According to report Judge Tintswalo Nana Makhubele has lodged a complaint with the Judicial Conduct Committee against Judge Neil Tuchten for “defamatory statements and unwarranted criticisms” against
In his November 2018 Pretoria High Court judgment in the case between Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Siyaya Rail Solutions, Tuchten wrote that Makhubele “ought not to undertake any judicial duties until she clears her name of the allegations against her.
The judgment said that Makhubele had disrupted litigation procedures within Prasa by instructing Ground Legal Services (GLS), an internal body of the rail agency, to stop its participation in the Siyaya litigation. At issue in the case was a R56m payment by Prasa to Siyaya.
“I am sorry to say that I must say something about the conduct of Judge Makhubele as evidenced by these papers,” wrote Tuchten. “There are questions which demand answers.” One of these questions, according to Tuchten, was: “Did she supply Siyaya with information which they could use against Prasa, and if so, why?” He further wrote: “In general, did she act with propriety in relation to the Siyaya litigation?”
Makhubele became chair of the Prasa interim board after being appointed a High Court judge. This conflict of interest was uncovered by commuter activist group #UniteBehind.
She consequently resigned from the board in March 2018.
Tuchten’s judgment stated: “Did she disclose in her application for judicial appointment that she was considering taking up an appointment as Prasa chair, which would prevent her from performing the duties of a judge until she gave up her position at Prasa?”
In her complaint against Tuchten, Makhubele wrote: “Although he did not make adverse findings on the allegations made by the GLS against me, the manner in which he phrased the questions, the context and his contempt of me as a judge, it is clear that he believes that I am guilty of the alleged wrongdoings.”