ATC101123: Report Suspension from Office of Magistrate A Maharaj
Report of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development on the suspension from Office of Magistrate A Maharaj, dated 23 November 2010
The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, having considered the report on the suspension from office of a magistrate, Ms A Maharaj, an additional Magistrate on probation at George, tabled by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, in terms of section 13(4)(a)(i) of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act no 90 of 1993), reports as follows:
1. Ms Maharaj was serving as an additional magistrate on probation at the Magistrates’ Court in George. She was charged with misconduct on 8 March 2007. The misconduct inquiry against Ms Maharaj commenced on 20 March 2007 at George Magistrates’ Court, but was postponed at the request of the defence to confer with Ms Maharaj.
2. On 24 July 2007 the inquiry resumed at Durban Magistrates’ Court, but was postponed sine die pending submissions to be made by Ms Maharaj to the Commission on the charges laid against her. The Commission received Ms Maharaj’s written submission on the charges and indicated that it accepted the explanation for charges three to eight and would only proceed with the first two charges laid against her.
However, a further five charges, i.e. counts 9 to 13, were brought against her on 17 July 2008.
3. The inquiry resumed on 12 March 2009 at Durban Magistrates’ Court. Ms Maharaj pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Commission led evidence on 18 August 2009 and the presiding officer found Ms Maharaj guilty on the first two counts and on counts 9, 10 and 12. No evidence was led on count 11 and, as a result, she was acquitted. She was also acquitted on count 13.
4. The Presiding Officer passed sentence on 15 April 2010 and concluded that each count on which she was found guilty “hits at the integrity of a judicial officer”. Having reviewed all the facts before her the Presiding Officer recommended that Ms Maharaj be removed from office as contemplated in section 13 of the Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act no 90 of 1993). The Commission resolved to accept the findings of the Presiding Officer and to recommend to the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development to remove Ms Maharaj from office in terms of section 13 of the Magistrates Act, 1993.
The Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development, having considered the suspension from office of magistrate Ms A Maharaj, reports that it concurs with the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development and recommends Ms Maharaj be removed from office.
Report to be considered.
The Honourable Mr T H Mofokeng, MP
Chairperson: Select Committee on Safety and Constitutional Development
No related documents