Acting judge accused of destroying law firm

Durban – A Durban attorney who has acted as a judge in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has been accused in court papers of attempting to destroy a law firm she allegedly sold to a former employee.

Pavitra Govender, in an urgent Durban High Court application launched this week, says she bought Ndamase Inc – a law firm in Umhlanga – from Bulelwa Ndamase in June last year as a going concern.

The agreement made provision for her to take over some clients, office equipment and employees. It also provided for a restraint of trade against Ndamase.

But now the business has been virtually shut down because of Ndamase’s “reprehensible conduct”.

Restraint of trade agreement

Govender alleges that not only has Ndamase broken the restraint of trade agreement – and is practising law again – but she has effectively locked her out of the offices, reported her to the law society and has laid baseless criminal charges against her which recently resulted in police seizing her computers.

She alleges Ndamase does not mention the sale agreement in any of these complaints.

In terms of an interim order granted by consent before Judge Jacqui Henriques, the investigating officer was ordered to present the relevant docket to the provincial director of public prosecutions for a decision on the merits of the allegations in it.

It was recorded that Ndamase had undertaken not to lay “any false charges or false complaints” with the police or the law society pending the finalisation of the application.

The matter will be back in court at the end of October.

In her affidavit, Govender said she began work at Ndamase Inc as an articled clerk and then a professional assistant.

Big clients

She said the firm was very busy, mainly doing collections for major clients, including Wesbank and Transnet.

She said Ndamase had done several stints as an acting judge and also ran a clothing business. 

Govender said after signing the agreement, Ndamase had no further involvement in the legal practice, although she continued to make…

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