Tag Archives: South Africa

South Africa: Lawyer and former MP Schalk Pienaar shot dead at his home


Limpopo police are investigating the motive behind the murder of an attorney, Schalk Pienaar, who was shot dead at his home on Monday.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said Pienaar, 69, was at home in Mokopane, with his wife, when an unknown armed man opened fire. A preliminary police investigation indicated that Pienaar collapsed after the first few shots.

Netwerk24 reported that several residents said Pienaar was apparently involved in an investigation into alleged fraud and corruption at the local municipality. There had been several recent arrests of high-ranking municipal officials and businesspeople.

He had been a lawyer for almost 40 years – and had been an MP for the former Conservative Party. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.

No arrests have yet been made.





South Africa: Magistrate and former prosecutor found murdered at Marina de Gama home


A murder investigation is underway following this discovery of the body of a local magistrate at the weekend.

Romay van Rooyen was found by a relative at her home in Marina de Gama on Saturday afternoon. The 50-year-old was declared dead at the scene.

Police have confirmed that the former NPA prosecutor’s car was also missing.

In 2014, van Rooyen was the prosecutor in the Johannes Christiaan de Jager rape and double murder case.

The former motor mechanic was sentenced to life in prison after Van Rooyen convinced the court of his guilt.

Van Rooyen’s killer/s remain at large.





South Africa: Johannesburg traders live in fear after lawyers defending evictions receive death threats


Traders in the bustling second-hand clothes market along De Villiers Street in the Johannesburg city centre say they fear for their safety after threats to lawyers who defended them from eviction.

The traders were evicted by Johannesburg metro police on 19 July. They say members of Operation Dudula, who had confronted them a week before, also took part in the eviction.

Lawyers for the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri), representing the SA Informal Traders Forum, succeeded in getting the eviction overturned in court.

The Gauteng high court ruled in favour of the traders and issued an order allowing them to return to their stalls. According to a statement issued by Seri on 1 August, the City consented to the order according to its own proposals.

Commenting on the court case on Twitter, MMC for Economic Development Nkululeko Mbundu (ActionSA) claimed the traders were immigrants and that South Africans were being used as a “front” by Seri. He said the trading precinct would be “invaded” as a result of the court order.

Seri said his comments prompted a response on social media, with threats to burn down the institute’s offices, kill the lawyers and harm the staff. Staff had also received threatening phone calls.






South Africa: Regulatory authority’s bar on properly qualified non-citizen lawyers practising, merely because of citizenship, is an unjustifiable human rights violation


The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) are disappointed by the 2 August judgment of the South African Constitutional Court in the Relebohile Cecilia Rafoneke v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services (Rafoneke) case, which the Court heard together with the Bruce Chakanyuka & Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services & Others (Chakanyuka) case. Rafoneke concerns the constitutionality of Section 24(2)(b) of the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 (LPA), which prohibits otherwise qualified lawyers from practising law in South Africa solely on the basis of their citizenship.

The applicants in this case are two Lesotho and three Zimbabwean nationals who all reside lawfully in South Africa and are appropriately qualified to practise as lawyers in the country. Nonetheless, they are prevented from being admitted to practice solely because they hold neither South African citizenship nor permanent residence status, which the Legal Practice Act requires. In the Rafoneke case, the applicants were partially successful in a challenge before the Free State High Court, which found that Section 24(2)(b) was unconstitutional and invalid to the extent that it does not allow non-citizens to be admitted and authorized to be enrolled as non-practising legal practitioners. The Constitutional Court, however, did not confirm this declaration, finding, instead, that the provision is not unconstitutional to the extent that it prevents those who are neither South African citizens nor permanent residents from being enrolled as legal practitioners.

Earlier this year, ICJ appeared as a friend of the court in the Rafoneke case before the Constitutional Court of South Africa, submitting written arguments through representation from LHR. Advocate Thabang Pooe presented ICJ’s oral arguments to the Court. Alongside Rafoneke, the Court was also asked to hear Chakanyuka, which involved a similar legal challenge to Section 24(2)(b) brought by the Asylum Seeker, Refugee & Migrant Coalition.






South Africa: Drama unfolds as advocate Teffo gets arrested during Senzo Meyiwa trial


Advocate Malesela Teffo, who is representing four of the five suspects linked to the murder of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, was dramatically arrested during the trial at the Pretoria High Court on Thursday.

It is still not clear why Teffo was arrested inside the courtroom, which took place while the proceedings were under way and the trial postponed to May 30.

The cheeky Teffo had Mzansi in stitches as he continued to poke holes in the testimony of Sergeant Thabo Johannes Mosia during cross-examination. Mosia, a forensic fieldworker, is the first state witness. He started his testimony on Tuesday.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela repeatedly reminded Teffo to ask relevant questions. He was trending on social media earlier for his classic comebacks.



South Africa: Thohoyandou attorney shot dead


The Thohoyandou police are searching for two suspects connected with the blatant murder of a prominent local attorney.

