Magistrate awarded R9m in damages

2012-09-05 22:28

Pretoria - A chief magistrate’s "old apartheid" style of management resulted in a severe tongue lashing by a High Court Judge in Pretoria this week.

Judge Cynthia Pretorius awarded a former Randburg career magistrate, Machiel Reinecke, R9.46m damages and even more in interest, dating back eight years, as a result of unfair treatment he suffered.

The judge found Randburg chief magistrate Cedric Booi had made it impossible for Reinecke to continue his career.

A preliminary disciplinary inquiry into Booi’s conduct, led by two of his senior colleagues, described his management style as "that of an old apartheid manager".

"He does not consult. He does not ask. He does not say thank you. He gives orders and if you dare to differ, then the hell with all its fury will come down on you," they said.

The justice department refused to pay for Reinecke’s resettlement costs when he was transferred from Germiston to Randburg at state expense, because Booi did not sign the forms.

Booi also decided Reinecke was not entitled to a travel and subsistence allowance, and refused to discuss the issue with him.

After Reinecke lodged a grievance with the magistrate’s commission, Booi terminated his duties as a relief magistrate and used him to perform clerical work. This was despite a dire need for relief magistrates at the Randburg magistrate's office.

Booi did not recommend Reinecke for a merit award in 2001 despite glowing commendations for his performance as a magistrate. Booi refused to meet Reinecke to discuss his grievances and Reinecke, regarding his treatment as punishment, resigned under protest in January 2002.

He thereafter sued President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe for damages, claiming he was victimised and unfairly discriminated against.

Pretorius said Booi unilaterally amended Reinecke’s terms of appointment to punish him for daring to lay a grievance. He deprived the magistrate’s office of an experienced and conscientious legal officer by his actions.

"It is clear that the plaintiff was humiliated and degraded by the actions of Mr Booi which was so serious that it led to [his] resignation," she said.

"After his resignation he appeared as a prosecutor in courts where he was previously the magistrate, which was further degrading.

"The plaintiff was a career magistrate who according to the commendations he had received and on his own evidence enjoyed his work and made a difference wherever he was deployed, be it as magistrate, head of office or regional magistrate.

"Unfortunately, Mr Booi through his intransigence, made it impossible for [Reinecke] to continue as a magistrate and [his] only option was to resign," she said.

Pretorius found Reinecke would most likely have been promoted to senior magistrate and should be compensated accordingly.

  • sandra.j.rennie - 2012-09-05 22:58

    And he never thought to murder Booi ? Just goes to show - he kept his cool !

      gordon.trevat - 2012-09-06 07:08

      The end result is that a manager has behaved badly, the taxpayers have had to cough up for this bad behaviour, as well as having missed out on having the service of the magistrate. Seems like the only ones being punished are the citizens and the taxpayers.

      rochellereinecke - 2012-09-06 08:54

      Hahahaha so funny! You don't know how much our family disliked mr. Booi for what he did and still we could do nothing to him. Not even say something!

      bless.boswell - 2012-09-06 09:16

      Well, because the plaintiff kept a cool head, he's been rewarded for his self control and should be congratulated!

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-06 09:24

      @ rochellereinecke - What is your relation to Machiel?

  • Peggy Mtengwane - 2012-09-05 23:24

    Whaaw! our justice system is still in place *suprised*. Well done Micheil *now claim yo post*,this country needs yo services.

      dewalds3 - 2012-09-06 07:48

      And we have to foot the bill. And The Booi is scott free..

      percy.vanzyl.1 - 2012-09-06 08:04

      This country needs more English teachers...

  • husaberg.twostroke - 2012-09-05 23:24

    good for him.

  • nketso.kgwadi - 2012-09-05 23:31

    In the pvt sector is worse dear writer, on top of that some r even called names, some even teaches their bosses how to do their jobs, sometimes the very same bosses u hear them complaining abt govt officials i just look @ them.pssm

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-09-05 23:32

    We should be proud of our legal system, its not perfect but it provides protection for all citizens irrespective of colour. I hope every workplace bully will read this and be afraid, very afraid or amend their ways immediately.

      paddy.carolan.35 - 2012-09-06 07:21

      Sadly we have to pay for the system, no matter how incompetent some of the individuals in the system are. No mention of any sanction against Booi, so one must presume that he will be allowed to continue his management style. And in the not too distant future, we, the taxpayers, will have to pay for it again.

