Top Joburg magistrate 'abused position'

2013-08-06 09:06

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Johannesburg - A top Johannesburg magistrate is facing immediate suspension over allegations that she abused her position, it was reported on Tuesday.

Judith van Schalkwyk, who has been chief magistrate of the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court in Ekurhuleni since 2004, was suspended with pay last month, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Magistrates' Commission into her fitness to hold office, the Times Live reported.

The commission recommended Van Schalkwyk's immediate suspension. This was confirmed by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe in a report before parliament last week.

She is also accused of instructing another magistrate to "do her hair".

She strongly denies the allegations, claiming she is the subject of "victimisation and harassment".

The magistrate denied ordering others to do her chores during court hours, saying she asked her friends at the court to help her out only when they did not have judicial tasks.

She had borrowed money from banks and microlenders, as well as "close friends", because she had three adult children and was the "breadwinner".

She added that she was in "dire straits financially" due to costly medical bills after her son was injured in a car accident.

The secretary of the Magistrates' Commission, Danie Schoeman, told The Times on Monday: "A charge sheet has been served on Chief Magistrate Van Schalkwyk and the Magistrates' Commission is awaiting her response."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  judiciary

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