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TONGUE IN CHEEK

‘Cursed’ zama zama of a lawyer — Malesela Teffo should sue whoever gave him a degree

‘Cursed’ zama zama of a lawyer — Malesela Teffo should sue whoever gave him a degree
Advocate Malesela Teffo during the Senzo Meyiwa murder trail. (Photo: Alet Pretorius)

Even Juju of the Red Shirts raises his eyebrows at the weird antics of defence advocate in Senzo Meyiwa trial.

I’m no lawyer, but with my limited legal skills, I have no doubt I can help advocate Malesela Teffo claim a refund from the institution that bestowed his law degree upon him.

I can even help him sue himself for having wasted his time pretending to be a lawyer.

In fact, I am even thinking of suing all those poor souls who have had the gall to entrust this alleged lawyer with the responsibility of representing them in court.

The man just ain’t got style. Even the most unstylish of politicians, Juju of the Red Shirts, agrees.

“I am not sympathetic towards advocate Teffo. He is disrespectful and has made the case about him. That is why we are being asked about him and not about how the case is going,” Juju of the Red Shirts said recently at one of his regular venting sessions masquerading as media conferences.

The Führer of Seshego was pulling no punches against the alleged advocate who has become a national symbol of how not to be a lawyer, following his comical conduct in the long Senzo Meyiwa trial.

“I have chickens where I stay in Polokwane,” Juju of the Red Shirts continued. “If they steal those chickens, I will not call advocate Teffo to represent me. He has no skill, no decorum and no respect for the bench at all.”

Juju has a point here. I wouldn’t even trust Teffo to represent a corpse demanding to be resurrected for one last drink.

I imagine Juju enlisting Teffo’s services in a case where his chickens are stolen by some delinquent neighbour.

After his deplorable conduct and display of legal acumen in the Senzo trial, I wouldn’t be surprised if this moegoe of a lawyer throws a mean tantrum when the court throws out his application for the stolen chickens to be summonsed to testify.

In case you’ve been living down the mineshafts with the zama zamas and have not the faintest idea who this alleged advocate is, allow me to whisper some background. Senzo Meyiwa was a popular goalkeeper for Orlando Pirates. His per­formances got him selected for the national team, Bafana Bafana, where he was even made captain.


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At some point, Senzo went AWOL on his marriage after falling for the charms of songbird Kelly Khumalo. One evening in October 2014, while visiting her mom’s home in the East Rand township of Vosloorus, Senzo was shot and killed.

For some reason, the accused in the matter ended up with this Teffo character as their lawyer. His theatrics and bungling in court have got even people who don’t know the difference between a lawyer, a judge and a prosecutor talking. Even his colleagues in the field have expressed their embarrassment.

In fact, the man would do better as a zama zama than as an officer of the court. Like those illegal miners who work to the rhythm of the sound made by their shovels, Teffo dances only to his own tune. The only rule he obeys is to be present in court.

The alleged advocate, probably realising that he was not going to win the case after his many useless tricks, resorted to accusing the presiding judge of dabbling in witchcraft meant to cause him, Teffo, to collapse in court.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela and Teffo are both natives of Limpopo, which carries the dubious reputation of being the capital of the occult… Well, er, we’ll tackle that another time, just not now, close to the beginning of the rainy season when people settle scores by sending deadly lightning strikes.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Senzo Meyiwa murder: Meet the 5 men on trial, and the lawyer who demands to know why Kelly Khumalo isn’t there too”

In case you missed this sensational development, Teffo put it down in black and white that the judge was taking some concoction with supernatural powers. And he said this concoction, administered by a sangoma in chambers, caused him great discomfort during proceedings. He went on to say the honourable judge’s ultimate goal was to cause him to collapse.

What I fail to understand is that if Teffo truly believes that the honourable judge could cause him harm using this form of chemical warfare, couldn’t he strike back in the same way?

Ai, this zama zama of a lawyer. I wonder if he even knows that accusing someone of dabbling in witchcraft is an offence under the Witchcraft Suppression Act 3 of 1957.

You see, I’m no lawyer but, hey, I can teach the alleged advocate something. Could he have obtained his degree under the notorious “pass one, pass all” doctrine of the Struggle days? I hope to find this out while preparing my papers for the case against the institution that qualified this unstylish man to practise as a lawyer. DM168

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Gerrit Marais says:

    The Bar is broken, like everything else. Look at Mpofu, Mkwebane, etc.

  • Linette Havinga says:

    I am not a lawyer/ attorney myself, but must agree that there are attorneys/ lawyers all over South Africa [SA] with similar dispositions; where have these people been trained? SA needs to urgently relook the qualifications offered at its training institutions; and perhaps more so, the experiential training as the qualifications do not prepare lawyers/ attorneys for practice and/or the courts. Even the apparently much publicized “learned colleagues” appear to come up with absurd, non sensical arguments; and delaying tactics. Institutions should acquire a morality and not allow themselves to become factories of incompetent graduates.

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Maybe he bought the qualification?

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