Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Johannesburg - The Gauteng division of the high court and the Labour Court are leading the pack with almost half the number of complaints lodged against their judges in the 2017-18 financial year.

The Gauteng division recorded 32 complaints and the Labour Court 11, according to the annual report of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng tabled the report in Parliament earlier this week. Mogoeng said the JSC’s judicial conduct committee received 90 complaints, which were lodged against the judges with 71 complaints being resolved and 19 others still pending.

“A large number of complaints are against judges of the Gauteng division of the high court. These complaints mostly relate to litigants who are aggrieved by an order or judgment of the court which the committee invariably has to dismiss.”

Mogoeng also said there was a lack of understanding as to the types of complaints that the committee was mandated to deal with.

He also said the judicial conduct committee had recommended that a judicial conduct tribunal be appointed in connection with four judges over outstanding judgments.

They are judges Ferdi Preller and Brian Spilg of the Gauteng division, along with Jacqueline Henriques and Anthony van Zyl of the KwaZulu-Natal division.

While the JSC annual report does not delve into the reserved judgments, the annual report for the Office of the Chief Justice puts the number at 1207 judgments with 839 being reserved for longer than three months.

Mogoeng also said the JSC’s judicial conduct tribunal, established to investigate and report on complaints against judges Moses Mavundla, Ntsikelelo Poswa, Preller and George Webster met last October to take stock of what needed to be done to commence with the proceedings.

The tribunal on Judge Nkola Motata held hearings between January 17 and 19, 2018.

“The hearings were duly held on these days and the tribunal will submit its report to the commission in the 2018-19 financial year.”

Mogoeng said as of March, out of 249 judges in active service, 247 had disclosed their interests.

All the 18 judges under review disclosed their interests within 30 days of appointment.

Political Bureau