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Deputy Minister John Jeffery regarding complaint RE Goodwood Magistrate

05 February 2019

The Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, has been delegated the responsibility of matters regarding the magistracy and has noted posts and videos on social media over the weekend regarding the conduct of a magistrate and a stenographer in the Goodwood Magistrates’ Court.

The Judiciary is an independent arm of the State and therefore any issues relating to conduct by magistrates, where the conduct is alleged to be improper or to have resulted in any impropriety or prejudice, are not investigated by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJCD), but by the Magistrates’ Commission.

The complaint regarding the magistrate, Mr S Lea, has been referred to the Ethics Committee of the Magistrates’ Commission for investigation.

Regarding the conduct of any public servants such as court staff, the DOJCD’s Regional Office is investigating the conduct of the stenographer and has requested an urgent interim report.

Access to justice means that members of the public should be able to have confidence in the courts and know that their issues will be resolved objectively, fairly and expeditiously. We therefore view any alleged improper conduct in our courts – whether by presiding officers or by administrative staff - in a very serious light,” Deputy Minister Jeffery said.

Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development          
Enquiries: Steve Mahlangu
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
079 878 7587