A lawyer whose fiery outburst against an acting judge in the High Court in Johannesburg this week was caught on camera, says he is "gutted" by what transpired.
"I come from a very good home and my parents instilled good manners in us, so I'm gutted. Yesterday was the single worst day of my life," Darren Sampson told The Citizen on Thursday morning, after a recording of him repeatedly swearing at the presiding officer during a virtual hearing on Wednesday began circulating.
The minute-and-a-half recording kicked off with Sampson saying: "After what happened to me, I will never be able to practice as an attorney again. And I've been telling the people that – their own medical experts and my own medical experts said 'This man is two slices short of a sandwich' … And every time I tell the judges that, the judges tell me, 'Oh but you are an attorney'. I'm sick of it!"
Moments later, after Moosa announced she would be granting an order, Sampson exploded in a fit of rage, and began jumping up and down and shouting.
"F* you, Judge, f*! F* you," he said, "All their mothers' pe!" before he was eventually muted.
WARNING! The video below contains explicit language, which some may find upsetting.
'Fk you, Judge!' – lawyer gutted by events https://t.co/xNResdLEQd via @TheCitizen_News pic.twitter.com/yzEX76eEr4
— The Citizen News (@TheCitizen_News) September 17, 2020
Sampson explained that he had become embroiled in litigation involving the State Attorney's Office – which he said he had been fired from in March – and that the judge had withdrawn the case on Wednesday without hearing him out first.
"The judge gave them 80% of the time and during the 20% I got, she refused to even listen to me," he said.
He said the drawn-out litigation had taken a toll on his health and that his strong reaction was the result of frustration with the court system.
Recently an audio recording of an advocate calling Limpopo Deputy Judge President Frans Kgomo "stupid" also made the rounds and the Legal Practice Council (LPC) has condemned "in the strongest terms" both incidents, saying it was "alarmed by the lack of decorum and professionalism demonstrated".
"As the regulatory body of the legal profession in South Africa, we believe that our judicial system is one of the most robust in the world. The unbecoming behaviour by both legal practitioners shows total disregard of our judicial system and complete lack of respect for the presiding officer and the Judiciary," LPC chair Kathleen Matolo -Dlepu said in a statement.
"It is unfortunate and concerning, as it seems that such conduct is becoming endemic and we will be taking steps against both legal practitioners in line with the council's disciplinary processes."
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