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Probe into lawyer's conduct

By Consumer Line with Thuli Zungu | 2011-10-24 09:24:35.0

THE Law Society of the Northern Provinces will be investigating a Johannesburg attorney who is accused of disappearing with his clients' compensation money from the Road Accident Fund.

Last week Consumer Line ran an article in which Sowetan reported that Xolani Nkosi of Nkosi Attorneys had disappeared with millions of rands belonging to road accident victims.

But, Nkosi has denied the allegations, saying he did not disappear and that the money he owes his clients was far less than the amount reported.

He said due to financial constraints he was unable to pay his rented office space, his personal assistant and his clients.

"My secretary was not paid due to money problems and the same applies to my office space in Klamson Towers," he said.

In our earlier article, Consumer Line stated that Nkosi's clients could not locate him because he left his office without a forwarding address.

Sowetan has now traced him to a house in Protea Glen, which is also used for business purposes.

He said the house was his home not his new office.

Nkosi said due to negligence on his part he failed to inform the Law Society of the Northern Provinces about his change of address.

He had moved office three times before and in all these instances he did not notify the Law Society.

The Law Society still kept the address of his first practice, which was situated at Aspern House, 54 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, and a cellphone number he no longer uses.

Nkosi said he could not pay his clients because he had lost contact with them and his tout was reluctant to furnish him with their contact details for settlement purposes.

He said he received R500000 from the Road Accident Fund (RAF), and intends paying his clients.

Nkosi said of the compensation money received from the RAF. He had to deduct his common-law contingency fee of 25% from each claimant.

He said he intends sorting "this mess out soon".

"I made errors of judgment during my tenure as a sole proprietor but will see to it that all is sorted out," Nkosi said.

He said he would do so as soon as he gets the contact details of his clients, which Consumer Line gave him a week ago.

"I sincerely want to pay my clients what is due to them. All I need do is make arrangements with them as to how the payment will be done in terms of the settlement proposal I will make to them.

"As soon as I get their contact details, the arrangements will be made.

"I hope they will understand by this for finality's sake," said Nkosi.

But at the time of going to print Nkosi had not contacted his clients and his e-mail address had also changed.

Lee Ngwenya, a caretaker at Klamson House, said Nkosi's office furniture and files were being kept in the building's storeroom and would be released on payment of the rent owed.

Nkosi owes:

- Themba G Hlatshwayo R 83,500
- Doris Mabuza R75,000
- Khulekani Mabuza R74,000
- Clement Mdlalose R75,000
- Zikhona H Mbedla R80,000
- Khanyisile F Hlabati R80,000

He also owes three months' rent for his previous office space and three months' salary for his personal assistant.