- Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has issued a statement addressing the arrest of Advocate Malesela Teffo
- Zondo says he is not happy about the way the police handled the arrest, saying they did not have to approach Teffo inside the courtroom
- Some South Africans agree with Zondo, saying the police disrespected the judiciary, and want the officers who carried out the arrest to face charges
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JOHANNESBURG - Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has weighed in on the arrest of Advocate Malesela Teffo in court moments after the Senzo Meyiwa trial adjourned for the day last week. Teffo is defending four out of five men who are being accused of killing the famed soccer player.
In a statement issued by the Office of the Chief Justice, Zondo condemned the police's conduct and found the way they carried out the arrest warrant unacceptable.
Senzo Meyiwa murder case: Suspects' advocate Malesela Teffo calls for the trial resume as soon as possible
According to Zondo, the police's actions were an offence to the court and judiciary's dignity.
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“There was no justifiable reason the SAPS could not have waited for Advocate Teffo to leave the courtroom and the court premises before they arrested him," said Zondo.
The Chief Justice went on to say that he has no issue with the arrest warrant, however, the arrest warrant was issued two months prior to his arrest in court and waiting for him to leave the courtroom would not have made a difference, reports TimesLIVE.
Zondo stated that all organs of the state had an obligation to protect the courts, including the police, and hopes that the police will conduct themselves better in future.
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South Africans share their thoughts on Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's statement
Many people who reacted online believe that the police officers' conduct was uncalled-for, while others don't believe the court is worthy of respect:
"A verbal only from Chief Justice that this shouldn't happen is not enough. We want the police officers who executed this arrest to face criminal charges."
"The guy was to be arrested on his way out that is why the court was adjourned, instead Teffo turned back and went inside. Anisiyeke ngaledodi Ka Teffo and Zondo must shut up, people have been arrested in court."
"The judiciary was disrespected ages ago and only a fool will consider the judiciary as important."
"It shows how low the police's morale is. Total disrespect for the judiciary."
Lawyer in Senzo Meyiwa’s case, Advocate Teffo, fails to appear in court for trespassing, faces charges
In earlier news about Advocate Malesela Teffo, Briefly News previously reported that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) charged him after he did not appear in court on trespassing charges.
The lawyer has been granted R10 000 bail and will return to court in May. Teffo insists that the NPA and the SAPS have orchestrated the charges against him.
Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane accused Teffo of using the victim card and said that as an advocate he should be responsible enough to attend court. Failure to appear before the court is a serious offence and the necessary action needs to be taken according to Mjonondwane.
Source: Briefly News