Lawyer accuses judiciary of fraud

LAWYER Tshepiso Rampedi has accused the courts of “changing the law each day” to benefit the rich. Picture: Supplied

LAWYER Tshepiso Rampedi has accused the courts of “changing the law each day” to benefit the rich. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 23, 2024


LAWYER Tshepiso Rampedi has accused the judiciary of participating in suspicious activities promoting anarchy following a “missing court judgment” allegedly used to take over an R5 million property.

Rampedi, a former manager of the Ngaka Modiri Molema Municipality, has accused the courts of “changing the law each day” to the benefit of the rich.

Rampedi, of Tshepiso Rampedi Attorneys, said the dispute between his firm and the courts started when he stepped in, at the request of widow Sarah Modimokoane, who became the administrator of her husband’s estate following his death some years ago.

She ensured that all properties registered in her late husband’s name were vested in the estate in Tlhabane, ​which forms part of the Modimokoane estate occupied by a well-known businessman in Tlhabane who used the property as a shopping centre.

Following years of court processes, the businessman voluntarily vacated the property, and a property manager was appointed.

Documents indicate that the businessman accepted the judgment and costs in 2018. However, two years later, Rampedi said that he was shocked when in October 2020, his firm received communication from the businessman’s lawyers informing them that the court had granted an oral (ex tempore) judgment in their clients’ ​favour.

“He took over the property without a Sheriff of the Court. This​ means, without a court order, and without the Sheriff of the Court, the only​ conclusion in law is that Mr Rangaka hijacked the property of Mrs ​Modimokoane, as the law is clear that only the Sheriff can enforce a​ court order.

“​Mrs Modimokoane hoped to get protection from the court, especially ​because the Registrar had not served a copy of the oral judgment, and​ had not issued a writ of ejectment, both of which are imperative​ before her right to property could be taken.

“​To date, she has not been furnished with either a copy of the oral judgment or writ of ejectment. Yet, her property has been taken,” read Rampedi’s complaint to the Office of the Chief Justice.

Rampedi told the publication that his client, Modimokoane, went to court through lawyers in Mafikeng to check ​the oral judgment from the court file, but it could not be found. ​​

“​Modimokoane enquired on the whereabouts of the oral judgment from the Registrar of Mafikeng Court. She has not received this judgment.

“​Despite the absence of this oral judgment in the court file, the businessman ​attorneys attached Mrs Modimkoane’s assets in February 2023 and​ advertised to sell them in execution on the strength of this oral judgment.

“​Modimokoane had to spend money going to court in July 2023 to ask the​ registrar to produce the oral judgment, and this case is pending. She now​ stands to lose her property over an oral judgment that is non-existent,” said Rampedi.

Modimokoane has since laid fraud charges so that the police may probe the ”fake” oral judgment.

Rampedi told the publication that an oral judgment is produced from a recording of what the presiding judge said, and must be signed by the judge, not the​​​ registrar.

​“Transcript from where the judgment is retrieved must be​​​ certified by the recorder, or stenographer.

​“The court cannot give clarity on who produced the oral judgment,” he explained.

​He stated that the oral judgment was not a court record in terms of the law.

“​It is important that the public is aware how the court protects an unlawful ​document with unknown origins. The court is trying to make new rules​ to protect the hijacking of Modimokoane property.

“This is a case​ where the court promotes anarchy, and where court orders can be​ produced outside court, and be enforced by persons who are not​ appointed as sheriffs,” said Rampedi.

Contacted for comment, spokesperson of the Office of the Chief Justice Lusanda Ntuli did not respond besides being furnished with the information she had requested.

An earlier statement issued on April 10 by the Office of the Chief Justice had said that Modimokoane approached the court for an eviction order against the businessman on May 10, 2016 under case number 1200/2011.

The statement mentioned that an order of eviction was granted by Judge President Hendricks on the same day.

Furthermore, it stated that the image of an order provided along with the inquiry was reviewed and found to be a valid court order and thus not fraudulent.

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