For the full story, please see The Citizen newspaper, out on shelves now.
Response to the charges of fraud levelled against Brenda Wardle and other accusations also levelled against her.
The current fraud cases are still but allegations and I’m in no position to divulge the extent of my defense save to say that I am of the firm belief that I shall not be found guilty because I’m innocent.
Orange Grove, Johannesburg, businesswoman, Victoria Matlabe’s lawyer alleges legal fees amounting to R55 000 were paid to her but Wardle did not deliver as promised.
I (Brenda Wardle) have never advanced to Ms Matlabe or anyone else for that matter that I am an attorney. Our, now ‘liquidated’ entity was Wardle Ndhlela & Mahlangu Consultants CC. I assisted Ms Matlabe as a legal consultant after she had been introduced by Ms Mabutho. So be it in the public space or in print I’ve always stated that I’m a legal consultant.
My previous convictions for fraud are documented and I’m the one who came clean, handing myself over for arrest.
Ms Matlabe is using the media to try and extort money. She has not paid a cent. The money which was refunded by Remax years ago for a failed deal of Mrs Mtimkhulu was paid back to her.
There were further amounts paid from my account to the account of a gentleman she was purchasing a vehicle from. Another amount was paid to the FNB account of her Congolese or Nigerian boyfriend, whom, it turned out had a hold placed on his account. She wanted the said amount reversed and we were unsuccessful in doing so.
Ms Matlabe has, on more than one occasion laid criminal charges only to withdraw them later.
In the matter before the Specialized Commercial Crimes Court currently, it emerged during the bail application that her boyfriend, Magistrate Manyathi had issued the warrant for my arrest. An attorney appointed by Vicky and this boyfriend attended court during my bail application. The investigating officer in this matter also, during cross-examination, notwithstanding the fact that I was not charged with this case, made mention of this case of Ms Matlabe and I rejected and informed Court that the very person who signed the warrant for my arrest happened to be the boyfriend of Ms Matlabe. It’s thus strange why he didn’t recuse himself. However, I await the finalization of this matter before I file a formal complaint with the Magistrate’s Commission.
You are not the first journalist to contact me about this case. Last year there two journalists, the last one from Sowetan in December who contacted me about the very same allegations.
The right to reply and the audi alteram partem rule is critical. A deadline of 12 o’clock when you have long been sitting with this is unfair. I need time to collect all documentary evidence to counter these spurious allegations and you have no right to pen an article with an inaccurate, one-sided slant.
Ms Matlabe was hard done by when her property was sold at an auction. Papers were duly filed in the High Court. The file is at the North Gauteng High Court for you to see. No money was received from Standard (Bank) as the court record will indicate.
So, before publishing I would advise you to put these facts before Vicky and get her response. I have nothing to fear nor hide. Ask her how a quest for a fixed property transformed to a quest for a vehicle to a quest for cash.
The said (sad) part is the tendency by people to immediately they realize that a matter has not gone their way to quickly run to the police to cry fraud in the hope that they’ll be silenced with money. What happened to good old civil procedure to claim what is due to you? If amongst your boyfriends is a magistrate why can’t he advise you to follow correct procedure rather than steer you in the wrong direction?
I shall forward to you everything I have. Call Vicky and then judge for yourself before being used.
Wardle’s response concerning Simon Tshabalala from Dobsonville in Soweto who alleged she paid R27 500 which he borrowed from his friend , Makhehla Masondo for legal fees, but says Wardle did not deliver as promised.
I did not accept money from Mr Tshabalala because I undertook to represent him in Court. He had an amount of R20,000 paid on his behalf by (Mr) Masondo because he had a labour matter. He had made certain allegations against his representative trade union as he alleged they had manipulated Court documents and not filed the necessary papers nor set the matter down on time. I sent an employee to the Labour Court to establish the truth, made copies of his file, established that his allegations were not true where after I refunded his R20,000 and gave him the said copies without even charging for consultation or travel save for R120,00 for copies.
A few weeks thereafter I was again asked whether or not I could assist by ensuring that the matter is set down earlier. I met with (Mr)Masondo, Mr Tshabalala and his brother. This time I establishing rumours that his former employer had been liquidated and also averments of a merger. There were or are two employees in the said matter and I set about doing what I was expected to hence the R799,000 payment you see which was stopped as a result of a terminated mandate.
