Joburg Lawyer Stealing RAFAdv Arnold Mkhabela (Image: Facebook)

Joburg Lawyer Suspended for Stealing R8 Million in RAF Payouts

In a shocking turn of events, a Johannesburg lawyer has been suspended for exploiting his clients and embezzling their Road Accident Fund (RAF) claims.

The Legal Practice Council (LPC) has labelled Arnold Mkhabela’s case as one of the most egregious in the country, citing the numerous complaints and the substantial amounts of RAF money he allegedly misappropriated.

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LPC Steps In: Joburg Lawyer Suspended for Stealing RAF Payouts

The Pretoria High Court granted the LPC’s request to temporarily suspend Mkhabela’s license to practice law. The council also advised potential clients to avoid using his services. Mkhabela is prohibited from practising until October 15, pending the outcome of the LPC’s application for his permanent disbarment.

“Mkhabela’s is one of the worst cases we have handled hence it was important for the LPC to move on and ensure that he can be suspended and possibly struck off. The number of complaints against him and also, to some degree, the amount of funds he is alleged to have misappropriated, were uncommon for any lawyer,” said LPC spokesperson Kabelo Letebele.

The LPC is a national statutory body established under the Legal Practice Act, tasked with regulating all legal practitioners and candidates. Mkhabela was among 9,922 legal practitioners brought before the LPC for various violations last year.

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Recent Complaints

The process to disbar Mkhabela began in August last year, initially involving 51 complaints from his clients, 21 of which involved misappropriation of funds totalling R8 million. Since February this year, 23 additional complaints have been lodged, bringing the total to 74.

One recent case involves Zanele Songo, 37, a mother of three from Daveyton in Ekurhuleni, who filed a complaint in July. Mkhabela allegedly failed to inform her that he had received her R500,000 payout from the RAF. Songo, who was involved in a taxi accident in 2012, only discovered her claim had been finalized after inquiring with the RAF in April last year.

By Tayana

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