Controversy-prone disbarred lawyer, Malesela Teffo, has suffered yet another legal blow.
On Friday, Pretoria High Court Judge Brenda Neukircher SC ruled in favour of the Legal Practices Council (LPC) which had brought the “contempt of court matter” before the court in September last year.
Last year, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruled that Teffo should be struck off the roll of legal practitioners.
At the time, Teffo was accused of misconduct and misappropriation of funds by a number of clients who complained that despite paying he never rendered services.
The complaints against Teffo to the council came before he took on the Senzo Meyiwa case as legal council for accused 1-4.
In an amended ruling to reflect the latest findings, Judge Neukircher on Friday indicated that Teffo had been in contempt of court after disobeying paragraphs 1, 2, 4, 6 and 12.6 of the court order issued under case number 10991/21 on September 16, 2022 (the strike of order).
This is after reports indicated that Teffo had attempted to return to practice as an attorney, early this year.
In May, the LPC indicated that it wanted the Pretoria High Court to hand Teffo a suspended prison sentence for continuing to practise as a lawyer.
Following this, the matter was heard last month with the judgment handed on Friday.
The judge thus sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended on strict conditions.
“The respondent, Malesela Daniel Teffo, is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 12 months. The order set out in paragraph 3 above is suspended in toto on condition that the respondent immediately complies in full with strike off order,” the judge ruled.
Furthermore, Teffo was ordered to pay the council’s legal costs amounting to over R100 000.
Speaking to The Star yesterday, spokesperson for the council, Kabelo Letebele said the LPC welcomed the latest judgment against Teffo and warned other legal practitioners to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
“You may recall that in 2022, the court ruled that due to his conduct, Teffo must be struck off the court roll and never again present himself as the officer of the court whether in a court of law in a Labour Court. We made an application that his conduct was in contempt of court after he tried to present himself as an advocate in the Labour Court.
“He has since been found guilty for contempt of court and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment which was suspended on the grounds that he complies with the conditions set by the court. One of the conditions is that, he must pay the LPC legal costs and that he does not represent anyone in court whether in a court of law or Labour Court, otherwise he faces 12 months in prison,” Letebele said.
Letebele said, the LPC was always inundated with complaints against unscrupulous legal practitioners who flout laws and regulations on a daily basis.
“It is important for us to investigate any matter brought before us by members of the public and we always endeavour to investigate any complaint brought before us and on average we receive at least 100 cases a year to investigate. As things stand, we have more than 300 legal practitioners who have been struck off the roll for various violations,” he said.
A Sunday paper reported last week that Teffo was still behind bars, two months after his arrest.
He is accused of refusing to co-operate with the police by not providing his personal address and his fingerprints for profiling purposes.