While at the Goodwood Magistrate's Court on Friday, Capetonian Fazloen Hoffman says she was shocked to see presiding Magistrate Sean Lea on the bench texting on his phone, rather than paying attention to the court proceedings.
She decided to film the Goodwood magistrate busy texting - as well as a court official napping during proceedings.
I decided to film him doing the old-guy one finger typing while the one court official known as Happy Mbabane was sleeping during the trials.— Fazloen Hoffman - Facebook post
She spoke to Mabane after court.
I confronted Happy who chose to be verbally abusive when I told him he’s not getting paid to sleep in court. He became much more amenable when I told him I have it on camera.— Fazloen Hoffman - Facebook post
Lea's reaction was even worse she writes. She told him she had recorded him 'texting and chilling' and asked how it was possible to pay attention to the cases presented in front of him.
Wow, the frothing at the mouth, the red eyes and shaky frame that emitted all the shouting and defensive screaming at me in the corridor was a sight to behold. Unstable and extremely scary. It’s been a long time since I was spoken to in such a manner.— Fazloen Hoffman - Facebook post
He tried shoving his phone in my face in front of everyone and I told him to back off from me as his aggressiveness was threatening. He scoffed and blew me a kiss before marching off. He left a shocked audience in his wake.— Fazloen Hoffman - Facebook post
Hoffman then took to Facebook and posted the whole incident in detail including the videos.
Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, the head of justice department in the Western Cape confirmed to TimesLive that he is investigating the matter.
Hoffman's original Facebook post has been shared 11 000 times.
Hoffman wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that Lea has taken special leave.
In the two videos below Goodwood Magistrate Sean Lea is seen texting during court proceedings:
In the video below the court official Happy Mbabane can be seen napping during proceedings:
Take a look at Hoffman's Facebook post below:
Hoffman posted again on Tuesday on Facebook:
Judge Lea has been tried in the court of public opinion, the results have been devastating to his life as he has devastated the lives of so many. The official word is that he is “on leave”. Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and share. Especially those who shared personal experiences of this and other court officials. This is a collective victory and I congratulate each and everyone who made their voices heard.— Fazloen Hoffman - Facebook post
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [WATCH] Cape Town magistrate filmed texting in court goes viral