President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Justices TA Maumela and NP Mngqibisa-Thusi on suspension to allow the Judicial Conduct Tribunal to investigate suspected misconduct regarding alleged excessive delays by the judges in handing down a significant number of judgments.
The President has taken this step in terms of Section 177(3) of the Constitution, which empowers the President to suspend a judge on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission.
On 26 January 2023, the Judicial Service Commission accepted a recommendation of the Judicial Conduct Committee that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the judges were guilty of misconduct in delaying the handing down of a significant number of judgments.
The Commission decided the matter should be referred to the Judicial Conduct Tribunal for investigation.
At its meeting of 20 April 2023, the Judicial Service Commission took a decision to advise the President to suspend Justice Maumela and Justice Mngqibisa-Thusi pending a tribunal process envisaged in Section 19(1) of the Judicial Service Commission Act, 1994 (Act No.9 of 1994).
Both Judge Maumela and Judge Mngqibisa-Thusi are suspended subject to the condition that they finalise their part-heard matters.
Ramaphosa has informed Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and the suspended justices of his decision.