Magashule to now wait for outcome of leave of appeal suspension bid

Ace Magashule wants to appeal the court’s decision last month, which rejected his urgent application to have his suspension overturned.

Ace Magashule, the suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, speaks ahead of former President Jacob Zuma’s address following the postponement of his corruption trial outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021.Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

CAPE TOWN - Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule will now have to wait for the judgment of the Johannesburg High Court as to whether or not his application for leave to appeal has been successful or not.

Magashule wants to appeal the court’s last month decision, which rejected his urgent application to have his suspension overturned.

Counsel for Magashule, Dali Mpofu SC, has accused the three High Court judges who heard the case of being biased and making deliberately dishonest decisions in favour of the respondents in the case, who include President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.

Judges Jody Kollapen, Sharise Weiner and Edwin Molahleli last month unanimously dismissed Magashule’s urgent application.

Advocate Wim Trengove SC, appearing for the respondents, has asked the court to dismiss Magashule’s bid for leave to appeal.

“So we submit, with the greatest of respect, that the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed with costs, including the costs of three counsel, on the attorney and client scale – for two reasons. Firstly, the scurrilous and unfounded attack on the bench, which we submit is scandalous and for which there was no justification at all, and secondly for the introduction of this supplementary heads of argument merely to abuse the court’s platform to insult the president.”

But Mpofu SC, convinced another court will decide differently, stuck to his guns and fired back at Trengove: “He almost wants us to shrink like violets and say no, we’re not accusing the court of bias. Well, we are. We are saying in our notice of application we said actual or perceived bias – actual: it can’t be worse than that.”
Judge Jody Kollapen has reserved judgment.

WATCH: Judges are biased, says Magashule in leave to appeal suspension bid

A 'FULL FRONTAL ATTACK' ON JUDGES

Mpofu’s accusation of bias on the part of three Johannesburg High Court judges who dismissed Magashule’s urgent application to have his suspension overturned was “extraordinary” and a “full frontal attack” on the judges’ integrity and honesty.

That was the response from Trengove on Wednesday as Magashule’s bid for leave to appeal against the judgment unfolded at the same court, before the same judges.

Mpofu told the judges they were perceived to be biased by his client, Magashule. Mpofu said Magashule had been very upset by the dismissal of his bid to overturn his suspension and had had to be restrained.

But Trengove quoted from Mpofu’s heads of argument, saying they went a lot further than suggesting perceived bias.

Trengove said the heads of argument accused the judges of deliberately distorting or ignoring facts to benefit the respondent, with the aim of justifying the court’s predetermined outcome.

“No perception of bias – no subtleties here. They accuse you of deliberately and dishonestly giving a judgment to favour the one side over the other.”

Trengove said he was unaware of any precedent for this: “It is a full-frontal attack on your integrity and your honesty in giving the judgment you did. So that is the one extraordinary feature of it. The other extraordinary feature of it is that there is absolutely no evidence to support it, none whatsoever. The argument is based from beginning to end on a contention that says, 'I argued X and you argued Y and therefore you are wrong - or deliberately wrong.'”

Trengove said the fact that Magashule’s urgent application was held to be wrong in numerous respects didn’t begin to make a case for perception of bias, least of all actual dishonesty, on the part of the judges.

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