Judge accepts ‘scum’ apology

2012-02-09 13:19

An Appeals Court judge has withdrawn a R1 million damages claim against a Pretoria businessman after the businessman apologised in writing for telling the judge he was “dishonourable” and was “a scum of all scums”.

Businessman Zaheed Carrim’s letter of apology to Judge Lebotsang Bosielo formed part of a settlement agreement reached in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria this week.

In terms of the agreement, Judge Bosielo was ordered to pay R230 000 to K Carrim (Pty) Limited, a building supply outlet of Boom Street in Pretoria of which Carrim is a director.

Carrim sued Bosielo for payment of more than R300 000 which he claimed the judge owed for building material bought between September 2005 and October 2006.

According to the particulars of claim, the judge had applied to open an account for the purchase of building materials in 2005 and made some payments, but failed to pay the outstanding balance.

Bosielo, who was at that stage a judge of the high court in Pretoria, opposed the application.

He said in court papers that K Carrim knew that payment for the building material would come from a building loan account and was dependent on the building progress as well as the satisfaction of his bank’s building inspectors.

The judge appointed a project manager for the building project in Midrand, whose responsibility it was to place orders, receive and to sign for the building material.

The judge said payments of R250 000 had been made to K Carrim for materials ordered and delivered, but there were no invoices or delivery notes for some transactions – 14 invoices could not be accounted for and 23 of the items reflected in invoices were never delivered.

He averred that his account was also incorrectly debited with more than R23 000 for bricks delivered to someone else.

The judge instituted a counter-claim alleging that Zaheer Carrim had on October 6 2006 phoned him on his mobile phone. In a rude and abrasive manner, the businessman asked if the judge had received a summons.

When the judge asked what summons, Carrim said: “You are dishonourable. You are not fit to be a judge. You are a scum of all scums.”

Judge Bosielo alleged in his counter-claim that Carrim’s utterances were wrongful and intended to insult him and injure his dignity.

The judge demanded payment of R1 million, alternatively a “sincere and adequate apology”.

Carrim initially opposed the judge’s counter-claim, saying he had at the time of phoning Bosielo incorrectly believed the summons had already been issued and served.

He said the judge had expressly assured him that he should not be concerned about selling and delivering building materials to him on credit because he was a judge of the high court and Carrim’s “money would be safe”.

He claimed the judge had shortly before their telephone conversation attended a meeting at his office at which he admitted being indebted to the business and undertook to make payment.

According to Carrim’s reply, when he reminded the judge that he had promised to pay “a long time ago”, the judge replied that he “knows the law” and that he “would play with it and make the plaintiff wait forever to receive payment of the amount outstanding”.

Carrim claimed he was also told that no counsel or lawyer would be prepared to take his case and that a person could not summon a judge.

He claimed his offensive description of the judge were uttered against this background and as a result of “provocation”. 

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