‘Dishonest’ advocate reported to bar council by angry judge
Row with a bank over loan repayments lands him in judge's bad books - now the focus is on his professional conduct
A high court advocate branded dishonest in a court battle over loan repayments faces a new fight, this time to save his career.
Emile van der Hoven, from Roodepoort in Gauteng, has been reported to the National Bar Council by Judge Moroampholo Tsoka of the Johannesburg High Court.
Tsoka said the bar council should decide whether Van der Hoven, who says on his LinkedIn profile he has spent two years as an acting magistrate, “is fit and proper to practise as an advocate of this court”.
The advocate landed himself in Tsoka’s bad books by appealing against a magistrate’s interim order in his dispute with Nedbank over loan repayments.
“The order appealed against is not appealable,” Tsoka said, adding that the main concern was Van der Hoven’s conduct.
He had twice attempted to have a proposed settlement agreement with Nedbank made an order of court, even though his application had already been dismissed with costs.
Then he had concocted a costs bill for Nedbank and used a fake case number.
Finally, instead of appearing in the high court to argue his case in the appeal application, he had lied that he was in hospital.
“Sensing that [Van der Hoven’s] allegations were untrue, [Nedbank] attended at the hospital,” said Tsoka, and found no trace of him.
“In court, [he] insisted that neither him nor his wife ever alleged that he was admitted to hospital,” said the judge.
“When confronted with an affidavit by his wife wherein the admission to hospital is confirmed, he had nothing to say.”
Tsoka said it appeared Van der Hoven’s conduct fell far short of what was expected from advocates. It was “not only vexatious but dishonest. This dishonesty is, in my view, inconsistent with the profession as counsel.”
The judge also ordered Van der Hoven – who claims on LinkedIn to be chairman of the International Society of Arbitrators and Mediators — to pay the costs of the appeal.