ANC close ranks to protect regional court president accused of bunking work
African National Congress members of Parliament were accused of hypocrisy for closing ranks on Wednesday to block the suspension of a regional court president accused of bunking work.
North West Regional Court President Seka Monaledi is facing several serious allegations‚ highlighted in a report drawn up by the Magistrate’s Commission after a preliminary investigation into her conduct.
Parliament’s portfolio committee met on Wednesday to discuss a request by the Magistrate’s Commission to suspend Monaledi.
ANC members of the committee unanimously elected not to support her suspension. Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement afterwards that while the ANC told Parliament this week that it was serious about fighting corruption‚ the party had demonstrated that it was "not capable of walking their own talk".
"Ms Monaledi will appear before a disciplinary committee shortly to answer these charges. While everyone is entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty‚ the allegations are serious and the evidence is overwhelming and damning. Pending the hearing‚ it is abundantly clear that this person should not be on the bench‚" she said.
Among the allegations raised in the commission’s report are claims that:
- Monaledi was absent from her office for an average of 71.49% of the time over the period 2013 to October 2017
- It could not be confirmed if she was in her office for the remaining 28.51% of the time
- Monaledi claimed a total of R953 838.56 over the period 2013 to October 2015. Some of these claims allegedly included overpayments‚ fruitless expenditure or were not legitimate.
Monaledi was provisionally suspended by the Minister of Justice on November 30‚ 2016.
"Despite this‚ the ANC members of the portfolio committee today decided to ignore this‚ suggesting instead that there was an ulterior motive to suspend only black magistrates‚" said Breytenbach.
- TMG Digital