Lawyers 'owe thousands to their clients'

TWO attorneys, one of whom is a pastor of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Ekurhuleni, are being sought for defrauding the Road Accident Fund and clients of millions.

The first, Pastor Matsieng Raphael Sidwell Mofokeng, 43, is alleged to have swindled seven people out of thousands of rands.

The other attorney, Panos Panagiotou, is alleged to have defrauded the fund and his clients of R3million.

Mofokeng's company, Mofokeng and Partners, was based in the Johannesburg city centre.

Between 2001 and 2005 Mofokeng allegedly claimed and collected money on behalf of clients involved in car accidents.

Three warrants of arrest have been issued against Mofokeng, one in 2003, another in 2005 and the last this year.

Gauteng police spokesperson Inspector Sanku Tsunke said: "We believe he may have defrauded many others. He did all the paperwork but when the Road Accident Fund paid the money never reached claimants."

The police said he allegedly fleeced clients of about R800000, the largest amount being about R500000 from one client.

"As a result the Law Society of Northern Province submitted a notice of motion to the high court to remove Mofokeng from the attorneys' roll," Tsunke said.

Spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said Panagiotou also faced a charge of theft.

The police urged anyone who might have been defrauded by the two attorneys to lay a charge.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Mofokeng should contact the Johannesburg commercial crime unit's Detective Shimi Senosi on 073-731-6089.

If you know the whereabouts of Panagiotou contact Captain Donavan Kakora on 082-445-7063.