Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How long will he last?


Yesterday I saw and published an article related to “contempt of court” by officials at O.R. Tambo airport.

This morning I wanted to see if the individuals in fact appeared in front of the judge, and what the outcome of this appearance was. Obviously didn’t find anything.

I then got curious about the judge in the case, namely acting judge Roelof du Plessis.

Below are extracts of some of the news on the internet related to this judge.

A picture of a very frustrated individual, trying to do the right thing, has emerged.

Now the question;

How long will he last as a judge?


28 September 2007
VAT REFUND CASE
Contemptible Sars

Despite taxpayer Dave Zietsman winning his case against the SA Revenue Service (Sars) in the supreme court of appeal and twice in the Witwatersrand high court, he has yet to receive the R2,65m Vat refund he's been fighting for since 2005.


Last week, he came a step closer. In a scathing judgment, the acting judge in the Witwatersrand division of the high court, Roelof du Plessis, said Sars' behaviour was "reprehensible" and ordered it to pay punitive costs for dragging out the matter. "Government entities, and various arms of government, have lately treated court orders with contempt," says Du Plessis in his judgment. "[This is] probably as a result of the courts finding that precious little could be done about such government departments or the government itself being in contempt of an order of the court."



However, just before 6pm on Friday, Matime again entered the courtroom. He said the lawyer had phoned the director, who apparently said the court order was not authentic, telling the lawyer: "You know too much. You think you are clever."

Judge Du Plessis then personally phoned the director.

A few minutes later he returned to court, saying: "Listen to the contempt of the law that sometimes go on in this country."

He put on record that the director had said he knew the law and had slammed the phone down on him.



The acting judge was due to demand answers today from Pretoria police about why they refused a resident bail after he allegedly drove through a red traffic light, which led to the judge's having to drive to court late at night to hear an urgent bail application.

A clearly unhappy Acting Judge Roelof du Plessis on Friday told counsel for the police that he wanted answers about who refused to grant bail to Jack Coetzee, of Jan Niemand Park.

"I want the station commander (of Pretoria West police station) and the charge office commander before me this afternoon to explain why bail was refused... It seems to me as if the police have a contemptuous attitude towards the courts," he said.



A judge has demanded that police explain why they did not grant a man bail for an alleged petty offence - and then for not answering their station's phones when contacted by his office.

Jack Coetzee, from Pretoria, was initially refused bail after he allegedly drove through a red traffic light. This led to the judge having to drive to court late at night to hear an urgent bail application.

"I want the station commander (of Pretoria West police station) and the charge office commander before me this afternoon to explain why bail was refused ... It seems to me as if the police have a contemptuous attitude towards the courts," a clearly unhappy Acting Judge Roelof du Plessis said.




He received this sentence already in October 2008 due to contempt of court, but he was never arrested by the SAPS. According to Kallie Kriel, executive director of AfriForum - who supported Celliers in the matter-the court ruling is not only a victory for Celliers, but also for the rule of the law. "It is a disgrace that the SAPS had to be taken to court simply to do their job and protect citizens' rights," Kriel added.

Judge Roelof du Plessis warned in his ruling today that South Africa is standing on the verge of a constitutional crisis because there are several people in the country like Masinga who – thanks to contacts in high places - succeed in acting like people who are above the law. According to Kriel, AfriForum will, in light of Judge Du Plessis' warning, increasingly focus on protecting the rule of the law by making those who disregard the law account for their actions in court. "This will pose huge demands in terms of legal costs, but AfriForum will definitely do it in order to help ensure an orderly society," Kriel said.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

How long will he last? Not long!