Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Struck advocates seek to appeal
Struck advocates seek to appeal
Six Pretoria advocates struck off the roll for milking the Road Accident Fund (RAF) applied for leave to appeal on Monday against the ruling.
The names of advocates Thillay Pillay, Theunis Botha, Toy de Klerk, Percy Leopeng, Daniel Mogagabe and French Bezuidenhout were struck off the roll in September.
Three retired high court judges ordered them to repay the RAF.
Seven other advocates, Brenton Geach SC, Don Williams SC, Stef Güldenpfennig, Mark Upton, Ephraim Seima, Cassie Jordaan and Colin van Onselen were either given suspended sentences or suspended for up to six months.
The advocates were given a year to pay back more than R15.6
million to the RAF.
On Monday, the six who were struck off, applied for leave to appeal against the ruling, arguing that the Supreme Court of Appeal might come to a different conclusion.
In September, the court heard argument that their conduct of accepting multiple briefs for the same day and then charging a full days’ trial fee for each was not dishonest.
They contended that everyone, from the judges in the high court to their attorneys and the RAF, knew about the practice and did not object.
Advocates Pillay and Botha also applied for leave to place new evidence before the Supreme Court of Appeal which they said supported their suspicion that one of the judges who ruled against them had been biased.
They are, among others things, relying on a transcript of a 2009 meeting of the Pretoria Bar Council.
They claimed this indicated that Judge Kees van Dikjkhorst had spoken to two senior members of the Bar about the trial before it began.
They argued that the judge appeared to have expressed strong views that those involved should be “nailed” and should therefore have been precluded from sitting as a member of the bench.
The General Council of the Bar at the same time asked the court for leave to appeal against its decision to suspend rather than strike off the seven other advocates.
It argued that all thirteen advocates had been dishonest and that none of them were fit to practise as advocates.
The application continues. - Sapa
PTA advocates to lodge appeal
Camilla Bath (EWN )
Six Pretoria advocates struck off the roll for milking the Road Accident Fund (RAF) will continue their application for leave to appeal in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.
Seven other members of the so-called Millionaires Club were suspended, or given suspended sentences, for double briefing. The practise has seen advocates accepting multiple briefs for the same day and charging a full fee for each.
The lawyers also have to pay back over R15 million between them to the RAF.
The six advocates believe the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein may come to a different conclusion in their case.
They say everyone knew about double billing and no one had objected, from the high court judges to attorneys and officials at the RAF.
Two of the advocates have also applied for leave to place new evidence before the appeals court.
They say the evidence supports their suspicion that one of the judges who ruled against them was biased, and should not have sat as a member of the bench.
They claim Kees van Dijkhorst had spoken to two senior members of the bar about the trial before it began, and expressed strong views that those involved should be "nailed."
(Edited by Tshepiso Moche)