Embattled Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela hospitalised, tribunal hearing postponed

Suspended judge Tshifhiwa Maumela. Picture: Screengrab/TV

Suspended judge Tshifhiwa Maumela. Picture: Screengrab/TV

Published Mar 19, 2024


The Judicial Service Commission’s tribunal probing charges of gross misconduct and gross incompetence levelled against North Gauteng High Court Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela was on Tuesday postponed after information was submitted that the embattled judge had fallen ill and had been hospitalised.

Maumela's legal representative advocate Ghandi Badela said his client was unwell and had been taken to hospital.

“Justice and members of the panel, as we have informed you in a meeting that this morning we learnt that Judge Maumela was hospitalised. On that occasion we then approached the tribunal to seek this matter to be postponed to a date at least when he is able to attend the proceedings,” Badela submitted.

“Accordingly, we would like to move an application to have these proceedings postponed that we have agreed to, with my learned friend, advocate Mopp, being May 27, 2024.

Advocate Adrian Mopp is the evidence leader at the tribunal. He agreed to the provisional date of May 27, and chairperson of the tribunal, retired Constitutional Court Judge Chris Jafta adjourned the proceedings.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela. Picture: Screengrab/TV

On Monday, IOL reported that Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said the suspended Maumela was never meant to preside over the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, but defied his seniors' instructions.

Mlambo was giving evidence on Monday at the Judicial Service Commission's tribunal probing gross misconduct and gross incompetence charges against Maumela.

Maumela is accused of not meeting the target when handing down reserved judgments within three to six months, in 52 matters since 2013.

In one matter, he took at least five years to make a ruling in a medical negligence case. The complainant died before the ruling was made.

According to Mlambo, there were views that Maumela was struggling with handling the Meyiwa trial.

As the head of court, Mlambo said he knew that Maumela was not fit to preside over the Meyiwa trial and was of the view that he should not be given work that would overwhelm him.

Mlambo said he felt it was imperative that he explains how Maumela ended up leading the proceedings in the Meyiwa trial.

“When matters come to the division, they don’t go to the trial roll, they go to the pre-trial roll and when they are in the pre-trial roll they are allocated to judges randomly. So this matter was allocated to judge Maumela to case manage until it was trial ready,” he said.

Mlambo said that together with the Deputy Judge President (DJP), Aubrey Phago Ledwaba, they were informed by another judge that Maumela was the one who was managing the pre-trial.

“There’s a reason why he told us, because we had to decide who we are going allocate to the trial. Me and the DJP agreed that he was not to do that trial.”

He said Maumela was informed that after he has completed the pre-trial proceedings, he should notify them and they will make an official decision regarding a suitable judge for the trial.