Mr Mbambadzani James Manwadu (46), an attorney attached to the Legal Aid Board in Thohoyandou, was gunned down in front of his home in Maniini Block K on Sunday night, 16 January, at about 20:30.

According to Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Manwadu arrived home on the night of the incident, and as he was getting out of his motor vehicle to open the gate, he was reportedly approached by two suspects, who shot him several times.

“Following the incident, the police and emergency services were called, and the victim was certified dead at the scene. The motive is unknown at this stage and police investigations are still ongoing,” said Mojapelo.



South Africa: Senior advocate deems attack on him ‘a hit’


Senior advocate attacked at lodge on Uitkyk Road - PressReader

A senior advocate at the Johannesburg bar narrowly escaped with his life after two men assaulted him while he spent the night at Klipspringer Lodge on the Uitkyk Road.

The advocate, Leon Halgryn, told Lowvelder that the attack was not a robbery, but a hit. “I am very lucky and very thankful to be alive,” said Halgryn.

“There were two men who attacked me. Their intention was not to rob me, but to kill me. This was a hit.”

Halgryn said all the windows of his vehicle had been shot out by the attackers during the attempted hit.

The revered advocate was in Mbombela for a court case and had been staying overnight at Klipspringer before travelling back to Johannesburg on Wednesday.

He phoned the lawyer who was briefing him in the case after the incident had occurred.


South Africa: 5 legal representatives shot, 5 high profile cases


Lieutenant-Colonel Koliswa Vani, 50, was shot dead while at a car wash on Sunday afternoon where Magistrate AC Mashala was also wounded. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Are members of the legal fraternity well protected when it comes to covering high-profile cases?

According to the Department of Justice, extra safety protocols are in place to protect legal counsels. However, on Sunday, May 16, the Magistrate who was overseeing the case involving alleged crime boss Nafiz Modack was shot in the buttocks while waiting at a carwash in Mfuleni.

It is alleged Magistrate Abram Mashala was in Taurmaline Street in the Bardale Informal Settlement when assailants opened fire, killing a female police officer and wounding her three-year-old grandson in the process.

According to IOL, for the past five years, five legal officers have either been wounded or killed, in Cape Town. Mashala is not the first presiding officer overseeing a high-profile case that has been shot.

High-profile criminal lawyer, Noorudien Hassan, who represented the likes of alleged 28 gang boss, Ralph Stanfield, was shot and killed in front of his home in Lansdowne in November 2016.

Another incident that rocked the legal fraternity was that of Advocate Pete Mihalik, who was and killed in October 2018.

Mihalik was dropping off his children at a school in Green Point. His alleged attackers are currently carrying out pre-trial conditions at the Cape High Court.

Advocate Vernon Jantjies who presided as a magistrate at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court was killed outside a garage in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain in December 2019. His murder was never solved.

Well, known advocate William Booth survived an assassination attempt in April 2020, when gunmen opened fire on him outside his house.







South Africa: Prominent Durban attorney Theasen Pillay stabbed to death


Well-known Durban attorney Theasen Pillay was found dead in his uMhlanga apartment on Friday. Picture: Facebook

A prominent Durban attorney was found dead, with stab wounds to his chest and hands, police said on Friday.

Theasen Pillay, 47, of Theasen Pillay and Associates, was found in his Umhlanga apartment on Friday.

“An inquest docket was opened for investigation by Durban North SAPS. The Durban North police received a complaint of a man who was found with stab wounds on Solstice Drive in Umhlanga Ridge,” police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said.

She said he was certified dead at the scene and his death would be investigated.

“They proceeded to the scene, where a body of a 47-year-old man was found inside the bedroom, with two stab wounds to the chest and on the left hand. He was certified dead by paramedics. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.”


Pillay spearheaded a number of controversial matters in Durban, including a case in which a man was suing the health department after maggots were found in his father’s mouth during a hospital stay.

He also once represented the late King Goodwill Zwelithini, in his plan to sue MiWay over a leaked conversation between one of the insurance company’s sales reps and Zwelithini.



South Africa: Six men arrested for murder of young lawyer in Pietermaritzburg

September 13, 2019

Mluleki Msomi (24) was a candidate attorney at Austen Smith Attorneys in Pietermaritzburg.

Six suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of a candidate attorney outside the Saki Pacific Grill restaurant on Victoria Road in Pietermaritzburg in the early hours of Friday.

Police spokesperson Sgt Mthokozisi Ngobese said the victim, Mluleki Msomi, 25, was attending a function in the area and went outside at about 1am to sit inside his white Toyota double cab bakkie.

“He was approached by two people and gunshots were fired. The deceased died on the scene.”

The first two suspects were arrested near the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg with a gun and bloody clothes.

The victim’s vehicle was recovered on Milner Road where another suspect was arrested. Three other suspects were also arrested.

“All six suspects will appear in court on Monday to face charges of hijacking and murder,” Ngobese said.

Austen Smith Attorneys, where Msomi started serving articles as a candidate attorney from last year, described him in a Facebook post as a friendly, dedicated young man with a big heart and an easygoing personality.

It said Msomi was due to be admitted as an attorney after serving his two years at the firm.