Alarm bells about industrial-scale corruption in the Office of the State Attorney were sounded by Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann way back in 2014. Now, newly appointed acting Solicitor-General, Fhedzisani Pandelani, has been tasked with cleaning up and rebuilding the state's corroded legal services.
Announcing the appointment of acting Solicitor-General Fhedzisani Pandelani in a media statement on 2 April 2020, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola described the establishment of the office of the Solicitor-General as "historic".
Legislation amending the State Attorney Act, passed by Parliament in 2014, came into operation on 2 February 2020. The amendment empowers the minister to appoint a solicitor-general as a sort of executive, super-structure, overseeing the running of all offices of the State Attorney.
Government, said Lamola, was frequently involved in various litigious matters, "often at great expense to the fiscus".
The appointment of the acting solicitor-general, he said, would assist in transforming the state's litigation strategy, reducing its "ever-increasing state liability bill" as well as collecting recoveries on behalf of the State.
While it is still subject of ongoing litigation, one such future recovery might include the R20-million in legal fees paid to attorney Barnabas Xulu's firm, B Xulu and Partners Inc (BXI) by the former Department...