Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

‘Blatantly dishonest’ lawyer gets go-ahead to practise as attorney

It will be a third luck for a lawyer who has previously been suspended and recalled for not keeping records properly.

Despite opposition from the Legal Practice Council, the Free State’s High Court Frederik Slabbert gives permission to re-register as a lawyer.

Judge Mapina Mathebula said Slabbert, 57, has “relapsed when it comes to practicing law.” But he said he deserved “one last chance … on the straights and tight spots”.

That was because Slabbert had convinced the court that he was no longer a threat to the legal profession or the public Mathebula said.

“In his affidavit [he] speaks openly of his flawed character and outlines the reasons for his transgression as character flaws, lack of integrity, demeanor and apparent dishonesty,” the judge said.

Slabbert provided “positive” reports from a psychiatrist and psychologist and endorsements from two lawyers, and Mathebula said he had taken courses from the Legal Practice Council on risk reduction.

“He did, too reached an agreement to reimburse the Lawyers’ Fund for the costs incurred in previous lawsuits against him, “the judge said.

Slabbert was admitted to the Free State High Court in 1991 and suspended for that in 1996 Failure to understand an unacknowledged limited audit report and without practicing fide fund certificate.

His suspension was lifted in 2002, but he was removed from the list of attorneys in 2013 for failing to keep proper accounting records.

He was not admitted to the bar in 2017 and withdrew an application for lawyer reinstatement the following year.

The Legal Practice Council then set the conditions Slabbert had to meet before giving its support to the Re-enrollment received.

“It is customary for him to obey and be informed by the [Council] that the Disciplinary Committee has passed a resolution stating that the application will not be denied,” Mathebula said .

“Despite the assurance, the council … somehow decided to override the aforementioned committee and fight back.”

Criticize the council for slabbering “attracted” and requ It was not honored that it was not honored, said Mathebula, that it had to bear its own costs.