Communications minister Faith Muthambi’s legal advisor, Lungisani Daniel Mantsha, has been struck off the Law Society of the Northern Provinces’ roll since 2007, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.
This revelation meant that any legal advice Mantsha gave Muthambi can be discredited, including the removal of three SABC board members earlier this year, DA MP Gavin Davis said.
In a high court judgment, the reasons given for Mantsha’s removal from the bar included his unprofessional behaviour, dishonesty and misappropriation of funds.
“Taken cumulatively, the respondent’s conduct referred to in this judgment demonstrates that [Mantsha] is not a fit and proper person to continue to practice as an attorney, but that the only proper sanction is that of striking [him] from the roll,” the judgment read.
Mantsha had appeared before parliament’s communications portfolio committee last month alongside Muthambi, to overturn parliament’s legal opinion that the removal of three SABC board members was unlawful. “Mr Mantsha’s testimony before the committee failed to provide any compelling reasons to disregard parliament’s legal opinion,” Davis said.
Davis had written to the portfolio committee’s chair, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, to request that it meet to discuss the matter as soon as possible.
“There are ample reasons for the portfolio committee to disregard minister Muthambi’s legal advice and have the three SABC board members reinstated,” Davis said.
The three board members — Rachel Kildass, Ronnie Lubisi and Hope Zinde — were axed earlier this year after Muthambi expressed unhappiness with the board after sensitive matters were leaked to the media.
The trio’s removal prompted parliament’s communications portfolio committee to seek legal opinion on the validity of Muthambi’s decision. — News24