Bar council to probe Dali Mpofu's 'shut up' comment at state capture inquiry

26 March 2021 - 15:28 By ernest mabuza

Advocate Dali Mpofu SC will be investigated for professional misconduct after telling a colleague at the state capture commission this week to “shut up”.

The Johannesburg Bar Council, which is a constituent bar of the General Council of the Bar (GCB), received a complaint from a member of the public against Mpofu.

GCB chairperson Craig Watt-Pringle SC said on Friday that the Johannesburg Society of Advocates' professional committee would investigate the complaint lodged against Mpofu.

Mpofu will be given an opportunity to defend himself.

If it is found that his conduct amounts to professional misconduct, then the Johannesburg Bar Council can sanction him.

The complaint relates to what happened at the commission on Wednesday where Mpofu represented former SA Revenue Service (Sars) boss Tom Moyane during the cross-examination of public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.

In 2018, the minister accused Moyane of wanting to advance state capture at Sars.

Gordhan’s counsel, advocate Michelle le Roux, asked whether the minister wanted to respond to allegations of racism made by Moyane and his legal team. Mpofu objected but was interrupted by Le Roux while he was talking.

Mpofu told Le Roux to “shut up when I’m speaking”.

“He told her to 'shut up when I’m speaking,'" Gordhan exclaimed, to which Mpofu responded: “You too, Mr Gordhan.”

On Thursday, state capture commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo  lambasted Mpofu’s behaviour.

Zondo said Mpofu's attitude towards Gordhan and Le Roux was “unacceptable”.

“Not only was disrespect shown to some of the people in the hearing, but also to the commission and to me as the chairperson,” he said.