South African Laws and Lawyers. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2013 v7n1 0522
I have discovered an unusual species in Pretoria, I don't know if it is native to all of South Africa, or found anywhere else in the world.
I have found 2 examples of this species that is believed to be at home in Pretoria Magistrates Court but actually avoid it as much as possible.
What else makes this species unique is they are lawyers qualified to represent clients in South Africa, and have been hired to represent the Congolese 20, and yet have taken the money paid to them and claimed intimidation by? the prosecutor? the judge? rhinos? and used this as an excuse to drop their representation without once appearing in court on behalf or their clients. Without, of course, repaying a single rand.
The Congolese 20 were arrested in Limpopo the first week of February after being scammed and kidnapped and then accused of plotting a coup.
Their friends and relatives managed to scrape together 20,000 rand to pay their first lawyer to represent them at their bail hearing, so they could get out of Pretoria Central Prison and earn money to feed their families, and pay their lawyer.
The lawyer happily took the money, not once came to the prison to get statements from any of the accused, or even of any of the friends or relatives. Not surprising, he being of the rare species identified in Pretoria, he did not show up at the bail hearing, sending instead 2 students who knew nothing of the case, and maybe even nothing of South African law. Even less surprising, the Congolese 20 were not granted bail.
Somehow, God only knows how, the Congolese 20 and their friends and relatives pulled themselves together and managed to scrape together a second 20,000 rand and hired a second lawyer.
This lawyer made everyone happy. Inside and outside prison. He took statements and everyone breathed a sigh of relief: they had a good lawyer in charge for the trial on May 23. Everyone was happy. Until this morning.
This is why I believe a new species has been found. This lawyer seems also to have been intimidated? impoverished? what? But I discovered this morning that he does not want to appear in Pretoria Magistrates Court.
He told a relative of the Congolese 20 that all the money paid to represent them is gone! It vanished! And without being paid 15,000 rand today, he refuses to represent any of the Congolese 20 tomorrow. According to a relative, he announced tonight that he would dhow up in court tomorrow, but he was not planning on being serious. And I heard from another source that he plans to ask for a postponement of the trial.
So I am reading the South African Constitution and the South African laws. Yes. All South Africans accused has the right to a lawyer. Unless they were drinking. Then they are on their own.
I will keep updating the story. Rhinos, we want poaching to stop. This new species, extinction would be a good idea. I hope the 2 examples I have found are the last of their kind.