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Judges lash magistrate for ‘mind-boggling’ behaviour

Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Criminal

A provincial magistrate has come under fire from two judges of the High Court in Zimbabwe for ‘conducting himself as a loose cannon’ and for not telling the truth to an accused about what the judges had ordered in their review of the original trial court sentence. As Carmel Rickard explains, in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site, the magistrate first imposed a hopelessly lenient sentence on a bus driver whose negligence directly caused the death of six people and then misrepresented to the accused the High Court’s order on review. The judges said the magistrate’s behaviour was ‘mind-boggling’, that he had been ‘untruthful’, had ‘taken leave of his senses’ and ‘embarked on a frolic of his own’. They also ordered that their judgment be brought to the attention of the Chief Magistrate who was to ensure that the conduct of the magistrate concerned ‘is not repeated’.

Judgment

A Matter of Justice