Judgment reserved in Judge Keightley recusal in ‘Kill the Boer ’case

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The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has heard that AfriForum’s bid to have SCA Judge Raylene Keightley recused from the “Kill the Boer Kill the Farmer” case is an abusive application and should be dismissed.

Arguing on behalf of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Senior Counsel Tembeka Ngcukaitobi insisted that AfriForum relies on misunderstanding and selective use of evidence when they say Keightley was biased.

AfriForum approached the SCA for the recusal of one of the five judges, hearing the “Kill the Boer” case against the EFF.

The EFF says AfriForum failed to bring an application of recusal in 2018 in the relevant case involving UNISA and now raises it six years later. According to the civic movement, Justice Keightley’s previous statements about AfriForum gave them reasonable suspicion that she is biased against them.

The EFF has described that as misdirection of facts and a way of undermining the judiciary. The party adds that there is no show of any subject matter connection.

“First chance they had to complain about Justice Keightley was in court on the day the comments were made, second opportunity they had was on appeal before the SCA and the third opportunity was at the Constitutional Court, they never raised it at all. It must be accepted that they accepted that she has decided the case impartially without bias,” says Ngcukaitobi.

AfriForum’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Gauntlett has submitted that there’s reasonable prospects that Justice Keightley be recused. Gauntlett further submitted that apprehension of bias by Keightley was established and might influence the verdict of the “Kill the Boer” case that is before the SCA. The civic movement says Justice Keightley’s remarks should not be ignored.

“She did not need to say what she said. It was not for hearing but it’s something which she believed should be said and that is why she said it, and I mean we have not doubted her sincerity but doesn’t help us when it comes to consequences of it,” says Gauntlett.

Meanwhile, Justice Keightley has asked Gauntlett if her conduct will stop her presiding over AfriForum cases in the future even if it’s different matters such as domestic violence.

“I’m trying to establish is the apprehension of bias created by my conduct words that I am biased against your client. That I regard them…..even if they were involved in a matter like domestic violence.”

The EFF wants the matter to be dismissed with costs.

Judgment has been reserved.