GCB condemns Malema attacks on judiciary
The General Council of the Bar (GCB) has condemned personal attacks that EFF leader Julius Malema made against the judiciary during his Women's Day address.
As previously reported, Malema said SA must ‘get get rid of incompetent judges who are threatened by politicians that appear before them’.
He also claimed current judges were ‘traumatised old people’, adding: ‘We want the judges that are going to say the judiciary must be independent and not be influenced by who is the President.’ And he threatened violence, saying ‘a biased judiciary will force us into the bush’.
Malema’s comments came soon after two judgments were handed down by women judges in matters where the EFF was an unsuccessful party, the GCB said, according to News24. The GCB said it respected the right to freedom of expression, including the right to criticise judicial decisions where justified, but said it would defend judges against 'unwarranted attack’.
GCB chairperson Craig-Watt Pringle SC said the GCB was concerned that ‘instead of offering a reasoned critique of the judgments, Mr Malema launched a veiled attack of a personal nature on the individual judges who delivered those judgments, by implication referring to them as being incompetent, lacking in appropriate confidence, independence, and being politically motivated’.
The GCB said it was unfortunate Malema’s inappropriate criticisms – directed not at the correctness of the judgments, but at the perceived personal characteristics of the judges who delivered them – evidently sought to instil fear in the judiciary by making unfounded allegations of favour and prejudice.
Attacks of this nature undermine the independence of the judiciary, which is not only the very value that Mr Malema purports to rely upon, but one from which he and the EFF have themselves benefited on a number of occasions over the years.’
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