ATC141016: Report of the Select Committee on Security and Justice on the Suspension from Office of Magistrate M T Masinga, dated 16 October 2014
Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, having considered evidence
relating to the report on the suspension from office of Magistrate Mr M T
, an additional Magistrate at
KwaZulu-Natal, tabled by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development
in terms of section 13(3)(b) of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act no 90 of 1993),
reports as follows:
The Select Committee heard
evidence from representatives of the Magistrates Commission concerning the
matter of the provisional suspension from office of Magistrate Mr M T
on 17 September 2014.
Chief Magistrate, Durban, in a letter dated 2 April 2009 reported that Mr
on 19 March 2009 appeared in the Durban Magistrates
Court on a charge of contravening section 17 (a), read with section 7 of the
Domestic Violence Act (Act No 116 of 1998). The charge alleged that he
assaulted his wife with a blunt axe, that he kicked her, hit her with open
hands and threatened to kill her. He also assaulted his daughters.
court remanded the criminal proceedings to 14 April 2009. The Court granted Mr
bail of R1000.00. The criminal case was then transferred
to the Regional Court Durban, where Mr
appeared on additional charges of attempted murder and two counts of assault.
14 July 2009, the Ethics Committee of the Magistrates Commission informed Mr
in writing that the Commission was considering
recommending his provisional suspension from office, pending the outcome of an
investigation into his fitness to hold office. The Magistrates Commission
requested he show cause, in writing, why they should not take such a decision.
its meeting held on 26 November 2009, the Commission considered the matter and
provisional suspension from
office in terms of section 13(3) (a) of the Magistrates Act, Act No 90 of 1993
8 February 2010, the Commission charged Mr
with three counts of misconduct.
Commission served a notice on Mr
in terms of
e) of the Act containing the allegations
The National Council of Provinces on 4 June
confirmed the provisional suspension of Mr
from the office of Magistrate pending the outcome of the investigation and
misconduct inquiry commenced on 26 August 2010. Various requests for
postponement by the defence caused a serious delay in the finalization of the
misconduct inquiry against Mr
raised various points
Regional Court Durban convicted Mr
charge of attempted murder on 23 May 2011.
The National Council of Provinces on 24 November 2011
the withholding of remuneration of Mr
On 16 January 2012, the
Regional Court Durban sentenced Mr
years imprisonment. Mr
appealed against his
conviction and sentence.
The Pietermaritzburg High
Court on 28 March 2013 ordered the appeal to be adjourned
and granted Mr
bring the matter under review. He had to file review proceedings by no later
than 20 April 2013.
On 8 November 2013, the Commission placed the evidence
on record before the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer postponed the
hearing to 12 December 2013 for both parties to address him on the merits.
The Presiding Officer on 28 February 2014 found Mr
guilty on two of the three charges of misconduct.
On 22 April 2014 the Presiding Officer recommended in terms of regulation 26(17)(b)
of the Regulations for Judicial Officers in the Lower Courts, 1994 (the
be removed from office
in section 13(4) of the Act.
The Registrar of the High Court advised the
Commission on 13 June 2014 that the review proceedings were, at the request of
attorney, removed from the roll on 22
May 2014, as he had not filed a Replying Affidavit.
Director of Public Prosecutions, KwaZulu-Natal, on 22 May 2014 filed a Notice
of Bar in the event of Mr
not filing his
Replying Affidavit by 9 June 2014.
Commission awaits an update on this matter.
was, in terms of
regulation 26(20) of the Regulations, given the opportunity to lodge written
representations with the Commission within 21 working days after the findings
of the Presiding Officer.
of time, Mr
lodged his representations with
the Commission in terms of regulation 26(20) of the Regulations on 2 July 2014.
Having considered Mr
representations in terms of regulation 26(21) of the Regulations, the Presiding
Officer indicated that he had no additional reasons for his recommendation to
submit to the Commission.
At its meeting held on 11 July 2014, the Magistrates
Commission considered the documents as required by the Regulations for Judicial
Officers in the Lower Courts and recommended to the Minister that Mr
be suspended and removed from office on the grounds
of misconduct in terms of section 13(4)(a)(i) of the Act.
The Commission is of the view that Mr
conduct was so serious that it justified his
removal from office.
apparent failure to prosecute his
appeal against his criminal conviction of attempted murder might result in the
office of the Director of Public Prosecutions applying to cancel Mr
would result in his incarceration.
provisionally suspended from office without remuneration.
Select Committee on Security and Justice having considered the Commissions
report on the suspension from office of Magistrate M T
recommends that the
National Council of Provinces confirm Mr
suspension and removal from office.
to be considered.
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