Sidlani' lawyers will be named and shamed
MBABANE – The Law Society of Swaziland has said it will shame ‘Sidlani lawyers.’
These, according to the Law Society, are lawyers who are not supposed to be in practice and charging people for any services in Swaziland.
Treasurer Mbuso Simelane in a statement has said the society will on Monday publish names of lawyers who are entitled to be practicing in the country.
He said such lawyers were those that have paid up subscriptions and the Fidelity Fund.
He said these lawyers have complied with the Legal Practitioners Act of 1964.
All lawyers are members of the Law Society of Swaziland.
Simelane said the paid up members were the only ones who were entitled to charge clients fees and be in practice.
"The Law Society is concerned that the public generally perceives all lawyers as corrupt, yet they engage ‘sidlani’ attorneys who are not supposed to practice. If you do not see your attorney’s name on the list on Monday, you should know that you are dealing with a ‘sidlani’ attorney," Simelane said.
He also said the shame would also apply to the society’s members who are employed by companies and had not paid their subscriptions as required by the law.
He said if a company or private entity does not see their employee on the list to be published; they must know that ‘they had employed a sidlani attorney’.
He urged members of the public to demand the production of a fidelity certificate from their lawyers and proof that the Law Society’s subscriptions had been paid, before dealing with lawyers.
"Nobody is exempted from paying subscriptions. In an Annual General Meeting in 2009, the Law Society council was mandated to give Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi a list of attorneys who are entitled to practice in Swaziland and to liaise with the Attorney General to strike off attorneys who have not paid their subscriptions and Fidelity Fund," Simelane said.
He said this applied even to Legal Advisors. He also said the society had put in place several measures to ensure that members paid up the fees due, but the efforts hit a snag.
He warned members of the public to deal with such culprits at their own risk.
Consult AG, lawyers tell Speaker
MBABANE – The Law Society has advised the Speaker Prince Guduza to consult with the Attorney General on how to deal with the issue of lawyers who are alleged to have stolen public funds.
The President of the Society, Titus Mlangeni, made his concerns known in a letter directed to the Speaker.
He was responding to reports that a sub-committee had been set up to probe lawyers alleged to have stolen public funds.
Mlangeni pointed out that they had gathered as much from reports carried in the print media.
He said it sufficed for the Law Society to point out that the issue of Trust Account and Fidelity Funds are regulated by the Legal Practitioner’s Act of 1964.
Matters of fraud and corruption are also provided for by the country’s laws according to the Law Society.
"Other than to provide a public forum for the denigration of people’s names, we respectfully do not see any value in this intended endeavour," the letter reads.
Mlangeni also wondered where the capacity to deal with these things will come from.
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