The appointment of a new senior magistrate at the Malamulele Magistrate’s Court was halted, following an urgent court application brought by Limpopo Legal Solutions in the Thohoyandou High Court on Sunday.
Limpopo Legal Solutions (LLS) previously complained to the Magistrates Commission about an advertisement published in a national newspaper wherein the post of the head of office at Vuwani Magistrate's Court was advertised. The director of LLS, Ms Takalani Ramanyimi, wrote to the commission stating that, according to their knowledge, there was no vacancy at that office as the position was occupied by Ms Busi Nkosi.
From the response LLS received and other information obtained, it seemed that a meeting was held on 30 May this year in Mookgophong, which was attended by the various heads of the magistrate's courts in the province. During this meeting, the announcement was made that Ms Nkosi would be transferred to the court in Malamulele and that the position of senior magistrate in Vuwani had been advertised.
LLS felt that no legal processes were followed when the decision was taken to transfer a magistrate to another office. When they enquired from the secretary of the Magistrates Commission, Mr Mahomed Dawood, he responded by simply stating that this was the resolution taken during a meeting of the commission.
An urgent application was launched in the Limpopo High Court’s Thohoyandou division over the past weekend to stop the transfer of Ms Nkosi. The matter was heard by judge Khami Makhafola on Sunday.
Judge Makhafola took into consideration the fact that the applicant had filed an application to have the Magistrates Commission’s decision reviewed. He thus ordered that the transfer be halted for the time being. The parties must be in court again on 6 August 2019, should the respondents wish to not make the ruling a permanent one.
Questions were sent through to the Magistrates Commission on Monday, asking clarity regarding the procedures followed when vacancies at magistrate offices are filled. At the time of our going to press, no response had been received.
Date:08 June 2019 - By: Anton van Zyl
Anton van Zyl has been with the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror since 1990. He graduated at the the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and obtained a BA Communications degree. He is a founder member of the Association of Independent Publishers.