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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Public warned of individual impersonating Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya

The individual pretending to be Justice Maya sent a WhatsApp message to an official requesting contact numbers of judges


The Office of the Chief Justice of South Africa has warned the public not to fall prey of an individual impersonating Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya.

According to the information available to the Office of the Chief Justice, the individual sent a WhatsApp message to an official requesting contact numbers of Judges.

Reported to police

“The mobile number from which the message came is 072 324 9318 and is registered on the WhatsApp application as belonging to ‘Chief Justice MM Maya’. The public is warned not to fall prey to this impersonator and need to be aware that impersonating a Judicial Officer is a criminal offence.”

The Office of the Chief Justice said the matter has already been reported to the South African Police Service.

“Members of the public and media are requested to contact the OCJ to verify the authenticity of any communication, directive, article, or social media post that purports to be that of a Judge.”

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa removes Hlophe and Motata from the judicial bench

Judges removed

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa removed the longest-serving Judge President of the High Court, John Hlophe, from the bench.

The Presidency on Wednesday announced that Hlophe and Nkola Motata were both relieved of their duties.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the president removed Hlophe in accordance with provisions of the Constitution.

The recommendation for Hlophe’s removal came after the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) referred the matter to Parliament after the Judicial Conduct Tribunal (JCT) concluded that the judge’s conduct breached the provisions of section 165 of the Constitution.

It found that Hlophe had acted improperly when he attempted to sway two Constitutional Court (ConCourt) justices in favour of former president Jacob Zuma in his 2008 bid to overturn warrants used to seize 93 000 pages of corruption trial evidence against him.

Motata

Motata’s removal came during a National Assembly sitting after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) set aside an earlier JSC decision to clear him of gross misconduct following a drunk driving conviction in 2009

The judge’s guilty finding related to a January 2007 incident, where Motata crashed his car into the wall of a Hurlingham home and then made racist utterances to the homeowner, Richard Baird.

Hlophe and Motata became the first judges to be impeached in South Africa since the dawn of democracy.

The previous judge was removed from the bench in 1910.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa nominates Mandisa Maya as SA’s next Chief Justice