ATC101110: Report Provisional Suspension from Office of Magistrate W J M Prinsloo
Report of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development on the progress report and the upliftment of the provisional suspension from Office of Magistrate W J M Prinsloo, dated 10 November 2010
The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, having considered the progress report and the upliftment of provisional suspension from office of a magistrate, Mr Prinsloo, an additional Magistrate at Ermelo, KwaZulu-Natal, tabled by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, in terms of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act no 90 of 1993), reports as follows:
- The Minister, on the advice of the Magistrates Commission, provisionally suspended Mr Prinsloo from office with effect from 3 February 2010, which suspension was confirmed by both Houses of Parliament on 1 and 4 June 2010 respectively.
- The investigation instituted by the Commission confirmed that ten complaints by a female clerk employed at the Ermelo Magistrate’s Office, Ms S C van Wyk, were filed against Mr Prinsloo. It is alleged that Mr Prinsloo, during the period 18 April 2008 to 5 May 2008 on ten different occasions conducted himself in an unbecoming and embarrassing manner by phoning a former clerk at the office and leaving vulgar messages on her voicemail.
- 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, having questioned him in terms of regulation 26(9) of the Regulations for Judicial Officers in the Lower Courts, 1994, found Mr Prinsloo guilty of misconduct as charged.
- Having considered 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 thereafter. Arrangements were made for Mr Prinsloo to appear before the Chairperson and the Cluster Head on 12 August 2010.
- 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.
- The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development concurs with the Magistrates Commissions’ recommendation and has accordingly uplifted Mr Prinsloo’s provisional suspension from office.
The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, having considered the progress report and the upliftment of the provisional suspension from office of magistrate Mr W J M Prinsloo, tabled by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, in terms of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act no 90 of 1993), in Parliament on 5 November 2010, reports that it concurs with the Minister’s decision.
Report to be considered.
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