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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.