Posted by: Reader | 2011-03-30

Heated conversation between Judge and Advocate...Ja neh..

Jou ma se …  advocate tells judge
March 30 2011 at 07:44am
By Melanie Gosling

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Advocate Nehemiah Ballem. Picture: Leon Muller

In an extraordinary outburst in the Western Cape High Court, an advocate swore at the presiding judge and then stormed out of the courtroom.

Advocate Nehemiah Ballem, apparently angry after being questioned by Judge Lee Bozalek about his late appearance, said to the judge in Afrikaans: “ Jou ma se p**s, man, f**k you!” 

The incident happened during the case of the State versus Godfrey Manxilane on Friday.

Ballem has acted as counsel for the accused in several high profile cases, including the Sizzler’ s massacre in 2004  the case of the Elton and Wayne Smith brothers, who murdered marketing strategist Klaas Jonkheid in 2009  and SA Navy serial rapist Tsediso Letsoenya, convicted in 2009 of raping 20 women.

Bozalek, a prominent human rights lawyer in the apartheid days, has been a High Court judge since 2000.

The case began at 2.37pm, with Ballem and the state prosecutor, a Ms van Rooyen, introducing themselves to the judge.

This is a transcript, translated from Afrikaans, of the proceedings.

Judge: “ Now first of all, Mr Ballem, where were you this morning?” 

Ballem: “ My lord, I just want to know if my clerk gave you a message?” 

Judge: “ Yes, we got a confused message …  (about) car problems you had.” 

Ballem: “ Exactly. Now do you want to hear it again?” 

Judge: “ Excuse me?” 

Ballem: “ Do you want to hear the excuse again?” 

Judge: “ Yes.” 

Ballem: “ My car broke down.” 

Judge: “ Now why did you realise that around 10am when court proceedings were about to begin?” 

Ballem: “ We had to wait for the AA.” 

Judge: “ Yes?” 

Ballem: “ To tow the car away.” 

Judge: “ But you, no doubt, had a cellphone?” 

Ballem: “ I didn’ t know about the case. I didn’ t have my diary (sakboek) with me.” 

Judge: “ Your bag (sakkie) wasn’ t with you?” 

Ballem: “ My diary wasn’ t with me.” 

Judge: “ Yes. Could you not have phoned the High Court half an hour, an hour, before the time?” 

Ballem: “ Judge, how long must we hassle with this?” 

Judge: “ Excuse me?” 

Ballem: “ How long must we hassle with this? I’ ve now gone to some trouble to be here.” 

Judge: “ Mr Ballem, perhaps you don’ t realise, your first duty, if you have to appear in the High Court, is to be here, and you are not doing us a favour by being here, despite your problems. Why are you turning your face away from me while I’ m speaking?” 

Ballem: “ Well, I asked my secretary to pass on a message and I assume she must have done so.” 

Judge: “ Yes, but then we got … ”  (interrupted)

Ballem: “ Now do you want the message from me again?” 

Judge: “ Then we got another strange message: Could the case be postponed until Monday, a telephonic request for a postponement?” 

Ballem: “ Exactly. Then I got the message that you were prepared to wait for me, and now I am here.” 

Judge: “ You were not involved in another case this morning, were you?” 

Ballem: “ I was not involved, Judge. I am here now.”  (He slams his hand on the desk.)

Judge: “ Sir (meneer), your attitude, you must...”  (interrupted)

Ballem: “ But then you must not also come ...”  (interrupted)

Judge: “ You must be careful about your attitude, Mr Ballem, in front of the court.” 

Ballem: “ But then you must also not come with an attitude.” 

Judge: “ Excuse me?” 

Ballem: “ I said then you must not come with an attitude, because we are both adults, I am not your child.” 

Judge: “ Mr Ballem, I must tell you ...”  (interrupted)

Ballem: “ I said I am not your child.” 

Judge: “ I must warn you … ”  (interrupted)

Ballem: “ You do exactly what you want. Do what you want.” 

Judge: “ You are sailing very close to the wind.” 

Ballem: “ Jou ma se p**s, man! F**k you!”  (Ballem leaves the courtroom).

Judge: “ Ms van Rooyen?” 

Van Rooyen: “ I don’ t know what to say, my lord, except to suggest we remove the matter from the roll for today, and there we can ...”  (interrupted)

Judge: “ I think the matter should rather be postponed sine die (adjourned indefinitely).” 

Van Rooyen: “ I agree …  We’ ll get other legal representation and then ...”  (interrupted)

Judge: “ How will that be arranged?” 

Van Rooyen: “ My lord, I will take the case back to advocate Van der Merwe. He will arrange that someone else takes over the case …  the documents are ready in any case.” 

Judge: “ I think it should remain with this court and I think the most appropriate order is that it be postponed indefinitely …  Right, this case is postponed sine die, and Snellers (Legal Transcriptions) are requested to type all the proceedings that took place.” 

When the Cape Times telephoned Judge Bozalek to ask for comment yesterday, his secretary said: “ But how did you know about that? There were no press in court.”  After speaking to Bozalek, she said: “ The judge says he does not think it appropriate to discuss the matter with the press.” 

When the Cape Times telephoned Ballem’ s office, his receptionist said she had not heard from him since Friday.

“ I’ ve tried the whole day to get hold of him, but I can’ t.”  - Cape Times

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And just how many years at university did they need to become capable of producing such gems of wisdom ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Gracie | 2011-03-30

working in the legal field, I found this hysterically funny ... ok the Advocate is going to get his-|-kicked, but hey the man had a bad day and he had his say LOL LOL LOL !!!

Reply to Gracie
Posted by: And so....... | 2011-03-30

.....The circus continues. Well after the entertainment is no longer needed.

Don''t laugh, we all seem to be in the same circus.

Thanks reader!

Reply to And so.......
Posted by: Woman | 2011-03-30

If you have an emergency, please contact your doctor or local hospital immediately, or call one of the following numbers for telephonic counselling: Lifeline: 0861 322 322 or Depression and Anxiety Group helpline: 8am-8pm (011) 262-6396.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Reader | 2011-03-30

Dear woman, if I wanted to comment I would have done so but clearly I wanted to share this story with those interested and never had a chance to read it and obviously that excludes you. There is no rule here that prohibits me from doing this and may I remind you thateven though you spend 80% of your working time on this side, that still doesn''t make you the custodian of the sight.So please do not tell me what is necessary and not...and No it was on IOL.

Reply to Reader
Posted by: Woman | 2011-03-30

If I''m not mistaken, this article was on news 24. There is a comment box to put your comments in. Why did you decide to repost it here? Just leave your comments on the original page, it''s not necessary to repost it on the same site.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-03-30

And just how many years at university did they need to become capable of producing such gems of wisdom ?

Reply to cybershrink

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