South Africa: Have Retired Judges Been Given the Chop Over Lack of Money?

analysis

They have been helping to clear the Gauteng courts backlog but have been told their services are no longer needed, says one fuming judge.

Retired judges who have been helping to clear mounting backlogs at Gauteng courts caused by Covid-19 and infrastructure issues, have been told there is no money to pay them.

One of them, Judge Frans Fabricius, went "public" in a message - apparently written by his registrar to all attorneys with matters on an upcoming motion court roll - saying he would no longer be hearing the cases allocated to him.

"On 13 January 2021, the Judge President was informed by the Minister of Justice that he would not appoint retired judges as he regarded them as 'additional to the establishment', the message read.

"Judge Fabricius sends his sincere best wishes to all involved."

This drew the wrath of Office of the Chief Justice spokesperson Nathi Mncube, who, in a statement on behalf of Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, described the message as an "unlawful communication".

"The Judge President assures litigants and the legal fraternity that all affected matters previously assigned to Fabricius J have been reallocated and will proceed as enrolled," Mncube wrote.

However, a source told...

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