JSC calls for Meyiwa trial Judge Maumela to be suspended

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Judge Tshifiwa Maumela, who is currently presiding over the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial.

This after the JSC received complaints against Maumela and another judge, Mngqibisa-Thusi, for failing to deliver reserved judgments in the Gauteng Division of the High Court.

The JSC said it asked Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to appoint a Judicial Conduct Tribunal to investigate the complaints.

If the allegations are found to be true, it would indicate gross incapacity on the part of the judges.

The JSC is recommending that the two judges be suspended until the investigations are completed, on condition that they finalise all pending matters during the suspension.

Said the JSC in a statement on Friday: “Division of the High Court 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 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.

“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.” 

Despite the JSC’s recommendation that Maumela be suspended, he will likely proceed with the Meyiwa murder trial, which resumes on Tuesday, May 2. 

Meanwhile, accused number two in the trial, Bongani Ntanzi, is awaiting the Pretoria High Court’s ruling on his bail application.

Ntanzi has been in police custody since his arrest in June 2020 at his place of work in Rustenburg, North West.

Meyiwa, a former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, was shot dead in 2014 at the home of his then-girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo, in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg.

Ntanzi is one of five men on trial for Meyiwa’s murder, and was singled out by Meyiwa’s best friend, Tumelo Madlala, as one of the intruders who invaded Khumalo’s home before the fatal shooting. 

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