The Ministry of Justice has condemned EFF leader Julius Malema’s attack on a judicial officer in the Magistrate’s Court in East London, Eastern Cape.
This comes after Malema, who is currently standing trial for the discharge of a firearm in public, accused Magistrate Twanet Olivier of corruption and incompetence following his unsuccessful discharge application that he brought to the lower court.
The Ministry, in a statement, says that directing sensational conspiracy theories at judicial officers is not acceptable.
Spokesperson to the Ministry Chrispin Phiri elaborates.
“Whilst it is acceptable to criticize the decisions of judges and debate them and magistrates, it is not acceptable to direct sensational conspiracy theories at judicial officers, where one finds the conduct of a judicial officer unacceptable such conduct must be complained of at the relevant institution, in this case it.”
The judiciary accountability organisation Judges Matter has also condemned the comments by Malema.
The organisation says that Malema’s allegations are without any substantiation.
The organisation’s research and advocacy officer Mbekezeli Benjamin says Malema’s comments are a threat to judicial independence.
“We’re utterly shocked, and absolutely disappointed by Mr Malema’s comments. The court hearing had adjourned by that time, and he went outside to address hundreds of his supporters- accusing the magistrate of being corrupt, of having received calls from politician- and of not knowing her job. That is completely out of line. In fact, he should retract and apologise for those comments. Because those comments are designed to undermine the magistrate and the judiciary as an institution,” explains Benjamin.