26 May: Irregular Proceedings at the Supreme Court of Appeal. A Day to Remember…

While those still guided by the mainstream were looking in the wrong direction last week, history was made in more ways than one in Bloemfontein and not in a good way. First, the unlawful persistence by members of the judiciary to insist in holding a so-called “virtual hearing” in a matter in which they were supposed to later hear argument regarding the legality of such hearings, had forced LFN to bring an application for the whole SCA bench, consisting of Navsa, Ponnan, Mbatha JJA and Rogers and Unterhalter AJJA, to recuse themselves. This has never happened before.

By denying us a proper hearing in an open court, which still is the norm, the Supreme Court gave rise to our apprehension that they were not as independent as they should be,” President De Beer said. “Once the independence of an adjudicator can no longer be taken as granted, either someone else takes over or the judges must come out and state publicly why they believe that they are not biased.” Instead, all five judges decided to ignore the application and, by doing so, likely acted in violation of the Constitution, the law, their own Code of Conduct and, quite possibly, even the Judges’ Oath they once swore. This has also never happened before. However, the judges’ conduct, by proceeding unlawfully with the hearing, confirmed the bias of the court, of which even LFN itself had not been fully convinced before.

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LFN’s recusal application also mentions irregularities between the officers of that court and the administrative level, apparently with full knowledge of the very judges involved. At some stage, the court requested a virtual hearing to discuss the legality of a virtual hearing. “Absolutely hilarious,” De Beer commented. “If it was a comedy it would be called ‘Judge first, hear the argument later’. That’s just not how it works and they know it.

Nobody can be forced against his will to partake in something unlawful. Hence, De Beer requested the five judges to excuse him from any further proceedings. “There is a huge difference between ‘asking to be excused’ from a hearing and ‘refusing’ to partake,” says De Beer in light of the disinformation being published by some outlets, falsely claiming that he had refused participation in his own and LFN’s hearing.

LFN remains true to its arguments and announces that it is no longer in a position to accept any outcome in any matter adjudicated by the SCA, if heard after 26 May 2021, until and unless the wrongs meted out to the organisation, its President, the South African public and, most importantly, to the judiciary itself have been fully rectified. In this context LFN informs the public that, following the illicit hearing, it has received heart-warming support from members of the judiciary and the legal fraternity, expressing their disgust of the judges’ conduct.

At this point, LFN is preparing a comprehensive plan of action to ensure the ongoing independence of the judiciary in South Africa in the interest of the People. Same may also involve national and international legal, criminal and fraud experts who are considering to assist the organisation in its fight. “Heads will roll,” De Beer promises.


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