HETN to appeal Dewani judge decision

2015-05-03 17:18
Judge Jeanette Traverso. (AP)

Judge Jeanette Traverso. (AP)

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Johannesburg - The Higher Education Transformation Network (HETN) has lodged an appeal against the Judicial Conduct Committee's (JCC) dismissing its claims that Judge Jeanette Traverso was biased against the prosecution during the trial of Shrien Dewani.

The HETN said it formally lodged the appeal on Sunday.

"It is our opinion that the JCC failed to engage the authorities we tendered, either in terms of their relevance or if they felt otherwise, lack of relevance," it said in a statement.

"It is further our view that the failure of the JCC to do so constitutes an amateurish response and undermined the dignity of Anni Dewani."

Last month, the JCC dismissed the complaints against Traverso lodged by the HETN and the Justice4Anni lobby group.

Both complained that Traverso was friendly towards Dewani’s lawyers, but rude and aggressive to state prosecutor Adrian Mopp during the trial last year.

Dewani was accused of plotting with others to kill his wife Anni during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. In December last year, Traverso found him not guilty of the murder.

The JCC said Traverso’s treatment of Mopp was merely “robust engagement”.

The HETN objected to the JCC combining its complaint with the Justice4Anni group.

"If the committee engaged our complaint fully, and canvassed the authorities we cited, they could not have properly arrived at that erroneous conclusion," it said.

The HETN now wants to see the minutes of the JCC's deliberations, the transcript of the trial, a letter to the JCC dated February 26 from Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Rodney de Kock, and affidavits including those submitted by Traverso and Mopp.

"In appealing this JCC decision, we wish to reiterate our belief in democracy in action and also strengthen the Constitution as the cornerstone and supreme law of the Republic," the HETN said.

"Judges are not above their own rules and are expected to observe the same rules regarding transparency and impartiality as all citizens of the republic."

Read more on:    jeanette traverso  |  shrien dewani  |  cape town  |  dewani trial

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