Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Court orders JZ to reconsider magistrates’ salaries

The North Gauteng High Court has ordered President Jacob Zuma to take a fresh look at the salaries paid to South Africa’s regional magistrates and regional court presidents. 03 September 2012 | ILSE DE LANGE PRETORIA - Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann yesterday set aside Zuma’s decision to increase their salaries by only 5% for 2010/2011. He referred the matter back to Zuma for reconsideration, but ordered that the salary increases would meanwhile remain in force until a new decision was made. The court order follows an application by the Association of Regional Magistrates of Southern Africa. The magistrates maintained government’s one-size-fits-all approach to salary increases for all public servants was unfair and did not take their particular circumstances into account. They complained that regional magistrates had the lowest retirement benefits of all public office bearers and had received lower salary increases than public servants over the previous years. To ensure the independence of the judiciary, judicial officers are not allowed to negotiate directly with the executive or to resort to industrial action if they are dissatisfied with their salaries. Judge Bertelsman said it was common cause that regional courts formed the backbone of the criminal justice system in the Republic and that magistrates faced many challenges. It appeared to be common cause that they were insufficiently recompensed considering their position. He said there was no evidence of any appreciation that the circumstances of regional magistrates might require a salary adjustment that differed from that of other categories of office bearers. He concluded that Zuma’s determination of their 2010 salary adjustments was unlawful and irrational because of his failure to consider their particular role, status, function, duties and responsibilities prior to making a decision. A further court application by the regional magistrates and lower court magistrates about their 2011 salary increases is pending. - The citizen - Comments by Sonny The unjust salary scales in SA tells an unfair story of injustices! To think that Polmed's CEO gets a R3.4 million(PA) salary. Oh, he only serves civil/ex-civil servants and is not one himself. President Zuma is one of the most, if not the most, paid presidents in the World. Are salaries based on achievements or is there another criteria for awarding them?

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