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Lawyer to face the music for allegedly lying under oath

A lawyer is in hot water for allegedly lying in affidavits he submitted to the Mpumalanga High Court. File Picture.

A lawyer is in hot water for allegedly lying in affidavits he submitted to the Mpumalanga High Court. File Picture.

Published May 24, 2022

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JOHANNESBURG – A lawyer is in hot water for allegedly lying in affidavits he submitted to the Mpumalanga High Court.

The division’s Judge President Francis Legodi has referred Johann Wilhelm Joubert, a Pretoria-based attorney, to the Legal Practice Council (LPC) for an investigation.

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A regulator of the law profession, the LPC has to look into Judge Legodi’s misgivings that Joubert lied in two affidavits he deposed on February 2 and 8.

Joubert represented a mother who sued the Mpumalanga Health MEC. The affidavits he submitted pertained to Judge Legodi’s order in the case that experts should be roped-in to make submissions.

Judge Legodi believed that Joubert lied about reaching out to experts and failing to get them.

In his affidavit, Joubert stated: “Due to the time constraints and most of the experts being extremely busy due to the ensuing effect of the Covid pandemic, I was not able to obtain affidavits from each expert as directed.”

In his judgment delivered last week, Judge Legodi said Joubert’s affidavit seemed to be fraught with lies when the experts eventually participated in the matter.

“As a start, all the experts for the first time spoke for themselves under oath, and all of them deposed to the fact that the directive … of the main judgment was never brought to their attention,” said Judge Legodi.

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“The effect of these assertions by all the 23 experts suggest that Mr Joubert under oath was not telling the truth in his affidavits of February 2 and 8, 2022.

“I am however not making a final determination in this regard. It is for the Legal Practice Council to do so.”

Judge Legodi stressed that the Code of Conduct for legal practitioners provided that lawyers should at all times maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

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“Lying under oath is a criminal offence. Giving misleading information which has now been clarified by the experts is of a grave concern to this court. This is not an issue that can be ignored,” said the judge.

“It is necessary that what has now been clarified by the experts regarding Mr Joubert’s earlier assertions under oath should be brought to the attention of the Legal Practice Council to investigate and take such professional action as the council may deem fit.

“It is not for this court to make a final determination on the conduct of Mr Joubert,” Judge Legodi added.

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“The Registrar of this court is hereby directed to bring a copy of this judgment to the attention of the Legal Practice Council, both national and provincial, to consider further investigating Mr Joubert.”

@BonganiNkosi87

The Star

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