Avatar photo

By Citizen Reporter


Tainted Malema and Mpofu must step down from JSC – Freedom Under Law

Until Malema and Mpofu successfully challenge the findings, they are not fit to pass judgment on the ethical or professional qualities of others, FUL said. 

Freedom Under Law (FUL) says it is profoundly concerned that EFF leader Julius Malema and Advocate Dali Mpofu are interviewing candidates for the position of Chief Justice.

Four senior judges who were shortlisted for the Chief Justice position are being interviewed by the JSC panel, which will then advise the President on the selection.

FUL says Malema and Mpofu should not be participating in these proceedings considering their suitability to fulfil their constitutional duty is a matter of serious doubt.

Malema and Mpofu JSC concerns

Malema’s ethical conduct breach

“Mr Malema was recently found to have breached Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct,” said FUL Chairperson and retired Judge Johann Kriegler.

The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests found that Malema had asked a judge an inappropriate question concerning a matter in which he had a personal interest. 

“It went on to hold that Malema had used the JSC as a “platform for his personal interests” during JSC interviews for the appointment of judges,” said Kriegler.

It recommended Parliament sanction Malema by requiring him to apologise to both the judge concerned and the JSC for his conduct.

“Parliament is yet to deliberate on the matter while Malema, it appears, remains unrepentant.”

Mpofu’s behaviour during Zondo Commission

Meanwhile, Mpofu was investigated by the Legal Practice Council (LPC) in relation to his conduct at the Zondo Commission last year, when he rudely demanded that a colleague – and later her client – “shut up”.

He also interrupted Justice Zondo when he attempted to control the proceedings.

The LPC concluded that Adv Mpofu interrupted Zondo on numerous occasions and “did not uphold the accepted decorum in court”.

“It found that his conduct was aggravated by his having been being “contemptuous” towards Zondo, and having refused to accept a rebuke from him,” said Kriegler.

“It was wholly improper for him to demand that his colleague ‘shut up’ during the hearing.” 

The LPC accordingly recommended that Adv Mpofu be charged with professional misconduct. These charges are pending.

JSC’s stance on misconduct charges

The JSC has long applied the principle that a candidate facing a misconduct charge should not be considered for appointment.

“Yet it permits two members against whom misconduct proceedings are ongoing to participate in this week’s proceedings.

“We respectfully suggest that Mr Malema and Mr Mpofu should stand aside from service on the JSC as long as they are subject to these serious ethical charges,” said Kriegler.

Unless and until they successfully challenge the findings, they are not fit to pass judgment on the ethical and professional qualities of others. 

Compiled by Narissa Subramoney

NOW WATCH LIVE: JSC interviews Justice Madlanga for Chief Justice post

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits