Disbarred Malesela Teffo referred for mental assessment

Disbarred advocate Malesela Teffo has been referred for mental assessment following his resistance to cooperate during court proceedings.

Teffo, who has been in custody for four months following his arrest in August, appeared in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Wednesday.

He is charged with malicious damage to property and assault.

The charges stem from an incident where Teffo is accused of gaining entry into a building without permission, breaking into his own office, and assaulting a security officer.

During the proceedings on Wednesday, he refused to be addressed as an accused person in the matter.

He also avoided standing in the dock and chose to sit in the defence lawyers’ section, telling the court that he is a qualified lawyer and should be addressed as such.

He also represented himself after his legal representatives withdrew recently from their mandate.

Dealing with this matter is tiring

Despite the magistrate reprimanding him to maintain court decorum, the flamboyant former advocate persisted with his arrogant behaviour.

He told the court that law-enforcement authorities had erred in keeping him arrested for so long.

“Mr Teffo, I believe you are in a better position to understand the processes of the court. It is so tiring to deal with one matter and one aspect all the time,” the magistrate said.

Sunday World reported early on Wednesday that Teffo is accusing police of orchestrating a conspiracy to keep him behind bars.

The claim is contained in a leaked letter sent to the national police commissioner, General Fannie Masemola.

In the letter, Teffo’s colleague and an academic from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mary de Haas, states that Teffo was allegedly threatened to withdraw charges he had filed against police generals Shadrack Sibiya, Tebello Mosikili, and the late Brigadier Philani Ndlovu in Vosloorus (CAS210/03/2023).

De Haas details in the letter that an investigator in Teffo’s case informed him that he would only be released from prison if he dropped the charges against the generals.

You are making my life difficult

During his appearance on Wednesday, Teffo accused the magistrate of being a part of the people who are allegedly conspiring to keep him in jail.

He argued that there is a court order stating that he should not be incarcerated beyond August 7 2023, but he has been in custody for months already.

“You are one of the people who made my life difficult … I need to go and see my family today,” he lashed out.

“I spent four months in prison for nothing. How long must I be in prison and suffer away from my family?”

To which the magistrate responded by asking: “Are you saying we are getting paid to postpone your matter? Those are very serious allegations.”

The case was postponed to December 6 for assessment. In the meantime, Teffo will remain in his Kgosi Mampuru prison cell.

“You are insulting me. To be assessed for what? That is an insult,” he said.

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