Business Day | Franny Rabkiin | 2 July 2021
Retired judges Willie Seriti and Hendrick Musi face a complaint of misconduct for their handling of the arms deal inquiry
Retired judges Willie Seriti and Hendrick Musi have challenged the constitutionality of the Judicial Service Commission Act, saying it allows judicial misconduct complaints against retired judges.
Seriti, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal, and Musi, the former judge president of the Free State, face a complaint of misconduct for their handling of the arms deal inquiry. The judicial commission of inquiry, chaired by Seriti, had exonerated all involved.
In a founding affidavit, Seriti said the constitution defined a judge as someone “holding office until he or she is discharged from active service”, while the act included in its definition of a judge those who had been discharged from active service.
“This is patently unconstitutional,” he said. “We are aggrieved that we have to be put through a complaint process when we have long retired.”
The commission’s findings were set aside by the Pretoria high court in 2019 after it found that the commission failed to comply with its mandate to investigate the allegations.