DA: Errant magistrates a worry

2013-09-01 21:02

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Johannesburg - Reports of magistrates themselves accused of criminal behaviour are worrying, the DA said on Sunday.

"It is extremely worrying that people who occupy these vital positions in the criminal justice system engage in behaviour such as sexual harassment, assault, theft and attempted murder," said Democratic Alliance MP Debbie Schafer said in a statement.

"We have to wonder what kind of justice will be meted out by people who seem to have no idea of what constitutes acceptable behaviour."

Shafer was responding to a report in the Sunday Times about statistics released from the Magistrates Commission that indicated 222 complaints had already been made against magistrates thus far this year.

The newspaper reported that four magistrates had been removed from office and one had been suspended this year.

The article detailed cases involving accusations against magistrates of sexual harassment, assault and theft, among others.

Shafer said that the Magistrates' Commission Ethics Division, despite doubling its staff to four people, was still understaffed.

"The length of time it takes to investigate these magistrates needs to be urgently addressed."

Read more on:    da  |  johannesburg  |  judiciary

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