ATC101116: Report on Provisional suspension from office of Magistrate WJM Prinsloo
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the lifting of the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate WJM Prinsloo, dated 16 November 2010:
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the report on the lifting of the provisional suspension of Magistrate WJM Prinsloo, a magistrate at Ermelo, reports as follows:
1) The Minister, on the advice of the Magistrates Commission, provisionally suspended Mr Prinsloo from office with effect from 3 February 2010. The provisional suspension was confirmed by both Houses of Parliament on 1 and 4 June 2010, respectively.
2) The Commission’s investigation confirmed that Ms S C van Wyk,, a female clerk employed at the Ermelo Magistrate’s Office, had filed ten complaints against Mr Prinsloo. It was alleged that Mr Prinsloo, during the period 18 April 2008 to 5 May 2008, had on ten different occasions conducted himself in an unbecoming and embarrassing manner towards Ms van Wyk.
3) The misconduct inquiry against Mr Prinsloo commenced on 29 April 2010 and was finally concluded on 26 July 2010. Mr Prinsloo admitted to guilt on 10 charges of misconduct against him. The Presiding Officer found Mr Prinsloo guilty of misconduct as charged.
4) Afte considering all the evidence placed before him in mitigation, the Presiding Officer found that Mr Prinsloo’s misconduct, although very serious, did not justify a sanction of removal from office. The Presiding Officer ordered that Mr Prinsloo be cautioned and reprimanded by the Chairperson of the Magistrates Commission and the Cluster Head within a month from the imposition of sanction. Mr Prinsloo was further ordered to tender a written apology to the complainant within seven days of the reprimand.. On 12 August 2010, Mr Prinsloo appeared before the Chairperson and the Cluster Head and was formally cautioned and reprimanded. Subsequently, he also tendered a written apology to the complainant.
5) As the Presiding Officer did not recommend that Mr Prinsloo be removed from office, as contemplated in section 13 of the Magistrates Act, No. 90 of 1993, his provisional suspension from office is no longer justified and there is no basis to uphold his provisional suspension.
Having considered the report on the lifting of the provisional suspension of Magistrate Prinsloo, the Committee recommends that the National Assembly confirms the lifting of the provisional suspension.
Report to be considered.
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