlier today has been arrested.

Also read: LATEST: Two arrested for murder of Edenvale resident (77)

Sebenza Police Station’s spokesperson, Sgt Sharon Tsotsotso said the suspect was arrested by SAPS and EMPD officers after he and two “hitmen” attacked the lawyer.

“During the confrontation, the lawyer was shot in his abdomen. He was taken to hospital where he was stabilised. We think the matter is related to the sale of an RDP house,” said Tsotsotso.

Also read: Girlfriend serves deadly pudding to boyfriend’s other woman, confesses to murder.

“In June the suspect transferred over R200 000 to the lawyer,” said Tsotsotso.

“After making the transfer the suspect was informed that the sale had been illegal and he wanted his money back.”

Tsotsotso said the trio confronted the lawyer on Limoniet Road this morning.

“The suspect hit the lawyer with a steering lock. Fearing for his life, the lawyer fled and entered his vehicle where he was shot,” said Tsotsotso.

“The suspect continued to hit the lawyer after he was shot.”

She said the two “hitmen” fled the scene in a grey Three Series BMW.



Tanzania/South Africa: Tanzania Deports South African Human Rights Lawyer and 2 Others

October 27, 2017

South African human rights lawyer Sibongile Ndashe and two others who were arrested and detained in Tanzania 10 days ago have been deported on Friday evening.

They were arrested for ‘promoting homosexuality’ at a hotel in Dar es Salaam. Same-sex relations are illegal in the east African country.

Ndashe was released on bail on Thursday and told to report to the police station on Friday.

Senior lawyer at the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), Matilda Lasseko, told News24 that their deportation is proof that there were no real charges against them, and that the unlawful week-long detention without reason was just a form of harassment.

Lasseko said of those arrested, two were South Africans – one was based in Uganda, while the others are from Tanzania. Lasseko confirmed that the others were released on Friday as well.

ISLA will host a press conference at their offices on Saturday on the wrongful arrests and arbitrary detention.














South Africa: Juju’s lawyer behind bars after bail application postponed

June 26, 2017

Tumi Mokwena, the lawyer for Julius Malema. File Photo.

Julius Malema’s lawyer, Tumi Mokwena, spent the weekend behind bars after his bail application was postponed.

Mokwena made his first appearance in the Thabamoopo Magistrate’s Court, in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, on Friday charged with four counts of attempted murder.

Police arrested Mokwena at his Polokwane office on Thursday night after he allegedly shot and wounded four people on the Zebediela Citrus Estate.

His bail application is expected to start tomorrow.

According to police reports, one firearm was confiscated during the arrest. During last week’s court proceedings, Mokwena asked that his leg-irons be removed.

“I shouldn’t be in leg chains when I appear before this court. It is very inhumane,” he said.





South Africa: Slain lawyer was ‘warned’

February 2, 2017

The dark underworld of the legal profession is being blamed for the death last week of a Durban lawyer, four months after he was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting outside his home.

Devastated relatives of Rabin Maharaj, 61, believe he was targeted by someone linked to one of his cases.

The veteran lawyer, who had been practising for 33 years, usually busied himself with mundane conveyancing work. But three months before he was shot, he was briefed on an unusual matter involving an attorney-cum-loan shark, who was alleged to have been fleecing pensioners of their homes.

The man was suspected of lending up to R125 000 to pensioners, who had to use their homes as security, said a relative of Maharaj’s, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Before the loan was paid out, the pensioners had to sign a purchase and sale agreement, as well as all transfer documents. The victims claimed they were not aware they were signing over their properties.”

The relative claimed the interest rate was set at a staggering 10% a month, which was illegal.