Judge hospitalised after tribunal hearing against him

Judicial Service Commission tribunal is hearing allegations of misconduct and incompetence against high court judge Tshifhiwa Maumela

| By

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela (centre) is facing a Judicial Service Commission hearing into allegations of gross misconduct and gross incompetence. Photo from Judiciary website.

Pretoria High Court Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela was hospitalised after the first hearing of the Judicial Service Commission tribunal into allegations of gross misconduct against him, the tribunal heard on Tuesday.

The tribunal was to have sat until the end of this week (barring the public holiday). However, Maumela’s advocate Ghandi Badela said his client was in hospital. Hearings have now been adjourned until the end of May.

After leading the evidence of Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo on Monday, followed by that of Maumela’s former registrar, evidence leader Adrian Mopp said he had expected to wrap up his case on Tuesday.

The complaint against Maumela was laid by Mlambo, who said in his opinion Maumela was guilty of gross incompetence and gross misconduct. In his evidence, Mlambo said it was “embarrassing” that the senior judge, who had a relatively light workload, had failed to hand down as many as 50 judgments within a reasonable timeframe. Two judgments, highlighted during Mlambo’s evidence, had taken five years.

He said he had only once got an explanation from Maumela, when he claimed his laptop had crashed.

“When litigants wait for judgments, it means the justice system is not working,” said Mlambo. “Writing judgments is our existential reason for being judges. He has failed, and has created disrepute to the judiciary.”

During cross-examination, Badela said Maumela had suffered a stroke in 2020.

Mlambo said he had never been informed of this.

Badela said Maumela, when he gave evidence, would say that he was overloaded with work, had lost files when his computer crashed, sometimes had “conflicting court schedules” and blamed his registrar for chaos in his office.

The tribunal has directed that Maumela’s evidence would be heard in camera. But there are indications that he might not testify at all. Badela said: “We are considering our position and will reflect on what is before yourselves and revert.”

27 May was set as a holding date, pending an update on Maumela’s health.

The tribunal’s members are Judges Chris Jafta and Dennis Davis and Advocate Nasreen Rajab-Budlender, SC.

TOPICS:  Late judgments

Next:  Vehicles set alight as protesters demand sanitation and water

Previous:  Judge takes hard line against Stalingrad tactics

© 2024 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.