Raymond Chalom speaks about the alleged corruption in the South African judiciary system. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - The son of a Joburg motor trimming businessman, Raymond Edward Chalom is a Wits University-trained lawyer who has been practicing for almost 50 years.

The 71-year-old father of three, who has been campaigning against “corruption” within the South African judiciary for years, was born and raised in Springs in Ekurhuleni.

Chalom matriculated at Springs Boys High in 1965, and went to Wits in 1966 to study towards a BCom in auditing. However, he “hated what I was doing”, gave up his studies and went to attend “Six Day War” training in Israel, where he spent six months.

In 1968, Chalom returned to South Africa and registered for a BA degree at Wits, specialising in psychology, Latin and legal theory. After completing his first degree, he registered for an LLB.

In 1972, towards the end of his LLB, Chalom joined law firm Moss Borris.

“I was admitted as an attorney in 1976, and I have practiced ever since.

“I left Moss Borris to start this legal firm (EM Chalom Attorneys),” he says.

In 1986, Chalom was beaten up by two apartheid police officers in Hillbrow, Joburg, for distributing copies of the Freedom Charter to lawyers in the then Transvaal region, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West.

“I was attacked by two apartheid criminals who cracked my skull and I took months to recover.

“I was distributing ANC documents between 1986 and 1987. I distributed copies of the Freedom Charter among attorneys in the Transvaal, and the result was that I was beaten up. I was attacked in March 1988 in Hillbrow.

“I know the criminals who beat me up, the ANC knows them but won’t prosecute them,” Chalom said.

In 2012, Chalom wrote a letter to the UN Security Council Division complaining about “corruption in the South African Judiciary and Judicial Service Commission (JSC)”.

After giving specific cases of alleged corruption, Chalom concluded in his letter: “Corruption of the nature referred to, undermines the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

“It is difficult to prove and to eradicate but it intricately affects the lives of all South Africans but may take decades to attract resistance.

“If there is any truth to my allegations, they require investigation and must prevent South Africa from any further advances on an international level. To give a country international influence when it is behaving like a banana republic is problematic.”

Chalom has been at loggerheads with some of his colleagues in the legal fraternity for speaking out against what he calls judicial corruption.

Insisting he fears for his safety, the attorney says he has been abducted by sheriffs of the court, who broke into his Joburg law firm office and stole files containing proof of corruption among some judges in the South Gauteng and Durban High Courts.

He accuses the Law Society of South Africa of having harassed, framed and even removed him from a list of practicing attorneys for exposing judicial corruption.

At some point, he says, the Law Society removed him ostensibly because he had retired.

“I am not aware of any clients complaining about me.

“The Law Society finds smart people on the pavement and says, ‘please come and complain about Chalom’.

“But apart from that, I have never heard of half of them.

“I am not aware of any clients complaining about me.

“The only people who complained about me in apartheid were the apartheid judiciary, (retired judge Ralph) Zulman and one or two other judges who complained about me.

“But there has never been any substantive complaint.”

The Sunday Independent