CRUTATOR is told that if you throw a stone into a crowd in South Africa you are likely to hit a car thief.
If you throw a stone in Botswana chances are you will hit a drunkard.
In Nigeria you are likely to hit a conman.
In Zimbabwe you are likely to hit a vagrant.
In Malawi you will probably hit a witch.
In Zambia it’s likely to be a vendor.
There is nothing xenophobic about this legend.
There is some truth in these stories.
Of cause there are other good people a stone can hit in those countries but for now they are not relevant to this tale I am about to tell.
If you throw a stone in Maseru you are likely to hit a hopelessly incompetent lawyer.
That’s because over the past decade the National University of Lesotho has been mass-producing advocates at an alarming rate.
They have been churning out lawyers like China does its fong-kong things.
Sometimes Scrutator thinks there is a conspiracy to cripple our legal fraternity with half-baked lawyers so people can suffer.
I am told some of these young advocates are not only so incompetent it hurts but they are also criminals.
Yes, you heard me right: we have criminals for advocates.
Some of them are illegally appearing in court without instructions from attorneys.
Some have taken to faking attorneys’ signatures just to appear in court.
That’s a cardinal sin in the legal field.
It’s equal to fraud combined with impersonation.
Yet that toothless bulldog called the Law Society cannot do anything because most of the people in its leadership are mere advocates.
You might be wondering why the advocates can’t just study to become attorneys.
Well, the answer is clear.
Unlike the NUL examinations which you can write with your eyes closed attorney examinations are tough.
They are not exams for low-IQ lawyers.
And they are practical examinations too.
Unlike at NUL where you can wink at a lecturer and pass, in bar exams you have to prove that you are proficient.
So some advocates would rather avoid those exams and remain advocates – forever begging for cases from attorneys.
When business is low they engage in nefarious activities just to get by.
Sometimes they engage in ambulance-chasing antics.
When Law Society president Zwelakhe Mda was asked about the advocates’ criminal activities by the Sunday Express he gave probably the most dismal answer Scrutator has ever heard from a lawyer.
I understand why.
You see for years now Mda – he is good advocate that one — has been hurling accusations of laziness and ineptness at other players in the judiciary without bothering to clean the mess in the Law Society.
So when he was confronted with news that his own house was stinking he was at a loss for words.
Mda, take a wire brush and clean that dirty society of yours before you start poking your long fingers at judges’ faces.
till on legal matters, how come after being convicted every criminal uses the same line to plead for mercy from the court?
“I have a family. Please, judge, be lenient.”
“I am taking care of my old parents.”
“I am married.”
Do they not think of their families and wives when they are committing those crimes?
But perhaps that again reflects on the quality of lawyers that we have.
They are using the same old template.
Avoiding that template would require research, something which our advocates seem to hate with a passion.
Hardly do I ever hear any convict saying they were gripped by anger when they committed a crime.
Or that they were jobless and desperate for something to eat when they robbed someone.
Or that they were insane.
A good judge friend of mine says he is appalled by the current crop of law graduates that have been let loose in the legal fraternity.
“They are pathetic, incompetent and out of depth,” he said mockingly.
God bless our advocates.
eboho Letsela, the 23-year-old candidate for the ruling party in the Hololo by-election, is quite an ambitious boy.
Scrutator admires his guts.
It’s just that sometimes I wonder why he has chosen such a rotten career path so soon after kindergarten.
This is a sector whose professionals openly admit that theirs is a “dirty game”.
Young boys like Letsela are better off spending their time learning to court girls instead of dabbling in this stinking business of politics.
Yet something in me tells me that his excitement will soon disappear when he gets into parliament.
He will meet blabbermouths like Tsehlana and reckless chatter boxes like Libe.
He will meet the brawl-hardened veterans like Thabane and Lehohla.
He will meet the fire-spitting Shea and the ever beleaguered Lekhanya.
Then he will see that in politics age is not just a number.
Good luck my rising star.
here are times when innovation borders on desperation.
“Support the government’s call for tightening of our belt. We all have to be considerate and more wise when we spend money.
“Why would you pay more to increase government’s expenses on ADVERTISING during these hard economic times?
“Assist the finance minister to cut government’s expenditure.
“We offer lowest advertising rates to government departments.”
Scrutator almost fell off her chair when she read that advert in a local weekly.
There is a difference between creative marketing and grovelling.
By the way advertisers are not necessarily looking for the “lowest rates”.
They prefer not only readable newspapers but those with a critical following too.
That’s why one would pay nearly R200 000 to advertise in the Sunday Times instead of taking up similar but extremely cheaper space in a Mickey-Mouse paper.
Na oa utloa ntate
But one cannot help but notice the hypocrisy of it all.
A couple of years ago — way before competition came into the newspaper industry — this proud tabloid did not hesitate to butcher ethics in the name of “investigative” journalism.
And a few months ago they were busy whipping the same finance minister they are now purporting to be trying to help cut government expenditure.
They are down on bended knees, indeed.