I regret nothing, says advocate who called judge stupid and nonsensical
Johannesburg - An advocate who labelled a judge stupid and nonsensical during proceedings has angrily told lawyers shocked by his utterances that he regrets nothing.
Rembuluwani Gadabeni, who described himself as a young advocate, burst out at the Thohoyandou High Court over a week ago and hurled insults at Limpopo division acting Deputy Judge President Frans Kgomo.
The Star can reveal that Gadabeni could soon face misconduct charges from the Legal Practice Council (LPC), the profession regulator.
Said LPC spokesperson Sithembiso Mnision Sunday: “The matter was brought into our attention and has been reported to the LPC (Limpopo Provincial Council).”
The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) issued a letter to members earlier last week saying it noted an audio recording of Gadabeni’s “shameful and reprehensible” conduct.
It also called on the LPC “to do whatever is permissible” against Gadabeni.
But the letter only earned the association Gadabeni’s wrath. He warned the BLA’s Limpopo leadership to desist from “shouting” about him from a distance and “bring it on”.
His utterances were far from a mistake, he said in a letter the BLA confirmed receiving. “I advise your institution that I am not repentant or regretful,” Gadabeni told the association.
“It is true that I referred to Acting Deputy Judge President Honourable NF Kgomo as (a) ‘stupid’ and ‘nonsensical judge’.
“I meant what I have said about him and I am still saying what I have said about him. (There’s) no mistake about it and I am willing to face the consequences of my action.”
Gadabeni argued in the letter that calling someone stupid and nonsensical was not an insult.
“My English vocabulary never guided me that referring to someone as ‘stupid’ and ‘nonsensical’ conveys an insulting behaviour,” he said.
“If you do not know the meaning of those words, it should not be my baby to nurse and I would like to advise further that you should stop shouting in distance (sic).”
He maintained that, to him, Judge Kgomo was foolish until he proved himself otherwise. Equally, if the judge is not nonsensical, let him come forth and prove me wrong…”
He challenged the BLA to lodge a complaint against him. “I will make it known or explain why I referred to a judge as ‘stupid’ and (a) ‘nonsensical judge’.”
The BLA letter, issued by Limpopo secretary Rabbi Mashabela, pointed out that Gadabeni was not an association member. “Consequently, the BLA has no authority over him, despite his glaring reprehensible conduct.
“This is, without a doubt, a deplorable conduct, demeans our noble profession and the integrity of the judiciary,” Mashabela said in the letter.
“We once again implore our members to observe maximum decorum at all times when they engage with judicial officials, fellow legal practitioners and all stakeholders in the legal profession. We confirm receipt of a letter from advocate Gadabeni and noted its contents.”
Attempts to reach Gadabeni via his phone numbers were unsuccessful and he did not respond to a WhatsApp message.