Mogoeng Mogoeng & Abrahams Refuse to Investigate Duplicate Court Files Scandal

Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

Liberty Fighters Movement (LFM) will lay formal complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, as well as the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv. Shaun Abrahams. This relates to the chaotic duplicate Court file system currently in use by all the Courts in South Africa.

The Office of the Chief Justice was formally requested on 11 June 2016 to internally investigate the processes being used in all our Courts to issue duplicate Court files and ever since allegedly neglected his responsibilities towards a right to equal protection and benefit of the law and also to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair, in accordance with the formal complaint to be lodged at the SAHRC.

LFM Spokesperson, Reyno De Beer, opened a criminal case (accused names not being released at present) on 10 June 2016 relating to corruption and fraud amounting to an estimated R1.2 million, above others, where he also claims the main accused followed a fraudulent Court process in the High Court, Pretoria where a duplicate Court file had also been issued at a certain stage.

In a first of its kind, on 17 May 2016 De Beer and another obtained an urgent Court Order in the High Court, Pretoria against its Chief Registrar, Mr. Simphiwe Mniki, in which Mniki was ordered in his official capacity to keep the suspect Court files in safekeeping for investigation purposes. That matter is still pending final outcome and are still sub judice.

Once the Hawks Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU) in Visagie Street, Pretoria received the docket from the Lyttleton Police where the criminal case was opened, the appointed investigator requested the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to appoint a prosecutor to assist him with the criminal investigation due to the apparent complexity of the matter.

Strangely two weeks later the NPA by way of a one Adv. Veenemans also stationed at the Visagie Street SCCU declined to prosecute the matter even if the investigating officer only requested the NPA to appoint a prosecutor to assist him with the criminal investigation which have not started.

De Beer immediately appealed to the Gauteng Provincial Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv. Sibongile Mzinyathi, who tasked the Regional Head of the SCCU, Adv. Marshall Mokgatlhe, to deal with the appeal on his behalf.

In correspondence relating to the appeal De Beer stated that it was totally premature to decline to prosecute the matter because the investigator never started the investigation and statements from further 23 other victims and witnesses had been outstanding. De Beer also stated that it was important to investigate that criminal matter to the benefit of approximately 50 employees and their families of the one suspect company who have all lost their jobs.

De Beer says that the investigating officer told him that it is usually procedure especially where such a large amount is applicable for the NPA to have a consultation with the complainant and the investigator to decide whether the NPA must allocate a prosecutor to assist in an investigation or not, which bizarrely never happened.

Mokgathle again declined to prosecute without an investigation to be conducted and again without consulting with De Beer and the investigating officer. Therefore on two instances prosecutors of the NPA declined to prosecute in the matter where the SCCU had not even started its investigation.

De Beer subsequently referred the matter on 9 September 2016to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv. Shaun Abrahams, to internally investigate the two prosecutors who both have unjustly blocked the criminal investigation under very suspicious circumstances as well as to attend to the appeal against declining to prosecute in the matter which had been dragging to simply start since 10 June 2016.

Even Abrahams made no real effort to treat the matter as serious and no progress of any kind had been made by him, except a promise that the Acting National Head of the SCCI, Adv. Malini Govender, would be tasked to take over the matter according to De Beer. No effort had since been made to finalise the matter.

On 4 October 2016 De Beer put the Chief Justice on terms to provide him with a progress report relating to his internal investigation proving that he had been busy with it by no later than Monday, 10 October 2016.

Sadly no report was forthcoming from the Chief Justice and De Beer had no alternative but to now escalate the matter to the SAHRC.

De Beer says that the duplicate Court file system had been in use for several years already, after Court files started to disappear from basically all Courts at an alarming rate. Initially poor administration and lazy Court officials were blamed for the chaos, but it was not until about a year ago when De Beer through his assistance with property hijacking investigations started to realise that many lawyers and criminals alike are actually benefitting from having a duplicate Court file being issued where the Courts have been transferred into “KFC Drive Thru’s” to quickly obtain judgments and especially eviction orders without having to go through all the red tape.

For some unknown reason neither Law Societies nor Bars have really done anything to stop the issuing of duplicate Court files and LFM is of the view that these legal organisations have not done anything about it because this discrepancy actually benefits lawyers and advocates at the cost of the members of the general public against whom that process is being followed. It is mostly used against citizens who are legally unrepresented and for some further obscure reason it is as if the lawyers and advocates in general keep this unopposed in case anyone of them needs to utilise it against the oppressed public.

In the one matter which is supposed to be criminally investigated, four defendants were cited in the High Court Summons for an amount relating to arrears rental and eviction from a business premises where two defended the action and the other two not. Two processes had to be followed where a Default Judgment and Warrant of Ejectment had to be issued in the undefended part and a Summary Judgment had to be obtained in the defended part. The Claimant’s attorneys allegedly knew that the Court file was in a cue with the Registrar of the Court to issue a Warrant of Ejectment, but somehow allegedly lied in an affidavit to the Chief Registrar that the Court file was missing and a duplicate Court file had been approved which the attorneys used to speed up the process to apply for Summary Judgment.

From research De Beer found that as many as 70% of all cases in our Courts today duplicate Court files are issued by the respective Registrars and Clerks without treating those matters as criminal cases in terms of the Promotion to Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) which they are supposed to do.

Duplicate Court files had become too easy to issue where it is either used to speed up Court processes therefore deliberately jumping the cue or by criminals to obtain fraudulent Court Orders, especially eviction orders.

LFM has pledged itself to bring an end to the duplicate Court file scandal and in particular to restore the dignity in our Judiciary which had been defiled by officials of the Courts who had been making a mockery of it in the process.