- Acting magistrate Kholeka Bodlani has been accused of handing down lenient sentences to rapists.
- An assessment into her work has revealed “serious irregularities and shortcomings”.
- The magistrate was allocated to the Sexual Offences Court.
KwaZulu-Natal regional court acting magistrate Kholeka Bodlani has been provisionally suspended pending an investigation into her fitness to hold office.
The matter was referred to Justice Minister Ronald Lamola by the magistrates’ commission, justice department spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“A judicial quality assessment of Ms Bodlani’s work revealed serious irregularities and shortcomings, most notably that a number of her cases had to be sent on special review in terms of Section 304(4) of the Criminal Procedure Act as several serious shortcomings and incompetent sentences were imposed by her,” he said.
Bodlani was allocated to the Sexual Offences Court and dealt with cases of child victims who were raped by adults. The prescribed minimum sentence for such offences is life imprisonment.
“In almost all the finalised cases which were assessed, Ms Bodlani imposed sentences where the accused were cautioned or strongly reprimanded or wholly suspended.
“The suspended sentences she imposed were found to have been both incompetent and incomplete.”