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Law Society Appeals against Parks Tafa

Publishing Date : 10 September, 2019


The Law Society of Botswana has this week challenged the High Court’s judgement in a case in which highly rated lawyer, Parks Tafa and lawfirm, Collins Newman and Company (CNC) had dragged LSB, The Secretary of the Fidelity Guarantee Fund, The Deputy Registrar of the High Court – Takura Charumbira, Master of the High Court, Registrar of the High Court, and one George Simango to the High Court.

Parks Tafa and CNC were fighting to be put back on the legal practitioner’s roll as well as to be issued with Practicing Certificates and Fidelity Fund Certificates.  The LSB had struck them off the roll indicating that they failed to produce audited reports.  The law firm had been placed under curatorship at some stage.Deputy Registrar and Master of the High Court in Lobatse, Takura had temporarily interdicted Tafa from transacting the trust accounts of his law firm pending the matter. The decision had followed after the decision of the LSB not to award Tafa practice license for this year and sought that they be placed under curatorship.

According to Tafa it seems the firm faced difficulties in its new accounting and management therefore the challenges could not be resolved in time to meet the deadline for submission of audited accounts for the year 2018 which caused the report to be submitted in February 2019. In their submissions supported by findings and conclusions of the auditors there was a challenge in their accounting and management records in which Chief Justice Lekorwe agreed that there seems to be no omission on the part of Tafa to mismanage accounts of CNC like the LSB had purported.

Tafa and Collins Newman and Company were represented by Advocate Paul Kennedy alongside attorneys Ms Makati-Mpho and Ms KT Kebotse; while the Law Society of Botswana was represented by Advocate John Peter with Advocate M Garebatho and Attorney Mr K Botlhole. Lobatse High Court Judge, R. N. M. Lekorwe ruled that the decision of the third respondent is ordered to issue CNN with Fidelity Funds certificates for the year 31st December.

 Lekorwe further ruled that Tafa and CNN are entitled to confirmation of the rule of nisi by the court  indicating that there is sufficient evidence on record that indicate that the applicant meet the requirements for issuance of both Fidelity Fund certificates and Practicing certificates. The case was dismissed with costs of Counsel.

The grounds of appeal of the LSB indicate that the court misdirected itself and made an error in implicitly finding, “the judgement reads that where auditors, do not report that the trust accounts of an attorney were not properly kept or do not report that the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act relating to the requirement that the trust accounts be certified as having been properly kept were violated.”

LSB claims that the court quo ought to have found that for the requirements of section 30(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act to be satisfied, a certified copy of the of the actual audited accounts of an attorney’s trust accounts must be furnished and same must be certified as having been properly kept. It futher indicates that the court should have not issued the applicant with practicing certificates whilst a certified copy of the audited accounts of the trust accounts as required by section 30 of the Legal Practioners Act.

LSB further challenges the court’s decision to invoke the powers of the master as prescribed under section 45 as the jurisdictional facts were absent whilst the Registrar had in fact removed the applicant from the roll which falls within the rubric of section 45 of the legal; practitioners act. The appellants further seek the relief of the appeal to be upheld costs, including the costs of two counsel and that that the court set aside in its entirety and replaced with an order, “the application is dismissed with costs, including of two counsel.”



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