Judge Nathan Erasmus may have a case to answer before the Judicial Service Commission, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said on Wednesday.
"I have asked my party's representative on the JSC to approach thatbody with a view to investigating whether judge Nathan Erasmus is guilty of misconduct," she told a media briefing at Parliament.
Her announcement follows this week's ruling by a full bench of the High Court that the Erasmus Commission, headed by the judge, was set up by former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool solely to embarrass the DA, and was illegal.
The DA representative on the JSC, which has the power to probe complaints against judges, is MP Sheila Camerer.
Zille said there was no clear definition of judicial misconduct."Here we have the Cape High Court saying very specifically that a judge should not have accepted that appointment, and should definitely not have given the outcome of the investigation to a politician, saying
that was illegal.
"I want to know whether that constitutes misconduct in terms of the JSC's role....
"What I'm asking Mrs Camerer to do is investigate whether there is a case, and to pursue it if there is."
She said in agreeing to chair the commission, Erasmus had
compromised himself and the integrity of the judicial system, disregarding Constitutional Court guidelines to prevent this kind of abuse.
He had also acted unlawfully by giving a so-called interim report to Rasool when the commission was about to be reconstituted."For these two reasons, I believe that judge Erasmus may have a case to answer before the JSC," she said.
Zille also said the DA chief whip in Parliament, Ian Davidson, had written to Minister in the Presidency Kgalema Motlanthe, asking him to dismiss Rasool from his new post as Motlanthe's adviser.
As a public servant, Rasool was required by the Constitution to maintain a high standard of professional ethics."However, in the light of the Cape High court judgement, it is clear that he is unfit for this form of public office," she said.
She herself had written to the Public Protector, asking him to investigate whether the commission had been an abuse of public funds.
And DA representatives in the Western Cape legislature had called on provincial police commissioner Mzwandile Petros to resign, in light of the fact that he acted illegally when he passed on to Rasool information that police obtained in a search of the home of private
investigator Philip du Toit.
Zille said the party's legal advisers were assessing whether Rasool was personally liable in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
This had nothing to do with a vendetta. It had to do with upholding instruments of the Constitution designed to put checks and balances on the abuse of power.He had said publicly that she was prepared to condone illegal means
to stay in power, and she had a prima facie case of defamation against him.
"I could take him to the cleaners on that statement, but I'm not going to, because it will confuse the issue. This has got nothing to do with Helen Zille."It's got everything to do with defending the Constitution and the institutions of the Constitution."
She said the judges' ruling was a landmark ruling for constitutional democracy, and would have repercussions far beyond the city.