Thugs hit Malema lawyer
A BURGLARY at the house of a top Johannesburg advocate boasting clients such as embattled ANC youth league president Julius Malema and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has raised serious suspicions of political machinations.
Several files relating to cases that Muzi Sikhakhane is currently handling were taken during the break-in.
Two cars, two television sets and a cellphone were also stolen.
The cars were later found abandoned in Mamelodi, Pretoria.
Though the motive behind yesterday morning's burglary at the lawyer's Northcliff home is not yet known, Sikhakhane's involvement in high-profile cases featuring prominent political figures as well as admissions of previous threats have cast the spotlight on his work.
Sikhakhane yesterday told Sowetan that he had previously received threats but, "I have never taken them seriously because of the nature of my work".
"People don't seem to realise that we do cases as they are brought to us.
'What their political views or affiliations are is not our business," Sikhakhane said of the misconceptions that lawyers agree with their clients' views.
The highly regarded lawyer currently represents Malema in his appeal against his suspension from the ANC.
He revealed that close friends often asked him why he represented Malema.
"I get calls from people I know and don't know who ask: why are you representing that boy (meaning Malema)?" Sikhakhane said.
It is understood that Malema enlisted Sikhakhane's help after his lawyers - who had represented him throughout his disciplinary hearings - had indicated their unavailability to proceed with the appeal.
It is also understood that the appeals committee - chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa - had forced Malema to proceed with his case without legal representation.
Sikhakhane's other high-profile cases include that of Sexwale, who was allegedly involved in a plot to oust President Jacob Zuma as the ruling party's leader at its elective conference in Mangaung in Free State.
Sexwale sought the services of Sikhakhane in May last year following intelligence chief Richard Mdluli's revelation that he was in possession of a dossier linking the minister and other ANC leaders to a plot to oust Zuma later this year.
Sexwale - with Sikhakhane's aid - would seek to compel Mdluli to reveal who authorised his investigation.
Speaking about yesterday's robbery, Sikhakhane said he was concerned about the manner in which his house was "ransacked".
"The attention given to my study and the things I work with concerns me," Sikhakhane said.
"The taking of the cars was an afterthought."
Sikhakhane's three children were given counselling to deal with the trauma of the break-in.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou confirmed the incident and said a case of housebreaking and theft would be investigated.