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Justice Minister: Sentences by suspended Magistrate Bodlani are 'incompetent’

The controversial Umlazi Magistrate gave a man who raped a six-year-old girl a suspended sentence, claiming the victim showed no signs of trauma.

FILE: Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola. Picture: Primedia

JOHANNESBURG – Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the questionable sentences handed down by KwaZulu-Natal Magistrate Kholeka Bodlani were incomplete and incompetent.

Bodlani was suspended following an investigation into her fitness to hold office.

Several of her cases were placed under review after she was found to be lenient on child rapists.

She was removed from the sexual offences court last year, however, up until her suspension, Bodlani continued to serve on the bench after she was assigned to a general court.

The Justice and Correctional Services Department has described the sentences handed by the magistrate as "outrageous and disturbing to the extreme".

The controversial Umlazi Magistrate gave a man who raped a six-year-old girl a suspended sentence, claiming the victim showed no signs of trauma.

She is said to have also set another suspect free, citing he was not interested in women because he carried a bag and styled his hair.

As pressure mounts for action to be taken against Bodlani, Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffrey said it would take some time.

“A decision has not been taken yet and is still dependent on the hearing where she will have the opportunity to respond. I agree that it takes too long for decisions to be taken and be resolved, but we have to afford people due process."

Several of Bodlani's sentences, including those that saw rapists walk free, have now been overturned on review by provincial judges

LISTEN: Update on Bodlani's suspension

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