Reading Time: < 1 minutes
The Ministry of Justice has criticized EFF leader Julius Malema for attacking a judicial officer in the Magistrate’s Court in East London, Eastern Cape.
Malema is currently on trial for firing a gun in public and accused Magistrate Twanet Olivier of corruption and incompetence after his unsuccessful discharge application in the lower court.
The Ministry issued a statement saying that directing sensational conspiracy theories towards judicial officers is unacceptable.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, Chrispin Phiri, further explains.
“While it’s acceptable to criticize and debate the decisions of judges and magistrates, it’s not acceptable to direct sensational conspiracy theories towards judicial officers. If one finds a judicial officer’s conduct unacceptable, it should be reported to the relevant institution.”
The organization Judges Matter, which promotes judiciary accountability, has also condemned Malema’s comments.
They state that Malema’s allegations are baseless and pose a threat to judicial independence.
“We are shocked and disappointed by Mr. Malema’s comments. The court hearing had already adjourned, and he addressed his supporters outside, accusing the magistrate of corruption and incompetence, claiming she had received calls from politicians, and questioning her ability to perform her job. This is completely out of line. He should retract and apologize for those comments as they undermine the magistrate and the judiciary as a whole,” explains Mbekezeli Benjamin, the organization’s research and advocacy officer.