Bar council worried over attacks

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IOL gavel_aug 31 . .

The General Council of the Bar (GCB) is concerned about the recent spate of thefts from, and harassment of advocates.

“There appears to be a pattern to these incidents,” GCB chairman Gerrit Pretorius said in a statement on Friday.

This was in response to shots being fired at advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, who was suspended as head of the Gauteng prosecuting authority's specialised commercial crime unit on April 11.

She was later almost forced off the road by someone in Centurion.

And, the home of advocate Muzi Sikhakhane – performing legal work for expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema – was burgled in April.

The GCB felt that the perpetrators were not “ordinary” criminals because in the first case, they shot at an advocate, and in the second case they stole laptops and information, leaving other valuables untouched.

Both advocates were involved in high profile cases.

The GCB said instilling fear in advocates, because of the identity of those they work for or against, was against the values of democracy.

It trusted that the government would condemn the attacks at the highest level and institute prompt, independent and efficient investigations.

Further information on investigations into these incidents was not immediately available.

On Thursday, the Law Society of SA condemned recent attacks against a prosecutor, as well as the “muted response” from key institutions. – Sapa

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