LETTER: Judges must apply their minds
Justice cannot be achieved if judgments are made in anger
The overturning of the 2017 attempted murder conviction and concomitant reduction of the sentences of Willem Oosthuizen and Willem Jackson for forcing Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin represents the triumph of justice over vindictiveness.
At the risk of immodesty, after the conviction and sentencing of the two men by judge Segopotje Mphahlele in 2017 I wrote: “The media attention owing to the racial undertones of the case might have swayed the judge with accusations of the racism of the accused brought to the fore. It must be remembered that courts have a function to dispense justice and not revenge. It is therefore expected that judges apply their minds and not their hearts when presiding over cases. Politics, anger or any other emotions should not be the determining factors to adjudicate on cases impacting on people’s lives.”..