Magistrate Desmond Nair to face commission over Bosasa matter
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Johannesburg - The Public Servants Association (PSA) will defend suspended Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair in his battle against charges that he accepted R200 000 worth of security installations from controversial company Bosasa.
Nair, who has also previously been appointed acting judge in the North Gauteng High Court, is facing two counts of misconduct for receiving the security upgrades, which meant he might be unduly influenced in the execution of his official duties, or create the impression that this was the case.
He is also accused of acting without integrity and in a manner which did not uphold and promote the good name, dignity and esteem of the office of magistrate, and the administration of justice.
Nair may have also breached the code of conduct for magistrates by directly or indirectly negotiating or accepting/receiving a gift, favour, benefit or advantage from Bosasa.
PSA assistant general manager Reuben Maleka said on Thursday that Nair had been a member of the union for the past 30 years.
He said the union had appointed an advocate to represent Nair at the Magistrate’s Commission inquiry.
“We are ready, we are waiting for the inquiry to start,” said Maleka.
Allegations that Nair may have received benefits from Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, emerged in January last year at the commission of inquiry probing allegations of state capture.
Richard le Roux, the regional technical co-ordinator of Global Technological Systems, previously known as Sondolo IT, a Bosasa subsidiary, told the commission that Nair had the security system at his private residence upgraded through the installation of an electric fence, closed-circuit television and a full alarm system, at a cost of approximately R200000, in 2016.
However, Nair disputes the allegations and instead claims he had an oral agreement with a man identified only as Mr Bejoo, to install a basic camera system, repair the existing electric fence, alarm system and beams for a maximum agreed price of R50000.
In his response, Nair, through the PSA, said the charge sheet alleged that he received the benefit not based on any contract, but free of charge, while he maintains there was a fixed maximum contract price.
“ [Our] client has not allowed himself to be influenced prior to and after the installation in any way whatsoever, and the statements provided to (our) client confirm same. (Our) client has not presided over any matter involving Bosasa in his career thus far,” the PSA said in its response to the charges against Nair in December.
However, Nair’s pleas fell on deaf ears as the National Assembly last week unanimously approved Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola’s recommendation to suspend him.