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.
January 27, 2016
Durban – An advocate who was attacked and beaten outside a rural Mpumalanga court last week, for representing two men accused of kidnapping and murdering a toddler, said on Tuesday the incident would not deter him from doing his job.
“People say: Why don’t you just withdraw from the case?” Nico du Plessis said. “But I say: No, I won’t. Everyone is entitled to legal representation of their choice. I can’t just abandon them (his clients).”
The matter was last in court on Friday and was postponed until Wednesday.
But after the attack and several requests to the Director of Public Prosecutions, it had been decided the case should be transferred from Tonga to the Nelspruit Regional Court, Du Plessis said.
JOHANNESBURG – Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) say they are being denied access to more than 200 foreign nationals arrested during a raid on the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg this weekend.
235 people were arrested for being in the country illegally during a raid in the city center on Friday morning and lawyers for human rights says Home Affairs has denied its request to visit them as it is still processing their identities.
The organisation says it wants to probe the manner in which the foreign nationals were arrested as well as the reasons why they came to South Africa.