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Sakoane lambasts DPP again for ineptness

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Mohloai Mpesi

The Chief Justice (CJ) Sakoane Sakoane has once again lambasted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane’s ineptness to law. 

This week Sakoane told Motinyane’s legal representative Advocate Motene Rafoneke that he would not be teaching them legal procedures, as being senior counsel, they ought to know the rules of the game.

This after Motinyane sought a petition against the decision made by the CJ in regard to the order refusing the crown’s application for recusal and removing advocate Shaun Abrahams last month.

“You know you have practiced in the court of appeal and this is not how things are done because if you want my leave you have to address me so that I go ground by ground because some or all of them of them I might find that on the law are no prospects.

“If you intend to unpack the grounds you list them. You say… “
I intend to appeal to the court of appeal on the following grounds; I therefore seek leave of the court so that you are not going to change or improve those grounds when you go to the Court of Appeal.  

“What is being done here? Because I made these orders a long time ago. I thought you would actually scout when I read the papers and find means of law and fact and the nature of misdirection,” Sakoane said.

He added that if they truly wanted him off the matter, they will do their “…homework and tell me on what law are you relying that you need my leave, because as I understand your application you want to appeal against the order refusing your application for recusal and where I disbar Abrahams”.

“We do need your leave because the decision concerning Abrahams and DPP are interlocutory order because they don’t dispose of the entire trial,” Rafoneke stated.

Meanwhile, Sakoane interjected “…yes it’s because they have nothing to do with the merits of the trial, those orders are directed at the misconduct of a lawyer. A lawyer is not a witness in a trial so how is that going to affect the merits of the trial? Do you understand what interlocutory order is?” he questioned Rafoneke.

“I do my Lord, it is an order made based on the nature of the main proceedings,” he answered.

“Yes, that has to do with the determination of the issues on the merits of the case,” he said.

“Has the crown suddenly forgotten how it approaches the Court of Appeal on recusal matter whereas the DPP took an appeal in the Fako case? That’s why I am saying why I should be dealing with counsels who know that they have been in a court dealing with the same matter and suddenly I am called to make a judgment on the basis on which the court has already pronounced itself.

Rafoneke said the court made interlocutory decision “…And we are dissatisfied with the decision; we are seeking leave so that we are able to proceed to Court of Appeal. We are content to address the court on the position of the law when the application is granted.

Sakoane cut-in stating that he is not going to wait for him to go and research the law.

“That’s not how we conduct things here. When you come here you come having researched the law and the facts. This issue of always engaging in protracted proceedings is unnecessary. The crown has a deep pocket but the defence doesn’t.

“You have the luxury to be postponing things but the defence doesn’t, and I don’t have time for that because when I am seized with an application in my chambers I have to read it and do research if necessary. I don’t come here then a lawyer tells me they are going to do their homework,” he said.

Meanwhile, Advocate Motia Teele KC for the defence rubbed salt to the open wound, explaining the procedure as it ought to be done.

“The application is inelegantly done with respect because when you are asking for leave to appeal, you do that in respect of the matter as decided on the record then you file the grounds of appeal and annex the records that reflect what had already happened in the proceedings,” he explained.

The date has been set down to March 3, 2022 for a ruling on the matter with the grown expected to file proper documents today while the defence submit their answering heads of argument on Monday next week.

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