The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) expresses its abhorrence at the recent attack and kidnapping of Ms. Charity Mhlungu Nzuza and her companions.
Ms. Nzuza is the Chief Executive officer of the Legal Practice Council that came into existence on 01 November 2018. She was previously the executive officer of the National Forum.
Security footage of the attack shows a white Mercedes Benz pulling up behind the VW Polo that Ms. Nzuza and her companions were travelling in. Four armed men then alighted the Mercedes Benz and forced them out of the Polo. Ms. Nzuza’s female companion was dragged by her arms across the road. The 63-year-old male driver was forced into the boot of the car. Ms. Nzuza was found at 1am the next morning at a garage in Midrand. Her colleague was found in Johannesburg. All are undergoing trauma counseling and all survived the frightening ordeal.
The attackers demanded that Ms. Nzuza transfers to them money from the legal profession, that they believed that she had control over. Her life was at risk as she was unwilling to engage with the kidnappers on the matter.
We are outraged at the cruelty and violence which was meted out to the victims as evidenced by the CCTV recording.
We are bewildered that such sensitive information regarding the Legal Practice Council was passed so quickly to thugs and criminal syndicates. The theft of these monies had the potential to cause the collapse of the regulation of the legal profession in South Africa. We therefore expect the police and the investigators to treat this matter with the urgency and seriousness that it deserves.
The investigators must ensure that every possible avenue is investigated. We insist that the authorities ‘leave no stone unturned’. They should not rest until these criminals are arrested and brought to book.
In the meantime we encourage Ms. Nzuza and the other members of the Legal Practice Council to be vigilant and to continue with their important work at the council. As legal professionals we will unite to eliminate any criminal threat made against our profession. An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us.
Our heartfelt compassions go to Ms. Nzuza and her companions. We regret that they had to face such a traumatic ordeal and hope that they receive strength to recover from the psychological trauma this incident must have caused them.
We appeal to anyone with any information which may lead to arrest of suspects to provide same to SAPS.
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS (NADEL), SOUTH AFRICA,
BY: The Office of NADEL National Secretariat,
National Executive Committee,
Nolitha Jali, (Secretary General)
071 689 3705