The Judge who allegedly made disparaging and racist remarks in court has come under fire again after a second complaint was filed against him this week.
Cape Town attorney Tim Dunn has lodged an official complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) against Western Cape High Court Acting Judge Leslie Weinkove, for statements he levelled against Dunn’s former client, who worked as a gardener.
According to the complaint, the judge repeatedly questioned the man’s level of education given the fact he was a gardener.
In the Bromwell Street eviction matter – which Judge Weinkove also presides over – he had wanted to know how a “kitchen assistant” had knowledge of the city’s budget.
The outspoken judge – who had earlier landed in hot water – recused himself from another of his high-profile cases, which involves the national Department of Fisheries, after he had been accused of being “racist and classist” by attorney, Barnabas Xulu.
According to a September 5, 2016 transcript, Dunn faced off with Judge Weinkove after he made numerous remarks about one of Dunn’s clients. The judge had wanted to know if one of Dunn’s clients was English-speaking.
Dunn: Yes, M’Lord.
Court: And he uses language such as “obstructive approach” in paragraph 10.
Dunn: Oh yes, M’Lord, you will… (intervention)
Court: Did you satisfy yourself that he knew what those words meant?
Dunn: Absolutely, M’Lord.” “In paragraph 15 he (the client) uses the word locus standi. Did he (the client) understand what the word locus standi meant?,” Judge Weinkove asked, to which Dunn responded: “M’Lord, he has the right to make an affidavit with the assistance of an attorney.”
Judge Weinkove enquired whether Dunn’s client understood what the words like “dedication”, “paramount”, “cited” and “contiguous”, meant.
Dunn: M’Lord, with respect I’m not sure what relevance that is.
Court: It depends on his level of education. The allegation is made he’s a gardener, not a manager.
Dunn: Well, M’Lord there are many intelligent gardeners.
Court: I’d be surprised if he knew all these words. Dunn told the Cape Argus the judge’s comments and actions were “in a manner that is contrary to the constitution and the Code of Judicial Conduct”.
Xulu said that Judge Weinkove’s comments in the Bromwell Street matter were “inconsistent with the ethos of the constitution”.
Xulu said Judge Weinkove had, since his complaint, removed himself from the fisheries case.
The Judicial Service Commission was unavailable for comment.