South Africa: Legal Practice Council in Appeal Bid to Halt Seth Nthai's Return As Advocate

The Legal Practice Council is to apply for leave to appeal the Limpopo High Court ruling reinstating Seth Nthai as an advocate, its chief executive, Charity Nzuza, said on Monday.

In May, the High Court ruled Nthai could be readmitted to the bar, more than six years after he was struck from the roll for a litany of transgressions.

Nzuza was tight-lipped when asked what prompted the decision to file papers.

"We instructed our attorneys on Monday morning, and as it is a big exercise, the details of why we took this decision will be revealed once the papers have been filed," Nzuza offered.

Following the High Court ruling, the Johannesburg Bar made its intentions clear that it would be applying for leave to appeal.

"The reason we think another court will come to a different conclusion is because we hold the view that Nthai is not a fit and proper person to practice given the conduct for which he was struck and we hold the belief that he did not make a full disclosure of all the relevant information to the court that heard the readmission application," Ian Green, speaking on behalf of the bar, told News24 at the time.

Nthai was struck off the Johannesburg and Pretoria bars after admitting to committing serious transgressions when he tried to solicit a R5m payment from an Italian businessman who was embroiled in a quarrel with the South African government over mining rights.

Secret recordings revealed the lawyer sharing his client's confidential information with the chief executive of one of the Italian companies linked to the case.

Nthai was heard promising a Mr Marcenaro - as he is referred to in court papers - that he would convince the government to settle the matter outside of an arbitration process in return for the R5m payment.

In delivering judgement, Limpopo Judge President Ephraim Makgoba and Judge Peter Mabuse, said they were satisfied Nthai had "made out a good case for the relief he seeks".


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