Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

Parliament called to probe ‘shocking intelligence report’ on alleged judiciary corruption

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has written to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.

After questions around the integrity of judges in South Africa, Parliament has been urged to investigate allegations of corruption within the judiciary.

An intelligence report has made it’s way into the political sphere and has allegedly implicated some judges in corruption.

The document was purportedly drafted by former State Security Agency (SSA) boss Thembisile Majola, who resigned this month.

‘Highly shocking’ report

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has asked the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence to look into Majola’s report.

In his letter written to the committee’s chairperson Jerome Maake on Monday, Holomisa said he anonymously received the 54-page “classified” report and expressed his concern over the contents of the document.

“[The report] contains highly shocking and damaging assertions that could affect the local and international integrity and reputation of the South African judiciary and several prominent judges, as well as have implications for the Judicial Conduct Committee and Legal Aid South Africa.

“Given the length of the report and the detail given therein, it strikes one as having been made of a considered mind and that this information should be deemed of critical national importance,” the UDM leader said.

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Holomisa urged the committee on intelligence to verify the report.

“I would, therefore, request that the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence should establish its veracity with Ms Majola or with the Inspector General of Intelligence [Imtiaz Fazel] and that it considers the content with the seriousness it deserves,” he continued.

The SSA has since issued a statement in regards to the alleged report.

“The State Security Agency has noted with concern, a document that is doing the rounds on social media purporting to be some intelligence report on judicial corruption, which is allegedly written by the director-general, ambassador Thembisile Majola.

“The State Security Agency would like to distance itself and the director-general from such a report. No further comment will be made in this regard,” the statement reads.

Judges criticised

Judges, including Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, have come under criticism in recent times, highlighting the “the less-than-happy relations” between the courts and politicians.

Last month, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, slammed Magistrate Twanet Olivier after the presiding officer denied his application to have his 2018 case of illegally discharging a firearm thrown out of court.

While addressing EFF supporters outside the East London Magistrates’ Court, Malema accused Olivier of incompetence and corruption, saying the ruling was a “sponsored judgment“.

The EFF leader was later condemned by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and judicial watchdog Judges Matter for his utterances, but he doubled down refusing to apologise.

READ MORE: Zondo calls for facts on Malema’s criticism of East London magistrate

Meanwhile, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) expressed concern about “unfortunate and ill-advised” comments by Zondo on former president Jacob Zuma’s legal battles.

The Chief Justice had questioned the repercussions of Zuma avoiding jail after his release on medical parole.

But Casac argued that Zondo may have crossed boundaries of acceptable speech by judges.

The organisation cited the Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires judges to “not publicly comment on the merits of any case pending before, or determined by, that judge or any other court” and to “not express views in a manner which may undermine the standing and integrity of the judiciary”.

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