Stun­ning rape rev­e­la­tion Prof Reddi in sup­port of Mo­go­eng

BRAVE SUR­VIVOR: Mag­is­trate en­cour­ages oth­ers not to re­main silent

Weekend Witness - - News - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

CHIEF Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng had as much a duty as the heads of other state or­gans to en­sure the cre­ation of a truly equal South Africa, UKZN’s dean of law Pro­fes­sor Managay Reddi said yes­ter­day.

Open­ing a con­fer­ence of women judges and of­fi­cers in Dur­ban yes­ter­day, Reddi came out in sup­port of Mo­go­eng, who is the sub­ject of a com­plaint to the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion by Ad­vo­cate Paul Hoff­man SC.

Hoff­man be­lieves Mo­go­eng should be im­peached, among other things, be­cause of hard-hit­ting com­ments he made at an Ad­vo­cates for Trans­for­ma­tion din­ner in Cape Town about trans­for­ma­tion in the pro­fes­sion.

Mo­go­eng was a guest speaker at yes­ter­day’s con­fer­ence.

Reddi was crit­i­cal of the slow pace of trans­for­ma­tion, say­ing that this was why the “elated cheers” of the ma­jor­ity of South African women dur­ing the dawn of democ­racy had turned into “whim­pers of pain, de­spite ev­ery con­sti­tu­tional right still be­ing in force and ef­fect”.

The found­ing of a truly equal so­ci­ety in which all per­sons, in­clud­ing women, were able to mean­ing­fully en­joy the rights con­ferred by the bill of rights was not pos­si­ble with­out trans­for­ma­tion, Reddi said.

“Yet, shock­ingly in some sec­tions of South Africa to­day, dis­cus­sions around ‘trans­for­ma­tion’ cause such egre­gious con­ster­na­tion that per­sons from those sec­tions of our so­ci­ety feel com­pelled to re­sort to such dras­tic steps as call­ing for the im­peach­ment of the chief jus­tice for pub­licly dis­cussing mat­ters of trans­for­ma­tion.”

The cur­rent com­po­si­tion of the ju­di­ciary was hardly re­flec­tive of a new or­der that was “in con­spic­u­ous con­trast” to its com­po­si­tion un­der apartheid, Reddi said.

To ex­pect Mo­go­eng — who be­cause of his po­si­tion as the coun­try’s top judge was an­swer­able for the slow pace of trans­for­ma­tion in the ju­di­ciary — to re­frain from dis­cussing the chal­lenges to trans­for­ma­tion was “to emas­cu­late him in the per­for­mance of his con­sti­tu­tion­ally man­dated func­tions”, she said.

“This in­her­ent con­ser­vatism and re­fusal by some cul­prits of apartheid in the le­gal pro­fes­sion to share in the re­spon­si­bil­ity for trans­for­ma­tion is one of the big­gest chal­lenges to trans­for­ma­tion and un­de­ni­ably ac­counts for the slow pace of trans­for­ma­tion in our coun­try, es­pe­cially in the le­gal pro­fes­sion and the ju­di­ciary.”

Reddi urged those gath­ered at the con­fer­ence “who recog­nise that if it had not been for the trans­for­ma­tive dic­tates of our Con­sti­tu­tion, we would not be where we are to­day”, to raise their voices and speak out “against those who are at­tempt­ing to sub­vert the trans­for­ma­tion pro­ject”.

— Wit­ness Re­porter. A MAG­IS­TRATE caused a con­fer­ence of women judges to gasp when she stood up yes­ter­day and told Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng that she had been a vic­tim of rape.

No­luthando Ndamase (37) has given per­mis­sion for her name and pic­ture to be pub­lished.

Mo­go­eng was ad­dress­ing a gath­er­ing of mostly women at the con­fer­ence of the South African Chap­ter of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Women Judges at UKZN.

He had fin­ished his speech and was tak­ing ques­tions when Ndamase made the dis­clo­sure and pointed out to Mo­go­eng that all South Africans, even ju­di­cial of­fi­cers, were af­fected by crime.

Mo­go­eng sym­pa­thised with Ndamase and told her that he and his fam­ily had also been the vic­tims of crime while he was judge pres­i­dent in the North West prov­ince.

Ndamase later told Week­end Wit­ness that she had been raped, robbed and ab­ducted dur­ing the or­deal in Phutha­ditjhaba in the Free State in Au­gust last year.

She said she had de­cided to speak out at the con­fer­ence to en­cour­age other vic­tims not to re­main silent.

“I wanted to raise the eye­brows of the peo­ple in in­flu­en­tial po­si­tions. It will em­power oth­ers who suf­fered the same so that they know they are not alone and they can over­come the sit­u­a­tion re­gard­less,” she said.

Ndamase, who was trans­ferred to Bloem­fontein af­ter the in­ci­dent, said her at­tacker had wielded a hand-made knife. “I screamed but he or­dered me not to cry or he would kill me.

“He raped me and there­after took me to my car be­fore dump­ing me in the boot and driv­ing off. He also took money [about R500] that was in my purse,” she said.

“I was left in the boot the en­tire day and was found the fol­low­ing evening. I heard foot­steps and then banged on the boot un­til some­one asked if there was any­body in­side,” said Ndamase, who hails from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape.

Ndamase, who had been a mag­is­trate for two years at Phutha­dit­jaba, said the per­pe­tra­tor had yet to be ar­rested.

Ndamase, the mother of an eightyear-old, cred­ited col­leagues for help­ing her through the or­deal.

Al­though Ndamase pre­sides over rob­bery and rape cases, she says she does not al­low her or­deal to cloud her judg­ments.

“I un­der­stand that the al­leged rapist who ap­pears be­fore me is not the one who raped me. I make de­ci­sions based on the facts that are be­fore the court,” Ndamase said.

PHOTO: RA­JESH JANTILAL

Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng ad­dresses del­e­gates at the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Women Judges con­fer­ence at the Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Na­tal’s Howard Col­lege cam­pus in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

PHOTO: MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

Bloem­fontein mag­is­trate No­luthando Ndamase who was raped, robbed and kid­napped at her house while work­ing as a mag­is­trate in Phutha­ditjhaba in Au­gust last year.

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