On Tuesday 12 December 2023, the CEO of the Road Accident Fund (RAF), Mr Collins Letsoalo, made several sweeping and unfounded statements pertaining to legal practitioners and the Legal Practice Council (LPC).
He, amongst other statements, claimed that over 9 000 lawyers had been referred to the LPC following complaints relating to the RAF. Most of these legal practitioners have allegedly been accused of swindling their clients of the RAF’s payouts.
He also stated that the LPC does not efficiently attend to complaints lodged against legal practitioners, and referred to it as a “club”.
His allegations in respect of duplicate payments made to legal practitioners are also an incorrect manifestation of the facts.
These outrageous and misleading claims have since been refuted by the LPC, which asserted that only 13 complaints were received directly from the RAF. Of these, eight are still ongoing and the others have been finalised. The RAF is regularly updated on developments in this regard.
As regards duplicate payments, as pointed out by the LPC, these occurred due to a system error at the RAF and, of the 102 firms initially reported as having been paid twice, 99% paid back any duplicate payments made to them or did not receive any duplicated payout. The remaining 13 firms are those referred to above, who were taken through the LPC’s disciplinary processes.
It is of concern that these unfortunate statements by Mr Letsoalo tarnish the image of the profession and undermine the integrity of the LPC.
Now that he is appraised of the facts, we trust that he will forthwith address the inaccuracies in his recent media statements or explain why he has not done so. ’
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA,
Ms Eunice Masipa
LSSA Communications Manager: Mapula Oliphant
Tel: (012) 366 8808
Cell: 076 026 5997