Mpofu accuses High Court judges of bias in Magashule suspension case

Ace Magashule’s battle against his suspension continues on Wednesday as the court hears arguments for and against his being granted leave to appeal the court’s decision last month.

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule appears in the Bloemfontein High Court on 11 August 2021. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool

CAPE TOWN - Senior counsel Advocate Dali Mpofu has accused a full bench of the Johannesburg High Court of bias in the case involving suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule.

Magashule’s battle against his suspension continues on Wednesday as the court hears arguments for and against his being granted leave to appeal the court’s decision last month.

Judges Jody Kollapen, Sharise Weiner and Edwin Molahleli unanimously dismissed Magashule’s urgent application to overturn his suspension from his powerful position.

The judges were on Wednesday told by Mpofu that they had prejudged the matter in favour of the respondents, who include President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte.

Judicial bias is one of the grounds that Mpofu is arguing should be reason enough to grant Magashule leave to appeal the court’s decision.

Judge Jody Kollapen put the question to him: "Are you saying that this case was determined on the basis of a pre-judgment?"

Mpofu responded: “Yes, we are saying that the matter was prejudged and I am not saying in the overall outcome in the case, I am talking about the specific issue of the authority of Miss Duarte. Remember that is a pivotal issue in this case which would determine whether the suspension was lawful or unlawful. So, prejudging that issue is just as good as prejudging the whole case, in a particular sense.”

Duarte wrote the letter informing Magashule of his suspension.

Mpofu said that it would be better for another court, such as the Supreme Court of Appeal, to determine whether the judges were biased or not.

WATCH: Magashule seeks leave to appeal suspension challenge ruling

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