Judge Ebrahim facing suspension
A senior judge of the Free State high court is facing suspension pending an investigation against her. If Judge Shamir Ebrahim is suspended, it will probably be the first time that such a drastic step is taken against a Free State judge, according to a Netwerk 24 article.
Judge Ebrahim has been accused of not declaring her financial interests, a disclosure that is required of all judges in the country. Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza, spokesman for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), said on inquiry that President Zuma is considering the suspension after he received such a recommendation from the JSC.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has informed President Zuma, that he is establishing a Judicial Conduct Tribunal which will work to investigate charges against Ebrahim. The Tribunal will only hear the complaint about Judge Ebrahim’s alleged failure to declare her interests, the JSC spokesman said.
Such a Judicial Complaints Tribunal is made up of three members, two of them judges appointed by the Chief Justice (CJ) and another chosen by the CJ from a JSC list of “suitable persons” appointed to the list by the CJ in consultation with the Minister of Justice. The Chief Justice decides where the Tribunal will sit.
In the ongoing saga of Judge John Hlophe, the Constitutional Court is still considering the latest application brought by Judges Nkabinde and Jafta, in which the JSC has said it not an application the Court can or should consider. Once that application is dealt with, the Tribunal to deal with that matter can be established.
This Tribunal will form part of the ongoing development of the system of holding judges accountable, not just through their judgements being appealed, but through their conduct being held up to scrutiny by their peers.