JSC tells Ramaphosa to suspend Senzo Meyiwa trial judge over court case delays

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela. Picture: Screengrab/TV

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela. Picture: Screengrab/TV

Published Apr 28, 2023


Durban - The Judicial Service Commission has requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend the presiding judge in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.

Judges Tshifhiwa Maumela and Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi have come under scrutiny over their failure to deliver reserved judgments in a reasonable time.

The JSC’s advocate Sesi Baloyi said at its meetings in January and earlier this month, it considered the reports of the Judicial Conduct Committee relating to the complaint against Maumela and Mngqibisa-Thusi relating to failure to deliver numerous reserved judgments.

"The JSC decided that the failure to deliver the reserved judgments, if established, will prima facie indicate incapacity, gross incompetence or gross misconduct on the part of the Judges, taking into account the extent of the delay and the prejudice suffered by the parties. The JSC has decided to request, in terms of section 19 of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 (JSC Act), that the Chief Justice appoint a Judicial Conduct Tribunal (Tribunal) to consider the complaints and will, in terms of section 19(4) of the JSC Act, advise the President of its decision," Baloyi said.

She added that due to the seriousness of the complaints, the JSC has also decided to advise the president that it is desirable that Judges Maumela and Mngqibisa-Thusi be placed on suspension, pending the outcome of the tribunal processes with certain conditions, including that the judges must, during the period of suspension, finalise all matters that are presently before them.

Meanwhile, the Pretoria High Court is expected to hand down judgment on a bail decision for one of the men accused of Meyiwa's murder in 2014.

Bongani Ntanzi approached the court with an application for bail, stating that on the day Meyiwa was gunned down, he was working at a mine in Carltonville.