Magistrate back in the soup

2015-07-14 06:42


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A CONTROVERSIAL Pietermaritzburg magistrate has come under fire once again after she was arrested for allegedly intimidating a state witness in March this year.

Thinake Lindelwa Gumede (35), who was acting as a regional court magistrate between Pietermaritzburg and Camperdown until her term ­expired last month, was arrested for allegedly taking a photograph of a state witness at a KZN police station.

Gumede was previously involved in what was described as a “war” ­between acting regional court magistrates and district magistrates last month.

According to the case docket, which The Witness is in possession of, ­Gumede was arrested at the Kwadukuza police station outside Stanger on March 24.

According to police sources, ­Gumede entered the station premises and spoke to a witness who, according to the source, was due to testify in a rape case against one of Gumede’s ­relatives.

Gumede then allegedly took a ­picture of the female witness using her cellphone, and threatened her. Police then confiscated the phone and arrested Gumede.

Gumede was allowed to continue serving as an acting regional court magistrate until her term ended at the end of June, even though a criminal case was opened against her.

Secretary of the Magistrates Commission Godfrey Ramoroka said that because Gumede’s term was not extended, the Magistrates Commission does not have any jurisdiction over her as she is no longer serving as a magistrate and they are not at liberty to respond to any enquiries about her regarding complaints made to them.

Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery confirmed that Gumede’s term had expired at the end of June and that he had not re-appointed her as an acting regional court magistrate.

Gumede has more than 20 cases of serious and violent crimes still outstanding.

“Acting magistrates are required to complete their part-heard matters even after their term has expired and do not need to be re-appointed in ­order to do this as in terms of the Magistrates Court Act, they are deemed to have been appointed to dispose of part-heard matters and the disposal of any proceedings,” Jeffery said.

Gumede’s matter of intimidation was last in court on June 29.

According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara, the matter was then adjourned to July 20 for further investigations.

Gumede could not be reached for comment despite numerous attempts to speak to her both yesterday and last week.

Last month, The Witness reported that regional court prosecutors rallied together and wrote a formal letter of complaint ­addressed to the office of the ­Pietermaritzburg senior public ­prosecutor, accusing Gumede of ­verbally abusing and disrespecting them. At the time, Gumede ­maintained the root of their ­complaints was incompetence, as well as what she termed a “war between legal professionals” over positions

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.