Bad money drowns good

IF IT is not carnal attractions that fell great men, it is the lure of money.

If he resigned from both the Johannesburg and Pretoria bar for the reasons advanced, it is sad indeed that the country will lose the judicial acumen of veteran lawman Seth Nthai.

For a man in his position, he should have known better.

The General Bar Council moved to have Nthai struck off the roll after hearing allegations that he tried to solicit a R5 million bribe from Italian clients. He was acting for his masters, the South African government, in an international case over mining exploration rights.

The fact that the government chose to have Nthai act on its behalf in a matter of this calibre speaks volumes about his body of work and the trust the country placed in him. Over a paltry figure a man in his position could easily have made in countless legitimate ways, he elected to throw his reputation and career out the window.

Nthai is no ordinary legal brain. He has colourful struggle credentials. He was once an MEC in Limpopo. He served in the Judicial Service Commission.

He's not a minnow in the area of batting for government, having represented the state in its court battle against Vusi Pikoli, the former national director of public prosecutions.

Now for money that he apparently did not see transferred into his bank account, he risked all.

He should have known the minute he met clandestinely with the Italians that he was digging his own grave.