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Mohlaloga v Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa (7082/2018) [2019] ZAWCHC 31

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Mohlaloga v Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa (7082/2018) [2019] ZAWCHC 31

27th March 2019

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[1] In this matter, application was made as a matter of urgency for an interdict restraining the National Assembly from adopting a resolution for the removal of the applicant from his position as the chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (‘ICASA’) and as a member of its Council until such time as his appeal against his convictions on charges of fraud and contravening s 4 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (money laundering) under case no. 111/86/2012 in the Regional Court at Pretoria has been finally determined.  ICASA is a juristic person and an organ of state in the national sphere of government.  It operates through its Council.[1]

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[2] The application was heard on 18 March 2019, on the day preceding the scheduled consideration of the matter by Parliament.  I made an order on the morning of 19 March 2019 dismissing the application with costs.  It is a matter of public record that the National Assembly adopted a resolution later that day removing the applicant from office.  When I made the order I indicated that written reasons for my decision would be handed down later.  This judgment sets out those reasons.

[3] The background is that the applicant was convicted on 15 January 2018 and, on 14 February 2019, he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.  He was granted leave to appeal against the sentence, but leave was refused in respect of the conviction.  On 7 March 2019, he submitted a petition to the Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court for leave to appeal against his conviction.  The petition had not yet been decided when the interdict application came before me.

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