In a significant ruling by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, a prominent Newcastle advocate, Enoch Felani Manana, has been disbarred from practicing law due to his involvement in a theft case amounting to R75,000.
The legal proceedings leading to Manana’s disbarment commenced in 2020 when the Legal Practice Council, KwaZulu-Natal office, pursued a case against him. In September 2022, they obtained a rule nisi, securing interim relief and effectively suspending Manana from his advocate position. The court also appointed a curator to oversee his legal practice.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment documents reveal that the investigation and subsequent legal findings against Manana stem from his misappropriation of funds belonging to a client who had engaged his services in 2019.
According to the court documents, in 2019, Manana’s client had tasked him with recovering R120,000 from a firm of attorneys in Newcastle. The funds were initially held by the attorneys after the client entered into a failed transaction to purchase a property, entitling her to a refund.
Initially, Manana successfully obtained the full amount of R120,000 on August 24, 2020, as the funds were electronically transferred into his trust banking account by the attorneys. However, instead of paying the entire amount to his client, he only disbursed R45,000 on October 8, 2020, and failed to settle the outstanding R75,000 within a reasonable timeframe.
When the client approached the Legal Practice Council after Manana’s failure to fulfill his financial obligations, he allegedly promised to make the payment by November 1, 2020, but ultimately failed to do so. As a result, the Legal Practice Council initiated an investigation, leading to the disbarment proceedings.
During the legal proceedings, Manana admitted to making promises regarding the outstanding payment but failed to fulfill them.
As a consequence of the investigations and extensive legal proceedings, his name has now been officially removed from the roll of advocates due to his misconduct.
This disbarment is not the first legal issue Manana has faced. In February 2018, he was arrested at his Standerton offices on allegations of investment fraud, involving over R4 million. Although he managed to evade punishment for that crime, he is now prohibited from practicing law altogether.
As the news of Manana’s disbarment spreads, we invite our readers to share their thoughts and opinions on this matter in the comment section below.