Hon House Chair, the NFP notes the report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services tabled here today.
The Magistrates Commission has interrogated this matter extensively. It is common knowledge that Ms Meyburgh has largely been absent from office due to ill-health.
Her continuous absence from work on an already congested court roll cannot be in interest of swift justice. Her absence makes it difficult to plan court rolls in advance added to not being able to assess her performance as she has been appointed as an additional magistrate and must be evaluated for the purposes of permanent appointment. Matters that are partly heard will not be able to be finalised as it is being adjudicated by the magistrate who is familiar with the matter best.
She was given an opportunity to comment on the inquiry but failed to do so.
On investigation, as ordered by the Ethics Committee, Ms Meyburgh was requested to submit a medical certificate which was submitted and found that she was unwell, impaired and unable to function in any professional capacity presently.
It is clear that Ms Meyburgh is not in a position to carry on her duties.
In terms of section 13 (4) (a) of the Act, the Minister must suspend the magistrate if he or she is unfit to hold office due to health.
The NFP is satisfied that due processes have been followed. We wish Ms Meyburgh well in the future. The NFP supports the report tabled here. Thank you.