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Judge Sipho Nkosi, a victim of judicial dictatorship.

Thursday, 17th March, 2022

Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala who influenced the dismissal of Honorable Judge Sipho Nkosi remains a serious problem in this country that needs to be fixed as a matter of urgency.

The conduct of Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala who influences judgements does not only undermines the independence of the Judges but amounts to judicial dictatorship and this, I would suggest, is the highest level of unethical conduct.

Judge Sipho Nkosi, as he then was, complained in an open court that there was interference in his judicial duties as a Judge, CJ Maphalala as the Head of the Judiciary should have established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegations.

But then, because the main suspect was Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala, the complaints as per the sentiments of the Judge, despite being a threat to the independence of the justice system, fell on deaf ears and Judge Sipho Nkosi was subsequently persecuted and removed from the bench.

Judge Nkosi is highly educated far more than the Chief Justice, that he decided to go public and complain about an alleged interference in his judicial duties suggests that he had reached the ceiling trying to resolve the matter internally.

It is therefore important to note that based on the sequence of events, the dismissal of Judge Sipho Nkosi was not only substantive and was procedurally unfair but it exposes a serious breakdown in the administration of justice in this country.

Justice is fairness, therefore Judge Sipho was supposed to appear before the Judicial Service Commission(JSC) or any legally established body not as an accused but as a judicial officer eager to state the challenges he encountered in his line of duty as a Judge.

But alas, because the main perpetrator who undermines the independence of the judiciary is Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala, Judge Nkosi was subsequently persecuted and dismissed.

It is worth mentioning that before we can even blame King Mswati, the principal dictator, we must remember that Bheki Maphalala does not qualify for the position of Chief Justice, he was rewarded for the role he played during the drafting process of the Constitution that legitimized the 1973 Decree and gave Mswati absolute powers. 

As a result, the inferior judicial conduct of Chief Justice always made him to sideline and persecute Judges seen as a threat to his position.

Qualified and highly experienced Judges in this country work under extremely difficult conditions and this is not only perpetrated by King Mswati, it’s the Chief Justice and his judicial mafia that includes Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo, the ‘King’ of Ezulwini.

Mswati is a very corrupt King, but sometimes he acts based on the advice he receives from his trusted servants on the ground, in this case, the dismissal of Judge Sipho Nkosi was masterminded by Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala.

In conclusion, it is important to state that what is happening within the judiciary is very disturbing, Judges must be allowed to preside over cases, apply their legal minds independently and or without any interference. 

Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala must know that he is not smart enough to control the legal minds of all the Judges, some of whom are more qualified and experienced than him.

Recently, Maphalala directed Judge Jacobus Annandale to write an appeal judgement for the incarcerated pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs) Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube. 

In light of the aforementioned, there’s sufficient evidence substantiating that Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala is corrupt and that his unethical judicial conduct does not only undermines the independence of the justice system but amounts to judicial dictatorship.

Judge Sipho Nkosi, a victim of judicial dictatorship.
Dismissed High Court Judge Sipho Nkosi.