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Mr Andrew Reddy

Mr Andrew Reddy_1240

Capacity: Regional Magistrate
First appointed as magistrate: 2007 (Gauteng Regional Division)
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Indian
Date of Birth: June 1969
Qualifications: B.Iuris (1991), LLB (1998) (UKZN), LLM (2003) (UNISA), Dip. (Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigations)(2017)(UJ)

Key judgments:


Candidate Biography (updated April 2024):

Magistrate Andrew Reddy is a Regional Magistrate in the Gauteng Regional Division.

Born in Clairwood, Durban, Reddy hardly has hometown nostalgia, considering that his idea of ‘home’ has changed so much during his illustrious legal career.

After completing his B.Iuris law degree in 1991 at the then University of Durban-Westville, Reddy immediately started work as a dual prosecutor and court clerk at the Kranskop Magistrates Court on the west bank of the mighty Thukela River in northern KwaZulu-Natal. He would stay there until 1996, when he was appointed as a district magistrate at the Weenen Magistrates Court, further into the KZN midlands.

He continued as a district magistrate for the next decade (including acting as a relief (temporary) regional magistrate at various places) until he was permanently appointed as a Regional Magistrate: first in Estcourt in northern KZN, but later to Protea and Lenasia in Gauteng. Again, Reddy’s idea of ‘home’ shifted.

Reddy would stay in the Lenasia Regional Court, mostly trying criminal cases. However, when a vacancy opened in the Regional Court in central Johannesburg in 2013, he leapt at the opportunity and started running civil cases (both motion, trials and other areas).

With more than 20 years’ experience in the lower courts, Reddy started acting as judge of the North West High Court in October 2022, where he now seeks to be permanent. Again, this would shift his idea of ‘home’.

Reddy has acted continuously for 4 and half court terms (equating to a little over a year, or 52 court weeks). In that time, he has presided over both civil and criminal cases, including criminal appeals, although the bulk has been in the civil courts covering various areas of law.

In the State v Zonke case, Reddy considered an application for a postponement of the trial of several of the mineworkers who are accused of murder and other violent incidents in the days leading up to the Marikana Massacre of August 2012. The matter had been in court since 2015 and trial was expected to begin in March 2023. However, the application for postponement was made by counsel for the accused due to the unavailability of Senior Counsel, the absence of a pre-trial hearing, and a pending review application.

Reddy held the trial was not ready to proceed through no fault of the accused. He considered whether these delays constituted a violated the right to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the Constitution, and whether it would be appropriate to launch a full inquiry into the circumstances of the delays in terms of section 342A of the Criminal Procedure Act. Reddy ordered that the case be removed from the roll pending the finalisation of the review application.

The Thabang v North West University was an urgent application by a university student who sought to hold the university officials in contempt of court for their failure to implement a a court order he had obtained earlier. The student had been found guilty of abusing his powers as a Students Representative Council member to manipulate a (woman) student depsperately seeking accommodation. He also sought an order to interdict the university from implementing the disciplinary sanction against him pending judicial review, while also asking the court to order that the university register him for the following academic year. Reddy was therefore required to consider the requirements for urgency and the requirements for  interim interdicts. He dismissed the application but handed down reasons for it upon request by the student.

The written judgment providing reasons gives a dog’s breakfast a run for its money. Reddy starts with the legal principles applicable to interdicts generally, before he dives into the legal requirements for urgency. Only from paragraph 15 does the judgment get to the background facts surrounding the dispute. After a discussing the law on interim interdicts, citing the usual authorities including Setlogelo and OUTA, Reddy finds that the student did not meet any of these requirements, despite the case following a torturous route to adjudication before him. He therefore reiterated his initial orders, including awarding legal costs in favour of the university, against the student.

Reddy’s nearly 30-year experience as a judicial officer in the magistrates courts, coupled with his long stint as an acting judge in the North West High Court place him at a distinct advantage over other candidates vying for permanent appointment. However, the JSC’s recent focus on judgment-writing and clarity of reasoning might be an obstacle to his elevation to the superior court bench – and his pursuit of a new ‘home’.

April 2024 Interview