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Meyiwa judge won’t meet with black lawyers following ‘damaging’ remarks

todayMarch 24, 2024 43

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Senzo Meyiwa Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng has declined to meet with members of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA), following scrutiny over his remarks about black legal practitioners.

On Wednesday, Mokgoatlheng questioned the seriousness of black lawyers in court after defence lawyer, Thulani Mngomezulu, failed to attend.

“Is this how black lawyers behave?” the judge asked the courtroom.

Yires have since condemned the blanket statement as damaging to perceptions about black lawyers.

In a moment of remorse, the judge on Friday in court withdrew the comments, saying they could be perceived as offensive and ill-advised.

Mokgoatlheng said following some reflection, he came to realise the err in his remarks.

However, the BLA believes it’s concerning that a judge of his calibre would come to believe that Mngomezulu’s conduct could be as a result of his blackness.

And while some social media users have praised the judge for acknowledging his mistake, others are calling on him to recuse himself.

The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial resumes in the Pretoria High Court on Monday. Written by Naomi Kobbie

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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