‘Don’t suspend her, she’s a woman’

2017-02-19 06:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mahikeng - The president of the regional court in North West, who has been reported to the Hawks by the Magistrate’s Commission for allegedly defrauding the state of thousands of rands, shouldn’t be suspended from her job because too many women are being suspended, an ANC MP said on Wednesday.

The Hawks in North West are investigating magistrate Seka Monaledi – one of the most powerful women in the justice system – after the Magistrate’s Commission reported her to the Hawks following a fraud investigation, the commission’s secretary, Vick Misser, told City Press’ sister newspaper, Rapport.

Not only does Monaledi stand accused of fraudulent claims for travel expenses totalling nearly R1m, she was also absent from work for long periods while allegedly selling luxury goods from the boot of her car.

Despite this, ANC MPs unanimously decided not to confirm Monaledi’s suspension during a meeting of Parliament’s justice portfolio committee on Wednesday.

Monaledi is the head of all regional courts in North West, which hear more than 99% of all serious criminal cases, including murder and corruption matters.

In addition, she is a member of the SA Judicial Education Institute, which trains judges and magistrates, and she serves on the ethics committee of the Magistrate’s Commission.


Monaledi allegedly claimed thousands of rands for travel expenses for work purposes and to attend meetings – a total of R953 838.56 over three years.

But the Magistrate’s Commission later found out that some of these meetings never took place, the commission’s Hans Meijer told MPs this week.

According to the commission, these trips didn’t happen once or twice, but 41 times.

Meijer said they had also examined toll and customs records and came to the conclusion that, occasionally, Monaledi wasn’t even in the country when she was supposedly travelling in Pretoria and North West for work.

The records are in addition to sworn statements and other documentary evidence obtained by the commission relating to Monaledi’s alleged crimes.

When an investigation was launched, it was found that she wasn’t at work in Mmabatho 71.49% of the time she was supposed to have been there.

According to the report compiled by Judge Francis Legodi, it is uncertain if she was in her office for the remaining 28.51% of the time.

But Monaledi seemingly wasn’t wasting time.

The commission alleges she was also selling luxury clothes from the boot of her car during work hours.

On top of that, Monaledi is an active director of a company involved in conducting tours and construction, as well as a cooperative that, it is suspected, farms pigs.

Magistrates may not earn extra money without permission from the minister of justice.

It’s clear from the report that the commission fought an uphill battle to investigate Monaledi.

She refused to cooperate with the two magistrates investigating her, saying they were of a lower rank and therefore not competent to investigate her.

When Legodi intervened and instructed her to cooperate, she still refused.

"Too many suspensions of women"

In September, Justice Minister Michael Masutha wrote to Monaledi to ask her to give reasons she should not be suspended.

Days before her suspension on November 30, she took leave until January 20 this year and the commission has not heard from her since. Yet, none of this convinced ANC MPs on the justice committee to confirm the suspension.

The sitting of the justice committee, which has over the past decade never opposed a decision to suspend a magistrate, began to derail when the ANC’s Makgathatso Pilane-Majake brought up the empowerment of women.

“My concern is that we have too many suspensions of women.”

She said representatives of the commission didn’t have to react to the comment, but should “take it home and think about it”.

Pilane-Majake said she wasn’t trying to condone fraud and misconduct, but the Auditor-General should investigate the matter, rather than Monaledi’s “juniors” where “professional jealousy” might play a role.

From that point, other ANC MPs also castigated the commission about how Monaledi could have been a “fit and proper” person to be appointed in the first place.

Monaledi could not be reached for comment as she was not at work.


Do you think it makes sense not to suspend someone suspected of fraud or misconduct because that person is a woman?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword ETHICS and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

Read more on:    anc  |  hawks  |  seka monaledi

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?



How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.