Fake lawyer dupes clients

WHEN Jabulani Sithole of Springs in Ekurhuleni was arrested for theft and resisting arrest, he thought he had found a good lawyer to represent him.

WHEN Jabulani Sithole of Springs in Ekurhuleni was arrested for theft and resisting arrest, he thought he had found a good lawyer to represent him.

But months later he discovered that he had been duped into paying money to a fake lawyer.

"When I was arrested for theft in 2006 I got a local lawyer, Mzuvukile Gcanabana, to represent me," he said. "I was assaulted by police. The case was concluded in 2007 and I won the case.

"After winning the case, I asked him to sue the policemen."

But Sithole became suspicious when Gcanabana was reluctant to pursue a civil case against the officers who had assaulted him.

"I checked his credentials at the Law Society and found that he was not registered. What puzzles me is how this man was able to get into the court and stand before a magistrate."

Sithole said he spent at least R6000 on lawyer's fees.

Sithole opened a case of fraud against him but Gcanabana has since disappeared.

Springs police said that according to their records the case was withdrawn.

"How can I withdraw the case?" Sithole asked. "The man has defrauded a lot of people and now he has run away."

Thinus Louw, director of the Northern province Law Society, said: "It is very easy to verify the credentials of an attorney.

"The public must just contact the Law Society."

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