Judicial Service Commission

Judges' scandal in South Africa raises questions over Judicial Service Commission

In many African countries a special ceremony is held during January to mark the start of the official court year. No such tradition has yet developed in South Africa. But the 2020 legal year got off to a spectacular start all the same: the deputy judge president of the high court in one of SA's biggest provinces issued an affidavit making sensational claims against the judge president and his wife, who is also a judge in the same division.

Read affidavit by Patricia Goliath DJP

Perhaps the biggest shock I have ever experienced while writing about judges and the law in South Africa, was the day I heard that the judge president of the Western Cape, John Hlophe, was in trouble with the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s apex legal forum.

High-ranking accused in "scurrilous" bid to remove foreign judges from Lesotho cases

When Judge Charles Hungwe from Zimbabwe arrived in Lesotho earlier this year to start work on a series of controversial trials, he was given a warm reception in the local media. But since then the accused in some of the cases over which he was due to preside proved rather less than welcoming. In fact, 16 accused initially due to stand trial before him, led by Lesotho's former defence minister, Tseliso Mokhosi, have brought an application for his appointment – and the appointment of all other foreign judges who might hear the pending cases – to be declared unconstitutional. 

Read judgment

Zimbabwe's Judge Charles Hungwe is one of several foreign judges who applied to hear controversial criminal cases involving high-ranking figures from among Lesotho’s politicians, army and police.

Malawi’s CJ, JSC acted illegally over new appointments – high court

When a number of court clerks obtained an order temporarily stopping the country’s Judicial Service Commission and the Chief Justice from recruiting and appointing a certain category of magistrate until their employment dispute was fully considered by the high court, the stage was set: some high court judge would have to consider whether Malawi’s top judge and judicial appointment authority were acting illegally. Judge Zione Ntaba drew the short straw.

Read judgment on MalawiLII

High court judge Zione Ntaba has delivered a decision she will never forget. Though her official profile lists Judge Ntaba’s passions as the rights of women and children, disability issues and the problems of HIV and AIDS, this is quite different. It is a decision in which she found that Malawi’s Chief Justice, Andrew Nyirenda, and the country’s Judicial Service Commission had acted irregularly, illegally and unconstitutionally.

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