REF Free State joins chorus questioning independence of judiciary

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Supporters of the Radical Economic Transformation forces (REF) in the Free State have questioned the independence of the country’s judiciary.

The group has pledged the support for African National Congress (ANC) secretary general, Ace Magashule, ahead of his court appearance in Bloemfontein.

Magashule and seven others face corruption charges relating to the alleged irregular awarding of the more than R 250 million asbestos removal tender.

Five companies are also been prosecuted in the matter.

The so-called RET Forces claim that charges against Magashule are politically-motivated.

The group’s Malefu Mofokeng says, “Comrades Ace’s charges have nothing to do with law per say but are politically motivated charges, the independence of the judiciary is compromised. Some legal practitioners are no longer committed to the rule of law but use the rule of law to advance narrow political interests for those who are anti-economic transformation.”

RET forces in the Free State:

Malema takes swipe at judiciary

During the debate on Tuesday, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema took a swipe on the judiciary, accusing it of thinking that it is untouchable, saying judges must stop thinking that they are the law.

Former president Jacob Zuma has also accused some judges of lawlessness, saying they have left their constitutional post for political expediency.

In his letter explaining his decision not to appear before the State Capture Commission on Monday, Zuma said some judges have become the extension of political forces that seek to control and destroy the country.

The governing ANC’s military veterans association, the MKMVA, also expressed support for Zuma’s decision to defy a subpoena to appear before Justice Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the State Capture Commission.

However Justice Minister Ronald Lamola recently warned against verbal attacks directed at judges, saying if they are not followed with facts and conclusive investigations, the verbal assaults can erode the confidence of society in the judiciary.

“Attacks and allegations and conspiracies against the judiciary if not followed up with facts and conclusive investigations must not be spurious allegations against the judiciary. There is nothing wrong to give a fair criticism against judgments and against decisions of the judiciary but it must be informed by facts and not conspiracies,” the Minister said during a debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Parliament.

Lamola warns MPs to stop unfairly attacking the judiciary: