Practice: Judge orders LPC probe of ‘very drunk’ lawyer

A lawyer faces sanctions from the Legal Practice Council for representing her fraud-accused client while admitting to being ‘very drunk’. A Cape Argus report says Limpopo High Court (Polokwane) Judge Francis Kganyago ruled that the Legal Practice Council should probe the conduct and behavior of the lawyer he named as Maloko in his judgment. Not only was Maloko in a drunken stupor during Magistrate’s Court proceedings in December 2020, but she also admitted that she did not know what she was doing in court because she was a conveyancer and not a criminal lawyer.

Kganyago’s judgment followed a special application by the magistrate to have the fraud trial that started last August reviewed and set aside. Maloko admitted to the magistrate in December 2020, that she was ‘very drunk’ after her behavior was found to be amiss. Her oddities included raising an irrational objection. Maloko’s insobriety that day followed her other apparent misdemeanors during the trial, the magistrate submitted to Kganyago. She was absent from proceedings several times without a reasonable explanation. The magistrate was also shocked by Maloko’s failure to put the version of her client to state witnesses. Kganyago also received representation from the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, who conceded that Maloko’s behavior scuppered her client’s trial. He remitted the trial to start afresh before another magistrate.

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