The said R799,000 negotiation was for both Mr Tshabalala and the second applicant and it was Mr Tshabalala and his party’s contention that he would not advise the second applicant about the settlement as he had not paid legal fees. (Mr )Masondo had as far as I know paid R20,000 of the R27,400. At not (no) stage did I ever undertake to represent anyone in Court and given the nature of negotiations immediately they terminated my mandate I ceased to have any authority to speak on what would have been.
Nothing in labour matters prohibits me, as a legal consultant, from entering into negotiations up to and including settlement at conciliation and nothing prohibits me participating in out of court discussions in civil matters. When WNM consultancy was operational we dealt with parole matters at parole board level and assisted with reviews. All that is legal. It is expected that the refund of Mr Tshabalala will be available to (Mr) Masondo in the next day or two.
Asked how did she reach an agreement with Mr Tshabalala’s employer when she had not met with his employer/been to court?
I’m not at liberty to discuss anything in relation to that and had advised Mr Tshabalala at the time.
When Matlabe and Tshabalala alleged she represented herself as an advocate/attorney she said “this is utter rubbish”.
Vicky Matlabe always knew I’m a legal consultant because when I was introduced to her we were working in association for referral with ZMR Attorneys. When Mr Radebe closed his practice we approached a Pretoria law firm to assist and Ms Matlabe accompanied the Mtimkulus to that hand over session to new attorneys at Melrose Arch Hotel.
Also Ms Matlabe always knew that I assist prisoners in parole matters, the majority successful at that until DCS stopped us representing clients at parole boards. She knows this for a fact because she repeatedly insisted that I must get her from my clients those who had been charged or convicted in Kempton Park on drug related charges as she collected monies from them to settle their cases on behalf of Mr Manyathi. I had never once agreed. What she envisaged was her sending clients to me in return to me referring clients to her.
Mr Tshabalala can never argue that I once said I’m an advocate. I met (Mr ) Masondo at training which was conducted. I was introduced as a legal consultant by Mr Ndhlela. Why then would I change and become an advocate overnight?
The other lady with the son referred to above was introduced by Vicky so if Vicky knew I was a legal consultant she equally knew.
Ndhlela’s response to Matlabe’s case
I would like to place the following on record; that, our democracy is anchored on the Rule of Law, which applies equally to both natural and juristic persons and must be respected.
The allegations contained in your communique are spurious and defamatory.
Ms. Matlabe was a client of the now liquidated entity that operated under the style and name Wardle, Ndhlela and Mahlangu (WNM) Consultants CC.
I am not facing criminal charges and there (are) no outstanding charges against me that I know of.
Late last year or early this year I was contacted by D/W/O Eric from DPCI (the Hawks) who wanted to know from me if I knew Ms. Vicky Matlabe, who had laid a complaint of fraud against me.
He confirmed that on perusing the documents submitted he had informed Ms. Matlabe that the complaint did not contain any elements of the crime and was purely a civil matter.
I informed him about the tricks employed by Ms. Matlabe and her “attorney” to force me pay over to them an amount of abt (about) R270k which Ms. Wardle had requested me to advance from buy back shares.
That indeed I had undertaken to advance her the said amount once my shares were paid. However, on discovering that Ms. Matlabe and her contacts were applying blackmailing tactics, I withdrew from advancing the funds and communicating with her “attorney” and attorney.
Hope the above will assist in clearing the air regarding these spurious allegations.
Wardle to the reporter:
In conclusion I’ve met your imposed deadline now it’s my turn to pose a question or two to you:
1. Whose instructions are you working on? You see it would appear odd that Tshabalala, Matlabe & Matlabe’s friend who have all been rumoured to have laid charges with Constable Moabelo would choose one journalist from one newspaper to tell their story to.
2. The journalist who contacted me last year indicated that Ms Matlabe had filed a complaint with them had been referred by the lady you refer to, whom I was advised works or worked for a newspaper.
3. Are you the appointed debt collector of the aggrieved persons mentioned above?
4. When you sent an email to Joe you asked about R50,000 allegedly collected from Ms Matlabe which I know nothing off. Have you now abandoned those allegations?
5. You do know that you are not allowed to right a story or name suspects until they have appeared in Court. I was informed on more than one occasion that Ms Matlabe that she had laid criminal charges and await those eagerly.
Likewise, I’ve been advised that Mr Tshabalala has laid charges.
This leaves the parole issue where a full refund was done in contention.
I can’t and won’t ask you not your publish your story but you should be aware that you are duty bound to incorporate my responses to the tee.