ATC111122: Report on Provisional suspension of Magistrate PS Hole, Kimberley
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on the provisional suspension of Magistrate PS Hole, Kimberley, dated 22 November 2011
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the report of the Magistrates Commission on the provisional suspension of Magistrate PS Hole, Kimberley, reports as follows:
1. Mr Hole is a Regional Magistrate at Kimberly and has served the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as an acting judge of the former Transkei High Court from October 2004 to July 2006. He was appointed a magistrate in December 2006 and, in March 2007, was appointed as a Regional Magistrate.
2. At its meeting held on 22 July 2011 the Magistrates Commission considered the contents of various complaints received from the Regional Court President, Northern Cape Region. The complaints refer, among others, to the following:
· A transcript of the court proceedings in case no. RCZ856/2009- State v P Loete and others in which Mr Hole presided on 7 July 2011, where Mr K M Nqadala was summoned to appear in is court.
· A transcript of the court proceedings in case RCZ641/2010 - State v Mbalula and others in which Mr Hole presided on 7 June 2011 in the absence of the accused. The transcript indicates that magistrate VS Smith remanded the case on 6 June 2011 to 20 June 2011. There is no indication on the transcribed record as to why the case was enrolled on Mr Hole’s court roll on 7 June 2011. The transcript further indicates that Mr Hole presided in the matter on 7 July 2011 while Magistrate Smith had remanded the case on 20 June 2011 to 11 July 2011. There is no indication on the transcribed record as to why the case was enrolled on Mr Hole’s court on 7 July 2011.
· The transcript of the court proceeding in case RCZ641/2010 also indicates that Mr Hole presided in the matter on 12 July 2011 while the case was remanded on 11 July to 14 and 15 December 2011 by Magistrate Smith. There is no indication on the transcribed record as to why the case was enrolled on Mr Hole’s court on 12 July 2011 when he had formally recused himself from the case while the case was not properly before him for trial.
· The transcriptions in both cases contain various remarks, utterances and discussions by Mr Hole which, in the Commission’s view, displayed an abuse of judicial power. The transcriptions also contained discussions, remarks and comments on matters pertaining to the magistracy in a manner which brought the judiciary into disrepute and which are detrimental to the image of the office of magistrate. Mr Hole caused the Regional Court President to be ridiculed in public, by using the court as a platform to do so.
3. The Commission resolved to extend the mandate of Messrs H Louw and J Baloyi who had been designated by the Ethics Committee of the Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation following separate complaints lodged with the Commission by Mr Nqadala against Mr Hole on 22 April 2010 and various dates after. The investigating team was requested to include further complaints received from Mr Nqadala as part of the preliminary investigation.
4. Noting that Mr Hole has laid counter accusations against Mr Nqadala, the Committee requests that the Commission submits further information on this.
5. The Committee, nevertheless, feels that the allegations against Mr Hole are extremely serious and that Mr Hole’s abuse of process justifies his suspension.
6. Having considered the Commission’s report and the Minister’s request for the provisional suspension, the Committee recommends that the National Assembly approves the Mr Hole’s provisional suspension from office.
Report to be considered
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