Pretoria Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair provisionally suspended over Bosasa claims

2020-02-26 11:57
Pretoria Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair.

Pretoria Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair. (Theana Breugem, Gallo Images, Foto24)

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Pretoria Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair has been provisionally suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold office. 

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola tabled a report in Parliament on Wednesday regarding the provisional suspension in terms of 13(3)(b) of the Magistrates Act, Act 90 of 1993.

READ | Bosasa scandal: Commission looks into allegations chief magistrate scored R200 000 security upgrade

In terms of the Act, Parliament must pass a resolution to confirm the provisional suspension.

Nair's suspension comes after he was charged with two counts of misconduct in November, last year, after the justice ministry carried out a preliminary investigation. 

"The misconduct charges relate to allegations that Mr Nair allegedly asked for, or accepted/received special favours or benefits from Bosasa which may unduly influence him in the execution of his judicial duties or which may create the impression or perception as being intended to influence him in the performance of such duties,"  justice department spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said. 

Summons

Nair allegedly accepted the installation of R200 000 worth of security systems at his Pretoria home, including a full electric fence, CCTV and alarm systems, News24 reported.

This was revealed by Bosasa employee Richard le Roux, who testified before the state capture commission in January last year. 

Le Roux, who was issued with a summons to appear before the commission, works for Global Technology Systems, a subsidiary of Bosasa previously known as Sondolo IT.

At the time, when contacted by News24 for a response Nair said: "I have noted the report and have referred the matter to my legal representatives to follow the legal processes."

Phiri said that in terms of Section 13(3)(b), the minister, on the advice of the Magistrate's Commission, can provisionally suspend a magistrate from office, if the commission is satisfied that reliable evidence exists and that it would be inappropriate for the person to continue in the person's role while the allegation is investigated. 

"Judicial officers must be held to the highest standards of scrutiny and their conduct must, at all times, be beyond reproach and be conduct befitting their office. Given the seriousness of the allegations, as well as the importance of the image of our judicial officers, our courts and the rule of law, I have decided to provisionally suspend Mr Nair with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the investigation," said Lamola. 

- Compiled by Vanessa Banton

Read more on:    bosasa  |  pretoria  |  state capture  |  judiciary
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