  • Bfoq.Za - 2012-09-05 23:43

    When will this country have fair and equal opportunity/treatment for all it's citizens?

  • phillie.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-09-05 23:58

    I just hope it is Cedric Booi that has to pay the R9 million out of own pocket and not the poor taxpayer.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-09-06 01:50

    Oh booi, here we go again..

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-09-06 04:09

    hmmm, for once justice is served? Good news day for a change.

      lionel.defrontignac - 2012-09-06 04:26

      Not really, cos the boss fella's still in his job: the Magistrates' Commission should investigate him and refer him to Parliament to be fired...

  • duane.low - 2012-09-06 04:25

    why not demote Booi? he clearly is not a good manager, with the markings of a political leader in the ruling party. you cant make him pay the 9 mil but you can cut his income for his bias ways, his Authority has been found questionable.

      alwyn.schlebusch.5 - 2012-09-06 07:19

      They will never demote an AA appointed magistrate. They will rather pay the R9million + and move on. That's how the systems "works".

      rochellereinecke - 2012-09-06 08:47

      Booi passed away about 2years ago. He continued with his ways until then without ever being suspended. My father's case was just one of many. Booi couldn't be sued personally that is why his \employers\ had to be sued in the end and that is why he just carried on doing what he did, why would such a person stop if he is never being held responsible for his actions? I also believe that this in an unfair system and it took us 11 years in total to finalise this. Thank God that it ended in my father's favour! Just comes to show that you still get some people who is fair and not corrupt!

  • thembi.mokoena3 - 2012-09-06 05:07

    I see my boss in this Mr Booi and I hope he reads the news!

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-06 05:26

    I do have an idiot like that one at work.

  • Thobile Lugwadu - 2012-09-06 06:04

    There is no justice in this unjust country. You must have money first in order to access it.

  • anthonie.vanbosch - 2012-09-06 06:14

    I have experience this type of employee treating, unfairness and exploitation in Europe. I can tell you, it is not much better in Europe, whether you are employed by the Government t or the Private Sector. This type of exploitation has now reach Africa. Brace yourself!

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-09-06 06:33

    you should have sued him personly as well because he will just continue with his tirade on the next person he dont like.i think he felt that this guy was gunning for his job what a poor excuse for a person

      rochellereinecke - 2012-09-06 08:07

      He did carry on with others as well but he couldn't be sued personally because of the whole justice system, so it ended up sueing his \employers\ which was so difficult to figure out and find! It took about 3 years to figure out who has to be sued before the case could go forward and then it tokk another 8 years before it was finalised.

  • schalk.vdmerwe.7 - 2012-09-06 07:23

    I wonder if Mr. Booi will be punished?

      rochellereinecke - 2012-09-06 07:51

      Unfortunately he won't be. He passed away about 2 years ago, but I'm sure if he was here he would've been fired for costing the government so much money because of his behaviour! My dad earns everything good that comes his way! I've seen what he had to go through all these years just because of one man who had no compassion with others. So happy this is finally over!

      MallyGold - 2012-09-06 08:02

      @Rochelle: Your dad resigned in 2002. I am saddened that it took so long for justice to be served, but pleased that it ended well and that he has been compensated for his suffering.

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-09-06 07:46


  • frank.kistler.31 - 2012-09-06 08:10

    Nice one.....i like news like this hahahahaaaa

  • Hemlock - 2012-09-06 08:14

    Booi should be dismissed. He is a douchebag!

  • Hemlock - 2012-09-06 08:16 Booi cannot be dismissed as he has already been "Dispatched".....probably better!

  • Ongendangenda - 2012-09-06 08:34

    That Booi character reminds me of someone

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-09-06 09:21

    Booi got what he deserved..the fother mucker is shoveling coal !! Pity..he should be shoveling sh*t !! Racist pig !!

  • michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-06 09:23

    @ rochellereinecke - What is your relation to Machiel?

      johleneh - 2012-09-06 13:59

      He is her father, just read man, just read.....

      rochellereinecke - 2012-09-06 16:56

      Why do you ask Michael?

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