Advocate Teffo’s Zuma defence – ‘whole country will be set on fire’ if he’s disbarred
Teffo seems to think he is held in the same regard as Jacob Zuma, and warned his disbarment could usher in an 'African Arab Spring'.
Advocate Malesela Teffo speaks to media at the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg, 29 April 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney
Advocate Malesela Teffo has warned that South Africa will see “serious unrest” if an application by the Legal Practice Council (LPC) to have him disbarred is successful.
The LPC wants Teffo suspended or struck from the roll of advocates after a series of allegations against the advocate have emerged.
Application to have Teffo disbarred
The allegations against him range from assault and harassment of police officers, using foul language, and threatening clients who want to fire him, violating a court interdict, and taking money from clients even though he’s not a trust account advocate.
Teffo claims the LPC never informed him about the complaints against him. He also said his constitutional rights are being violated, according to a News24 report.
Seemingly thinking he has a support base similar to that of former president Jacob Zuma, Teffo said unrest is likely should the application be successful.
“The two presiding officers are warned not to make a decision on the basis of emotions. The decision informed by emotions on the part of these two judges will cause serious unrest in the country, considering the fact that the decision may adversely affect people who advocate Teffo is legally representing, including the emotionally-charged Senzo Meyiwa murder case,” he wrote.
This is despite Teffo having withdrawn from the Meyiwa case.
In his arguments, Teffo claimed that the Meyiwa family and many South Africans will be concerned about him being disbarred, which might lead to unrest.
“In light of the above paragraphs, any adverse finding against advocate Malesela Teffo will set the whole country on fire. Our African Arab spring may be inevitable, as stated by former state president Thabo Mbeki recently.
“Therefore, the decision-makers in this regard must not allow their emotions to take charge of them, for the sake of peace and justice in the country.”
List of demands
In July, Teffo wrote to the high court to notify it that he will continue to represent four of the accused in the Meyiwa murder trial if a number of his demands are met.
Among his demands were that police minister Bheki Cele be fired and that Meyiwa’s former girlfriend Kelly Khumalo be prosecuted in the trial.
Teffo also demanded that State advocate George Baloyi be removed from the case, as he “does not have a title to prosecute in this matter”.
Apparent plot against him
Teffo had previously claimed the application to disbar him was orchestrated by the police, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and courts.
He has also made similar claims against EFF leader Julius Malema and Police Minister Bheki Cele.
He argued that the police and the NPA are working together to have him disbarred to prevent him exposing a corrupt relationship between the two.
Teffo has never provided any evidence for these claims.
Additional reporting by Getrude Makhafola