A husband so outraged by the fact that his wife dared leaving him and that she had instituted divorce proceedings, has demanded that her attorney instruct her to return so that he, among others, could enjoy his conjugal rights. He is also insisting that the attorney face consequences because the wife refused to return.
The husband, who cannot be identified because the issue relates to a divorce, insisted that the Legal Practice Council take disciplinary steps against the lawyer.
When the watchdog body refused, the husband tried to appeal against the refusal.
His bid in this regard also failed and he subsequently turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to have the refusal overturned.
But in a recent judgment, Judge Cassim Sardiwalla once again meted out a blow to the husband as he also turned down the application.
The judge said there was no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the attorney.
The husband, however, insisted that the attorney was guilty of unprofessional conduct.
The issue was sparked when the wife left the matrimonial home and filed for divorce. The attorney was her divorce lawyer.
The husband is said to have not taken well to her departure from the matrimonial home. He accused her of having deserted him. According to the husband she demeaned him and sullied his reputation.
In the complaint against her attorney, the husband said that he had suffered great indignity and depression as a result of her conduct.
In a letter to the wife’s attorney, he said the wife failed to obtain his consent to leave the matrimonial home. He also stated that he remained entitled to his conjugal rights.
He said his wife’s departure from the matrimonial home was without legal standing and without legal basis. Her husband told her attorney that she had to be compelled to return to the matrimonial home and to reconcile with him.
The husband also told his now former attorney that he demanded the wife’s return and insisted that they reconcile. His attorney executed this instruction.
The wife, however, was not prepared to return to the matrimonial home and did not share the husband’s views regarding his marital rights and her marital duties.
Her attorney, on the other hand, did not instruct her to go home, as demanded by the husband, because he did not take instructions from the husband as the latter is not his client.
The husband did not tolerate her attorney not conveying his message to the wife.
Without further ado, he launched an offensive upon the attorney and at length questioned his qualifications, experience, skills and abilities.
In a letter to the attorney, the husband wrote: “Trust me, Sir, you will account for your conduct even if it’s the last thing I do. I will take you to the High Court for not being a fit and proper person to practise law.”
He also told his wife to “dig two graves when she goes to war, as she may need a grave herself”.
The husband meanwhile turned to the Legal Practice Council to complain about the attorney who did not instruct the wife to obey his (the husband’s) demands to return home.
Judge Sardiwalla commented that the husband seems to blame the attorney, unjustifiably so, for the fact that the wife had left the matrimonial home and for the fact that “his reputation had been tainted” as a result.
The judge found no justification in these arguments and turned down the application.