MEC hires ‘struck off’ lawyer from South Africa: Malawi Law Society misleads Chief Justice

Malawi Law Society has been faulted for misleading the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda on the issue of South African lawyers hired by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to help in the presidential election nullification appeal case by recommending that they should be admitted in the country when one of them was struck off from the roll of attorneys in Johannesburg.

Namiwa: appears to be lacking in acceptable professional character and the Chief Justice has been alerted

MEC has hired South Africa-based law firm – Mboweni Maluleke Inc Attorneys with four lawyers in the country for case include Dumisa Tsebenza SC, Elizabeth Makhanani Mere, Gideon Phalatse and Caphus Mboweni.

The Law Society applied to the Chief Justice for admission of practice for the two of the four lawyers; Ntebeza and Makhani Mere for the presidential election appeal case.

MLS said in a letter signed by its honorary secretary Martha Kaukonde that it has examined the application and it considers that the South African lawyers “have satisfied the statutory requirements and hence has not objections to the application.”

But it has emerged that one of the four lawyers, Gideon Phalatse, does not meet the criteria set by paragraph (b) of section 25(1) of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act (2018).

As such, the Chief Justice is being alerted of the development as he considers making his opinion on whether to admit the lawyers or not in the case.

According to court information sourced from South Africa judiciary, Phalatse’s practicing license was revoked and his name was struck from the roll.

The Chief Justice has been informed that Phalatse’s character is wanting to be admitted to practice in a cause.

Section 25(1) (b) of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act guides the Chief Justice to admit only those expatriate lawyers that, apart from meeting other criteria, are of good character.

However, Phalatse appears to be lacking in acceptable professional character and the Chief Justice has been alerted of this case as he makes his opinion on whether these lawyers can be admitted in the appeal case.

Lawyer for MEC Tamanda Chokhotho however said the lawyers who will represent the commission are Ntebeza and Makhani Mere, saying “both are respectable lawyers”.

Phaletse will not have a right to appear before the judges but arrives in the country as part of the legal team of four.

Meanwhile, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) is appealing to Chief Justice (to reject the said lawyers’ application for admission to practice in specific cause unless if he is convinced that Malawi does not have experienced and professional lawyers.

Cdedi interim executive director Silvester Namiwa, a former State House official who resigned last year ahead of May 21 polls said there could be procurement scandal and ask the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to swiftly move in and investigate the matter.

“MEC’s action contravenes Malawi laws on public office procurement that demands open tender.

“This has pained CDEDI to even begin to question as to how this decision was arrived at bearing in mind that Malawi has the best and excellent lawyers that can compete favourably on the international scene,” Namiwa said.

The South African lawyers have been hired for the following tasks: merit determination, advice, preparation and prosecution of the appeal case which they will be paid from taxpayers $788 500 (about K600 million), half of which has already been paid in advance.

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Mzati
Mzati
1 year ago

Poor, unprofessional,compromised,arrogant, lomwelized and insensitive Jane Ansah! One blunder after another.Koma ziliko!

Malawi belong to the citizens

Why can’t you people in DPP understand that with this election case there is no way you can win.why simple answer MEC commissioners changed results in favour of Peter Munthalika through MEC officials.And you are still doing harm to the country as long as you are still doing stupid things.I think the courts should check you account records before election week and after, just to see if there was no big deposits of money frm dpp.Tippex was everywhere.Tippex amabisa information. Central medical stores kulibe mankhwala ndiye kumayitana South Africa lawyers for what?Do you hear about shortages of medicine in South… Read more »

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
1 year ago

Let the money remain in Malawi by hiring local lawyers. Why give away hard earned forex

Petro
Petro
1 year ago

Dzanja lalemba

Original man
Original man
1 year ago

May the Supreme Court determine, after MECs loss of the case, that the MEC chair and commissioners should “personally” bear all the legal costs that will be incurred. These people are reckless because they know that it’s still the citizenry that will shoulder the bills they are unnecessarily accumulating. It’s time to drain the swamp

GOD EXISTS
GOD EXISTS
1 year ago

Over 600 million MK for the case which has 80% chance of losing? Now i see that Malawi is not a poor country it is only that it has greedy leaders. If someone sitting on the table, full of honey and milk, sees no problem in spending such huge amount of money without any regrets nor consideration of those poor Malawians who are battling for their life, sleeping on empty stomach, such leaders are ruthless.

Nyusensi
Nyusensi
1 year ago

Kodi Mlandu wake uti?……… the same one that has been thrown out.?

H E Nyaphapi One
1 year ago

Malawi is a rich country. We can afford that. USD788,500 – That’s pocket money my friend. Do not embarrass yourselves with this small issue.

wa Nyau
wa Nyau
1 year ago

Nyaphapi,,,, pocket money mukunena nsonkho wa anthu ovutikawu? Inu ndinu opanda nzeru eti? Kodi uchitsiruwu wafika pamenepo tsopano? Anthu kuganiza kunakwinimbila eti? Muto woneka kupusaku, mutipeza ngati ndinu olemela, musauka kuti tifanane.

Mina
Mina
1 year ago

Pocket money yet the same people’s taxes others can not afford to feed their own lives

Huwa
Huwa
1 year ago

Why all this fuss about SA lawyers when supreme court judges have already been bribed.

Simon
Simon
1 year ago
Reply to  Huwa

I think you are stupid. The whole judiciary bribed? which money. Huwa ndiwe chitsiru

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
1 year ago
Reply to  Huwa

Yes by mpinganjira, kikikikiiiiiiii.

SAUNDERS
SAUNDERS
1 year ago

I think the Judiciary is confusing us, Political leaders are not appointed by judicial but people. Malawians lets just accept to vote and vote wisely because the judicial is trying to impose, leaders on us, change the constitution and supervise Parliament. I can see the Appeal case will meet the same people and they have already connived and there will be no different outcome. LET MALAWIANS VOTE and stop this Nosense of manipulating cases

Keithe
Keithe
1 year ago
Reply to  SAUNDERS

Just accept you are failures. You DPP you want Judges to dance to your tune? stupid

Nkhalamba Yopanda mano
Nkhalamba Yopanda mano
1 year ago
Reply to  SAUNDERS

Can you ask Mr. Thom Mpinganjira to do on your behalf as a big fool cadet?

wa Nyau
wa Nyau
1 year ago
Reply to  SAUNDERS

Us with who?

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