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Judicial Inquiry Recommended for Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo by JCC

Published March 11, 2024
2 months ago

In a significant development for the South African judiciary, the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) has taken substantial action concerning Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo. The committee has put forward a recommendation for a thorough investigation into claims that Mlambo may have been dishonest in communications with Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and members of Parliament.

The controversy centers on a dispute involving KwaZulu-Natal Advocate Andre Brink, who also stands as the appellant in this matter. Brink brought forth eight separate complaints against Judge Mlambo, pertaining to his role as the former Chairperson of the Board of Legal Aid South Africa. Focal among these grievances was Brink’s claim that he had been unfairly overlooked for a senior litigator position at the firm back in 2009, despite being shortlisted for the job.

Brink's dissatisfaction with the preliminary outcome of his complaints – which were earlier dismissed by the JCC on grounds of insubstantial evidence – propelled him to seek an appeal. The appellate body of the JCC has since scrutinized the validity and gravity of the allegations levied against Judge Mlambo. Despite the opportunity to provide a defense or clarification, Mlambo opted to abstain from offering any substantive response to the assertions made by Adv Brink. This reticence has led to the JCC’s consensus that the issues presented are indeed serious and warrant a complete and thorough examination by a designated Judicial Tribunal.

The impending probe will potentially have far-reaching implications and is a testament to the règime of accountability that governs South Africa's legal establishment. With the JCC's recommendation, the judiciary maintains its stance on the importance of transparency and integrity among its highest ranks. The investigation is poised to go beyond mere formality and aims to uphold the principles of justice, not only for those who seek it in courts but also within the framework of the judiciary itself.

As the investigation awaits its official commencement, the South African judicial fraternity, along with the public, will closely monitor the developments surrounding one of the country's most senior judicial figures.

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