The suspension of a judge is a serious matter, and it is only done after careful consideration of the evidence. The allegations against these three judges are serious, and the Judicial Conduct Tribunal will need to determine whether they have been proven. If they are, the judges could face further disciplinary action, including removal from office.
Ramaphosa said that he had suspended the judges in order to “ensure the integrity of the judiciary” and to “protect the public interest.” He also said that he would not interfere with the JCC’s investigation into the judges’ conduct.
As of today, June 28, 2023, there are three judges who are suspended in South Africa:
- Judge Mandlakayise John Hlophe, the former Judge President of the Western Cape Division of the High Court. He was suspended in 2022 pending a Judicial Conduct Tribunal hearing into allegations that he tried to influence the outcome of a case before the Constitutional Court.
- Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela, a judge of the Gauteng Division of the High Court. He was suspended in April 2023 pending a Judicial Conduct Tribunal hearing into allegations that he failed to deliver judgments timeously.
- Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi, a judge of the Gauteng Division of the High Court. She was suspended in April 2023 on the same grounds as Judge Maumela.
In addition to these three judges, there have been a number of other judges who have been suspended in South Africa in recent years. These cases have highlighted the importance of the independence of the judiciary and the need to protect judges from undue interference.