A Formal Complaint Will Be Filed Against The Woodstock Evictions Judge For "Racist And Classist" Comments

The lawyer for the Bromwell Street residents in Woodstock is preparing a complaint against Acting Judge Leslie Weinkove.

15/02/2017 13:16 SAST | Updated 15/02/2017 13:27 SAST
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A general view of a mural in Woodstock in July 2014 in Cape Town. Woodstock, a suburb in Cape Town, is considered the most densely packed urban art spot in the country.

The attorney Tim Dunn is preparing a complaint against Acting Judge Leslie Weinkove, following several controversial comments he made in a case about the eviction of several residents of Bromwell Street in Woodstock.

The judge made several disparaging remarks aimed at these residents, including questioning whether a gardener could understand legal terms, or a kitchen assistant the complications of a city's budget.

At one stage, when faced with the complaint that the residents were being evicted to a place far from basic amenities and facilities, he responded, "What's the point of being near a school? What's the point of them being near transport?"

"Well, there are many intelligent gardeners... With respect, a gardener or a manager should be allowed to access the court regardless of whether they're a street sweeper or a doctor," Dunn said, according to Groundup News.

He continued: "It is my hope that the [Judicial Service Commission] will sanction [Judge Weinkove's] conduct to prevent it from reoccurring. The comments made during these matters are in direct conflict with the Constitution. Such comments could easily lead to an erosion in confidence in the judicial system."

The residents are asking the courts to stop the City of Cape Town's attempts to relocate them to Wolwerivier, 30 kilometres from the city centre.

Weinkove's comments have already had ramifications. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has written to John Hlophe, the judge president of the Western Cape division of the High Court, asking him to recuse the acting judge from another case regarding fishing quotas for poor communities.