ATC111122: Report on Magistrates Commission on the withholding of the remuneration of Magistrate IWOM Morake, Lichtenburg
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development of the report of the Magistrates Commission on the withholding of the remuneration of Magistrate IWOM Morake, Lichtenburg, dated 22 November 2011
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the report of the Magistrates Commission on the withholding of the remuneration of Magistrate Morake, reports as follows:
1. At its meeting held on 26 August 2010 the Magistrates Commission resolved to recommend that Mr Morake be provisionally suspended from office in terms of section 13(3)(a) of the Magistrates Act.
2. Mr Morake was convicted by the Lichtenburg Regional Court on two counts of theft on 18 October 2010. He was sentenced on 21 June 2011 to four years of imprisonment on each count. The Commission based its recommendation to provisionally suspend him on the serious nature of the allegations and the desire to protect the image of the Bench.
3. Parliament confirmed Mr Morake’s provisional suspension from office on 24 November 2010. His suspension is currently with remuneration. Mr Morake filed an application for leave to appeal against his criminal conviction on 19 July 2011.
4. The Commission charged Mr Morake with several counts of misconduct. The inquiry into his alleged misconduct commenced on 11April 2011. His representative requested a postponement of the disciplinary proceedings. It was argued that Mr Morake will appeal against his conviction once a sentence has been imposed and the Presiding Officer was requested to hold the inquiry in abeyance until after the outcome of the appeal. A postponement was granted until 24 June 2011; provided that Mr Morake submitted proof that he had indeed filed an appeal against his conviction. On 24 June 2011, the Presiding Officer granted Mr Morake a further request for postponement until 11 July 2011 to give him an opportunity to file his appeal and furnish proof. Mr Morake filed an application for leave to appeal on 19 July 2011. The application is still to be considered.
5. There is no reason why a magistrate who is on provisional suspension and who has been convicted of serious offences should be paid for the period during which he is provisionally suspended from office pending the outcome of the misconduct inquiry against him.
6. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered the report of the Magistrates Commissions and the report of the Minister, recommends that the National Assembly approves the withhold the remuneration of Mr Morake.
Report to be considered
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