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DURBAN – A FORMER Durban attorney, now practising in Bloemfontein, is alleged to have bribed a clerk in the Bloemfontein High Court to fast-track the signing of defaults judgment documents.
Edward Abraham, 37, is currently out on R1 500 bail and was expected to appear again in court next month.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo said Abraham allegedly gave the high court clerk R200 on June 10.
Singo said Abraham allegedly approached the clerk and offered an amount of R100 per document although the submission or services requested by the attorney is for free.
“The matter was reported to the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation team Bloemfontein. An operation was conducted and executed on Monday, 18 August 2021 which led to the arrest of Abraham after he allegedly paid an amount of R200 to the complainant for two default judgment documents. An amount of R200 and a cellphone were seized during the arrest,” he said.
Abraham is also a partner in a law firm based in uMhlanga, north of Durban. The company of attorneys, notaries and conveyancers, requested their name not to be published.
They confirmed that Abraham was a partner at the firm, adding that the matter was sub judice and they could not comment.
“I understand that the matter involves a gesture of appreciation extended to a colleague for assisting with repeatedly lost documents in the Bloemfontein High Court, being horribly misconstrued.
“We intend seeing the director in charge of this matter shortly to make representations. The matter has been reported by our office to the Legal Practice Council and acknowledged by them,” they said.
Proof was sent to the Daily News that a letter was indeed emailed to the Legal Practice Council’s Pearl Mfusi in KwaZulu-Natal.
On Thursday Mfusi said: “At this stage, the matter is sub judice and as such we can not comment. The question of whether Mr Abraham is able to continue practising will depend on the outcome of the criminal proceedings. The Council will make a decision on the matter once the criminal proceedings have been concluded.”
According to Abraham’s profile on the company’s website, he is also a member of the Insurance Institute of KwaZulu-Natal and chairperson of the KZN Master Builders Association’s disciplinary committee. The provincial head of the Hawks in the Free State, Major-General Kubandran Moodley said Abraham’s arrest would serve as an example to others who were trying to “undermine the operation of the criminal justice system”.