Ramaphosa suspends Meyiwa trial judge Maumela

Of particular concern to the JSC is the delay in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, which Judge Maumela is currently presiding over.

In a decisive move, President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued suspension letters to Judges Tshifhiwa Maumela and Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi, as confirmed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) today.

The JSC’s recommendation for their suspension comes in response to mounting complaints regarding delays in the delivery of judgments by the two judges, both of whom are based in Gauteng.

Of particular concern to the JSC is the ongoing Senzo Meyiwa murder trial, which Maumela is currently presiding over.

ALSO READ: Senzo Meyiwa trial: Proceedings halted after judge falls ill

The JSC confirmed that the suspension aims to ensure that complaints against the judges are thoroughly investigated without compromising the judicial process.

Judges Matter, the judicial watchdog group, has also called for the judges to be held accountable for their delays in matters.

Failure to deliver

Earlier this month, the JSC called upon Ramaphosa to suspend the two judges, for their failure to deliver numerous reserved judgments.

Maumela has delayed the proceedings of the Senzo Meyiwa trial for various reasons, the latest being his ill health and “not being available for a long time”.

According to a GroundUp report in October 2022, Judge Mngqibisa-Thusi was reported to the JSC for his failure to deliver judgment in a matter after 26 months.

Gauteng High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo lodged a complaint with the JSC regarding this matter “and a number of other judgments reserved for long periods”.

According to a report by the South African judiciary to the Chief Justice at the end of December 2021, there were 156 reserved judgments outstanding for longer than six months. Overall there were 830 reserved judgments, with the longest outstanding one dating back to 12 December 2012.

New trial to start?

At this stage, it remains uncertain whether Maumela will continue presiding over the trial until its conclusion or if an entirely new trial will commence.

But, previously, the JSC announced that the judges would be permitted to conclude the cases they were handling before being suspended.

This measured approach seeks to strike a balance between upholding justice and avoiding unnecessary disruptions to ongoing legal proceedings.

ALSO READ: Senzo Meyiwa trial judge Tshifhiwa Maumela one of two under fire for delayed judgment

Meyiwa’s high-profile and sensational murder trial continues to captivate public attention.

Meyiwa, a former captain of Bafana Bafana and goalkeeper for Orlando Pirates, tragically lost his life in an alleged botched robbery on 26 October in 2014. The incident occurred at the residence of Kelly Khumalo’s mother in Vosloorus, adding an additional layer of intrigue to the case.

Khumalo, a prominent South African actress and singer, is widely recognized in the country.

Additional reporting by Cornelia Le Roux

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Cyril Ramaphosa Senzo Meyiwa Tshifhiwa Maumela

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