Bosasa scandal: NCOP confirms suspension of Pretoria’s chief magistrate

Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair on November 15, 2010, in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem)

In March, the National Assembly also unanimously supported his suspension.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday confirmed the provisional suspension of Pretoria’s chief magistrate who allegedly received security upgrades from corruption-linked company Bosasa.

In February, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola tabled a report informing Parliament of the provisional suspension of Desmond Nair, pending the outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold office.

This after allegations emerged he had allegedly asked for, or accepted, or received, special favours or benefits from corruption-accused company Bosasa in the form of upgrades to the security system at his private residence, valued at approximately R200,000.

The Magistrate’s Commission recommended Nair’s suspension after a preliminary investigation in which he was allowed to make representations on why he should not be suspended.

It took up the case after testimony at the Zondo commission into state capture by Bosasa employee Richard le Roux in January last year.

Le Roux, who was issued with a summons to appear before the commission, works for Global Technology Systems, a subsidiary of Bosasa, previously known as Sondolo IT.

At the time, Nair told News24: “I have noted the report and have referred the matter to my legal representatives to follow the legal processes.”

In March, the National Assembly also unanimously supported his suspension.

According to the Magistrates Act, both Houses of Parliament must confirm a magistrate’s suspension.

The NCOP also confirmed on Tuesday, like the National Assembly did in March, the removal of I Meyburgh as a magistrate in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court due to ill-health.

Furthermore, the NCOP also ratified an extradition treaty and a treaty to provide mutual legal assistance between South Africa and Bangladesh.

Last week, the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services recommended in a report a regional magistrate from Bloemfontein, LT Mkansi, was provisionally suspended as he allegedly had cellphone contact with a corruption-accused who had appeared before him.

If the National Assembly votes in favour of his suspension, it will also be dealt with by the NCOP.

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