'Bogus advocate' is behind bars

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Bonginkosi Chris Rumo is in police detention for allegedly acting as an advocate and claiming money from clients. Sowetan published an expose on November 26 2018.
Bonginkosi Chris Rumo is in police detention for allegedly acting as an advocate and claiming money from clients. Sowetan published an expose on November 26 2018.

Bonginkosi Chris Rumo, 26, of Secunda in Mpumalanga, whom Consumer Line exposed in November 2018 for allegedly masquerading as an attorney and taking money from clients under false pretences that he would secure bail for them, is now behind bars.

At the time Rumo had allegedly defrauded Nontombi Mngomezulu, 67, whose relative was arrested for drunken driving and held at Kempton Park police station with other suspects.

To secure bail for her relative, Rumo said he needed R2,000 which Mngomezulu deposited via e-wallet as Rumo wanted cash instead of her depositing it into his trust account.

Though he promised to secure bail for the arrested person within 16 hours, Rumo did nothing and Mngomezulu had to enlist the services of another attorney.

When Consumer Line approached Rumo at the time for comment, he undertook to refund her money but never did that and ignored further inquiries from Sowetan.

Consumer Line's investigation in 2018 revealed that Rumo was not an attorney after he claimed that he did his law degree at the Vaal University of Technology, an institution which does not offer a law degree but only various legal diplomas.

Last weekend, Rumo was arrested for allegedly showing a magistrate a fake Johannesburg high court order, stating that he was an advocate. He was in the magistrate's court for 12 counts of fraud relating to criminal cases in which he appeared as the legal representative for the accused persons, though he was not an admitted advocate.

National Prosecution Authority spokesperson's Monica Nyuswa said Rumo's first appearance was in the Nelspruit magistrate's court on Tuesday.

"He has been charged with 12 counts of fraud, related to criminal cases in which he appeared as a legal representative though he is allegedly not an advocate," Nyuswa said.

She said Rumo represented people in court for several cases between August 2018 and May last year.

She said Rumo was not a first offender as he committed a similar offence in 2014 when he was sentenced to five years imprisonment which was wholly suspended on condition he did not commit a similar offence. Sowetan published his expose in November 2018.

His bail application has been postponed to Wednesday.

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