A test for the Cape Law Society…
Community- and Civil Rights Activist Mary-Anne Mngomezulu, is livid and is taking on the Cape Law Society over their alleged failure to act against attorney Paul Jordaan for shooting under aged children in a mad rage which can only be compared to a bloody action scene out of a classic John Wayne Western movie.
Moreover, she is furious at Mr. Perino Pama (ANC card holding member, vice-president and member of the disciplinary committee of the Cape Law Society) for failing to investigate Jordaan after she reported the matter to him almost two years ago. She further accuses Pama of instigating a witch hunt against another Plett attorney to further his own interest and for abusing his position and influence in the Cape Law Society in order to achieve this goal.
Pama explained in an email to Mngomezulu that he did ask the Cape Law Society for guidance in the matter. Apparently Pama misunderstood the instructions and guidance which he received from their Mr. Dorey. He further stated that Jordaan’s actions do not contravene the profession’s ethical rules and challenged Mngomezulu to report him to the Cape Law Society. He also claimed that the matter was sub judice and thus he could not act. He declined to comment further and reserved all his rights.
Mngomezulu replied as follows:
“Dear Perino. Thank you for sharing your response with me.
I wish to respond as follows:
- I dispute your recollection of our discussion. I called you regarding a story that you are at the head of a witch hunt against one Plett attorney. You, at some point, told me that as a member of the bar/disciplinary committee of the law society you have an obligation to report any conduct that might be unethical/bring the law society into disrepute and that you’ve received info to indicate that this specific attorney is guilty of certain deeds.
- I asked what happened to the case of Paul Jordaan which I’ve personally reported to you. You said you didn’t report it because it’s not the same. I asked how it can possible not be the same? Both Mr. Jordaan and the other attorney are accused of misconduct. At this point you mentioned costs he charged that according to you made him guilty of whatever he was charged with. You did NOT mention the sub judice principle or the presumption of innocence until proven guilty rule during our conversation. You did invite me to call the law society and report it. I asked how? You said you are sure I can just call them and tell them. At no point did you advise me that I should lay a formal complaint. You then let it slip that you are not acting as a member of the law society, but on behalf of Bitou Local Municipality. I felt disturbed by this. Plett is a very small town. Immediately after your call I recalled the story of XXXXXXXXXXXXXX who also acted unethically and it seems all attorneys in Plett, including Mr. Jordaan was fully aware of this specific case and yet no one reported her conduct that I know off.
- I was recently advised that your statement to me is in fact wrong and that Mr. Jordaan’s conduct does indeed contravene Rule 13 since he inter alia brought the profession into disrepute. Mr. Dorey’s advice to you at that stage appears to be correct. However; it seems that you elected not to follow the advice, alternatively he was not aware of the stipulations contained in Rule 13, further alternatively he was of the view that an attorney shooting children, and then afterwards denying it and branding the children and their mother as liars, further forcing them to go through an identity parade, filing a plea in the civil case again denying that he was the shooter, only to admit it during the criminal trial in his defence described by the magistrate as a “carefully designed tactical legal defence”, as NOT BRINGING THE PROFESSION IN DISREPUTE, or perhaps all of the above?
In conclusion; yes I would like the CLS to assist me in formally lodging a complaint against Mr. Jordaan and perhaps they should also investigate you and all others for failing to report Mr. Jordaan’s conduct as well as contravening Rule 13?”
Mr. Pama was recently criticized on this website by readers for allegedly having his status officially changed from white to black in order to get his hands on shares issued exclusively to black people and for BEE purposes. He was also criticized for removing the history and all reference to the two founding members of his firm, Mosdell, Pama & Cox, from the firm’s official website. These two members are widely praised and respected for standing up against the Apartheid Government in the past and can be directly credited for the firm receiving lucrative legal instructions from ANC governed municipalities.
Mr. Pama also raised eyebrows in the legal fraternity recently when he instigated two movements; the first to slow down the transformation process in the legal profession since (according to him), it resulted in incompetent appointments, and two; to attempt to legally exempt white men who served in the old South African Defence Force from BEE requirements since (according to him), they are just as disadvantaged as any black person in the new South Africa. Neither of these movements succeeded.
It will be very interesting to see whether the Cape Law Society will act against Jordaan and/or Pama, and what will eventually happen to the attorney allegedly victimized by Pama, and with the record breaking number of complaints Pama lodged against him. The request by the allegedly victimized attorney to have these complaints adjudicated by another province’s Law Society was in the interim denied by the Cape Law Society, without furnishing any reasons. This denial came despite the fact that the Rules of the Law Society of South Africa do not prohibit this course of action and the fact that the Law Society of the Northern Provinces indicated their willingness to adjudicate over these matters.
This hot potato is truly a test for the Cape Law Society.
The Cape Law Society’s Rules stipulate amongst other things that members shall at all times maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity, observe the law, and not bring the profession into disrepute. Moreover, JEF received legal advice that it is trite law that disciplinary hearings in fact should run concurrently with criminal proceedings, and that it is not permissible to simply sit back and wait for the outcome of the criminal trial before instituting disciplinary steps.