LPC to deliberate calls to strike Public Protector off advocates roll 26 July

Accountability Now statement:

The Legal Practice Council (LPC) has responded to the correspondence from Accountability Now, concerning the organisation’s call for the striking of the name of the Public Protector from the roll of advocates, indicating it will deliberate on the matter on 26 July 2019.

The LPC acknowledged receipt of the letter and indicated that the matter had been referred to council, saying: “Council requests to be afforded time to review the Constitutional Court judgement and its implications in the light of your request for a striking off application.”

The LPC subsequently informed Accountability Now that the matter will be deliberated on Friday 26 July 2019.

Accountability Now had written to the Legal Practice Council to draw attention to the findings of dishonesty, perjury and incompetence against the Public Protector and to enquire as to the taking of disciplinary proceedings against her as an advocate of the High Court.

Below is the email that Accountability Now director, Paul Hoffman SC, originally sent to the Legal Practice Council:

Dear LPC,

We assume that the Legal Practice Council will take note of the findings of the Constitutional Court in the matter between the Public Protector and the SA Reserve Bank in which judgment was handed down this morning: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2019/29.html.

There are serious, final and unappealable findings reflecting on the honesty, integrity and competence of the Public Protector, who is a duly admitted advocate of the High Court.

Kindly confirm that the Council is looking into the matter with a view to bringing an application for the striking off the roll of advocates of Ms Mkhwebane as part of its legislated disciplinary functions. We have copied her on this email.

As you know, it is intolerable that an officer of the court should be found to be lying on oath. Our highest court has so found in respect of Ms Mkhwebane. Her response that the judgment of the court creates a bad precedent is contemptuous of the court and does her no credit.

Yours in accountability,

Paul Hoffman SC

Accountability Now

Below is the response sent to Accountability Now director, Paul Hoffman SC, from the Legal Practice Council:

Dear Paul,

Your email and its contents received on 22 July is noted.

The email received has been referred to Council.

Council requests to be afforded time to review the Constitutional Court judgement and its implications in the light of your request for a striking off application.

I trust that you will find this in order.

Thank you

Charity Nzuza

Executive Officer (Acting)

Legal Practice Council

Below is the response Accountability Now sent to the Legal Practice Council:

Dear Charity,

Thank you for the swift and informative response. If the LPC is able to put a time frame on its investigations that will be helpful. 

You will appreciate that the fabric of our constitutional democracy under the rule of law is being torn apart by the incompetence, irregular modus operandi and lack of probity and integrity on the part of Adv Mkhwebane in her work as Public Protector. Under section 1A of the Public Protector Act she is only eligible to hold office because she is an advocate of more than ten years’ experience and in good standing with the LPC.

There is accordingly an element of great urgency in the matter. It should be treated as one of prime public interest and it should be accorded priority by the LPC. We understand from media reports that Nadel has joined our call for the striking off to be investigated. On any proper reading of the majority judgment the LPC has an open and shut case against Adv Mkhwebane.

When you are able, please inform us of the timeframe the LPC has in mind.

Yours in accountability

Paul Hoffman SC

Accountability Now.

The Legal Practice Council sent further correspondence to Accountability Now:

Dear Paul,

Council is deliberating on this matter this Friday 26 July.

The LPC will respond soon after this meeting.

Thank you

Charity Nzuza

Executive Officer (Acting)

Legal Practice Council