Johannesburg - An attorney is in hot water for allegedly fleecing clients and defrauding a government department.
The Law Society of the Northern Provinces wants Pule Abram Morobadi struck off the roll of attorneys for his alleged misconduct, dating back to 2010.
It has scored an interim victory in this drive, with the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling in its favour and setting aside a Pretoria High Court judgment that said Morobadi should not be struck off the roll.
The high court ruling said though it had been established that Morobadi acted unprofessionally and dishonourably in two complaints, it concluded that the facts of the matter were not too serious to warrant suspension from practice or a striking from the roll.
These two complaints were that Morobadi had loaned himself R48000 from a client’s bank account, and that he mysteriously received an extra R150000 from a client he helped get R1.3million from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
The RAF paid Morobadi R103781 for working on the matter, and he later received the R150000 from the client.
Morobadi told the Law Society that the client decided on his own to pay him extra as a gesture of gratitude.
Another complaint against Morobadi came from the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements. The department’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Unit alleged that the attorney colluded with an axed official to defraud it of over R1.6m.
He allegedly invoiced and got paid for work he had not done. Morobadi contended in court that he had done the work he was paid for.
Judge DH Zondi has ruled at the Supreme Court of Appeal that all the allegations against the attorney should be investigated by an inquiry into his fitness. Morobadi declined to comment on the matter.