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Judge Makaula comes under fire for Sigcau judgment during JSC interview

Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the appointment of Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau as the King of the amaMpondo aseQaukeni.

Eastern Cape High Court Judge Mandela Makaula during his interview with the Judicial Service Commission on 3 October 2022. Picture: @OCJ_RSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – There has been tension at the Judicial Service Commission interviews, with Eastern Cape High Court Judge Mandela Makaula coming under fire over the Sigcau judgment.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned the appointment of Zanozuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau as the King of the amaMpondo aseQaukeni.

Makaula, who has been acting on the SCA bench since the beginning of the year, wrote the judgment.

During Makaula’s interview for a permanent position on the SCA bench on Monday night, former SCA president and now Deputy Chief Justice, Mandisa Maya said that it had been a struggle to get the judgment out and it emerged that at one stage Makaula had effectively gone AWOL and returned to the Eastern Cape without permission, missing an important meeting.

Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya said that even after the other appeal judges had suggested edits, the judgment that came out was incorrect and had to be “substantially corrected,” adding it gave her the impression that Makaula had struggled to proofread his own judgment.

Makaula blamed the error on his secretary but the commissioners generally seemed unconvinced.

It also emerged that during the drafting process, he went home to the Eastern Cape one weekend and only booked his return flight for Monday night, without getting permission to be away from the court that day and that as a result, he ended up missing a conference to discuss the matter.

Maya said that she was stunned at the time.

Makaula said he had apologised and did again.

But things continued to go downhill for him when Maya further pointed to a colleague’s comments to her that Makaula had even struggled to get the facts correct in the judgment, something he said pained him to hear.

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