Enter your keyword

Judge S Naidoo

Capacity: Judge
First appointed as a judge: 2014 (Free State)
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Indian
Date of Birth: 6 February 1957
Key judgments:

  • Canton Trading 17 (Pty) Ltd v Hattingh N.O. [2020] 1 ECL 18 (FB)
  • Kuisis and Another v Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority and Others (A118/2018) [2020] ZAFSHC 73 (26 March 2020)
  • Hendricks v Church of the Province of Southern Africa, Diocese of Free State (2886/2019) [2020] ZAFSHC 108 (17 June 2020)
  • Hlojane v S (A241/2018) [2019] ZAFSHC 66 (30 May 2019)
  • S v L Chaba (Case NO: 113/15) ZAFSHC
  • S v Tota Ezekiel Mohlabane (Case NO: 52/18) ZAFSHC

Candidate Bio:
Appointed as a judge of the Free State High Court in 2014, Judge Naidoo had significant experience as a magistrate prior to her appointment as a judge. She was a magistrate in the Durban District Court from 1998 until her permanent appointment as a judge, during which time she served as the deputy head of office and the head of both the criminal and family divisions of the court.  This leadership experience is likely to stand her in good stead as a potential Deputy Judge President. She has also served as Acting Deputy Judge President of the Free State High Court on four separate occasions between 2018 and 2020.

In Hendricks v Church of the Province of Southern Africa, Diocese of Free State, Judge Naidoo dismissed a challenge to the revocation of the applicant’s license to practie as a priest, on the basis that the prescribed internal procedures had not first been followed. Judge Naidoo found that whilst the church’s decision could be reviewable in terms of the common law and the “precepts of natural justice”, the courts were “generally hesitant to involve themselves in church-related matters, and where they do, such intervention is limited to the process and procedures governing or relevant to the process. The courts are accordingly very reluctant to become involved in disputes regarding internal rules or doctrines of the church.”

In Hlojane v S, Judge Naidoo dismissed an appeal against a conviction and sentence of 26 years’ imprisonment for the rape of a line-year-old girl, but commented on the “somewhat strange” manner in which the presiding magistrate had delivered judgment. Judge Naidoo cautioned that it was “advisable for the magistrate to reconsider” her method of delivering judgments, and to “adopt a more general and less personal approach”, to avoid creating the impression of not being objective. Judge Naidoo further pointed out that “[i]t should also be borne in mind that the judgment is not exclusively for the accused person. The prosecution, members of the public, whether present at the proceedings or not, students, academics and the appeal court are all part of the audience that the court should seek to address.”

Judge Naidoo is a long standing member of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges, and has served as the organisation’s Deputy President, National Treasurer and Vice President of Programmes and of Publications.

April 2021 Interview: