In 2016 Djaje set aside the decision of a traditional council to suspend some of its members and reinstated them, in Mafate and Another v Bapo Ba Mogale Traditional Council and Others.
She held that traditional councils are organs of state and thus governed by the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA). Djaje found that the council did not have internal mechanisms — as required by PAJA or the North West Traditional Leadership and Governance Act. Noting that the suspension “was not authorised by legislation and is therefore subject to judicial review” she found the suspension was “irrational, procedurally unfair and falls to be set aside.”
Djaje has acted at the North West division of the high court between 2013-2017. She had previously worked as a magistrate and commissioner of the Small Claims Court. She holds a BProc and an LLB from the University of the North West.
Djaje said her experience as a magistrate made it easier for her to act in the high court, but she did need to get accustomed to civil litigation. She identified judgment writing as challenge, which was “made easier” by courses she attended on judgment-writing and attending the training programme for aspirant judges.
Asked by CP Fourie, one of two representatives for the attorneys’ profession, whether she was comfortable dealing with civil matters, Djaje said that after having adjudicated approximately 15 cases of that kind, she was.
Djaje said expanding the pool of prospective judges to include female magistrates would assist in gender transformation, as would training programmes.