Go jump in the lake, Dali Mpofu tells critics of his ’shut up’ remarks
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Johannesburg – After being told to “shut up” by prominent South African attorney, Advocate Dali Mpofu, member of the Johannesburg Bar Council, Advocate Michelle le Roux, has chosen to remain silent.
The incident occurred at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture.
“I am unable to comment about the proceedings under the Bar rules,” she told IOL.
The drama began when Mpofu, on Tuesday night while cross-examining Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on behalf of former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, told Le Roux to “shut up while I’m talking” after he had objected to her line of questions to Gordhan.
An irritated Mpofu maintained that she (Le Roux) was not sticking to the script as per the cross-examination procedures and that she was introducing new questions.
Mpofu went on to further label Le Roux as a “junior counsel”, stating that she was disrespecting a senior counsel after she had interrupted him twice.
In the process Mpofu also told Gordhan to shut up, prompting the commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to intervene, telling Mpofu: “I’m in charge.”
Le Roux meanwhile confirmed to IOL that she is a junior counsel.
She maintained that she was recommended to be a senior counsel in June last year and will formally assume silk status when the president signs the letters patent that completes the process.
The title of “senior counsel” is given to a senior lawyer in some countries that were formerly part of the British Empire. Senior counsel is used in current or former Commonwealth countries.
Meanwhile, social media users wasted no time in responding to the spat.
Radio personality Redi Tlhabi posted on Twitter: “Is the DCJ not going to comment on the "Shut up" matter? I think the wrong people are claiming "unfair" treatment at the commission. Lots of concessions.”
Following criticism from the public, Mpofu tweeted: “They can go jump in the nearest lake.”