House Chair it looks like we are speaking with one voice on this matter. The ANC rises in support of the report on the Portfolio Committee of Justice and Correctional Services on the suspension and removal from office of Magistrate I. Meyburgh, an additional magistrate at Johannesburg Magistrate Court in terms of section 13 (4) (b) of the Magistrates Courts Act of 1993.
In his inaugural speech isithwalandwe, President Nelson Mandela said, let there be justice for all, let there be peace for all. Having a clear picture and having experienced the injustices of what was called the justice system of the colonial and apartheid regimes.
The ANC committed itself to making justice accessible for all. The concerted efforts of the ANC have ensured that justice is not only accessible to the allied and privileged or those who live in suburbs or affluent parts of the country.
The ANC appreciated that disputes arise continuously in our daily lives and made a commitment that when such disputes would arise in the rural areas, aggrieved parties would have the right to access courts or tribunals and have their dispute adjudicated in a fair manner; obtain relief protection or enforce their rights in such courts or other tribunals.
The ANC called for an independent judiciary and to strengthening the judicial system and remains committed to these promises. Access to justice is paramount.
Magistrate Meyburgh has been largely absent from office due to continued ill-health. We did not bring detail of her state of health but we said continued ill-health.
This has in effect led to the continuous interruption of her work schedule, making it difficult for the head of office to plan her court rolls and other work upfront to ensure that service delivery and the smooth running of the court is not compromised.
This has also made it difficult for her performance to be evaluated for purposes of permanent of appointment.
In accordance with the audi alteram partem role of natural justice, Ms Meyburgh was offered the opportunity to comment on the matter. The Magistrate Commission did not receive any representations. A medical report was submitted and found her unable to return to work. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied. An incapacitated court cannot serve the interests of the masses of our own people who rely on an efficient judicial system for the speedy resolution of our disputes.
One of the priorities of the NAC led government is to have a capable developmental state, a well functioning capacitated judiciary is key. It is therefore on these bases that ANC does the report tabled by the committee. Thank you very much.