‘Rude’ magistrate benched

2008-04-10 00:00

MEMBERS of the public rushed to the defence of a Pietermaritzburg public prosecutor yesterday and accused the presiding magistrate of being “rude and disrespectful” towards him.

About 10 people gathered outside the court before and demanded to speak to someone in charge, saying they did not wish to appear before the magistrate, Hein Meggersee, after witnessing his behaviour towards Zaba Mncwango. They threatened to sign a petition denouncing his behaviour.

Senior magistrate Bheki Khumalo was called to hear the complaints. He told The Witness that to avoid confrontation, he arranged for another magistrate, pending an investigation.

Stanford Mthalane, who was to appear in court to face a drinking and driving charge yesterday, told The Witness he and other members of the public were shocked by the magistrate’s lack of respect for the prosecutor. He allegedly asked him, “Are you using your cells?” while pointing at his head.

The case was one of fraud involving the alleged alteration of the price of a certain cheese.


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