Advocate Malesela Teffo will only be allowed back on the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial as legal representative if he drops all the conditions he had made in a letter of demands addressed to the court, and in which he accused presiding Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela of witchcraft.
“He must decide whether he wants to come back on not, without conditions,” said Timothy Thobane of Thobane Attoneys, a lawyer also representing accused 1-4.
“Clients do not work on conditions, they do not give you conditions but instructions. “It is not about the demands that he [Teffo] made, but it is about the client.”
Thobane was representing the four men when they appeared in court yesterday. Teffo had withdrawn from the trial. However, last week, in a letter addressed to the director of public prosecutions of the High Court in Pretoria, he announced that he had made a U-turn and would be continuing representing the four accused.
Thobane said it was important to tell the court Teffo’s letter had nothing to do with him.
“He only wrote that later, after he withdrew in this matter, so he did not get instructions from me or the law firm.”
Thobane said he wanted to assure the Meyiwa family and South Africans he would not withdraw unless instructed by his clients.
“I work according to instructions. If the clients say continue, I will continue and when they say I should not, I will not continue.
“We are still doing this pro bono; we are waiting for instructions from family members. As a legal practitioner, you must be patient whether you are being paid or not. You still have to present the clients to your best ability.”
On the accusation of witchcraft by Teffo, Judge Maumela said: “I have a physician called Jesus, and he needs no augmentation. Even before I came here, I consulted with my physician. When I leave here, I will consult my physician.”
In his letter, Teffo demanded, among other things, that Police Minister Bheki Cele be “dismissed with immediate effect as the minister of police and be investigated” for abuse of his position.
Teffo also accused counsel for accused 5, Zandile Mshololo, of approaching taxi bosses in Durban to fund her to represent accused 1 to 4. Subsequently, Teffo demanded a separation of the trials.