Acting Judge Leslie Weinkove was asked to step down after making derogatory comments towards the residents, who are being evicted by the Woodstock Hub to make way for a high-rise apartment building.
The residents lodged a Judicial Services Commission complaint and recusal application against Weinkove after he insulted their spokesperson, Charnell Commando, by saying in court: “How does this person, what’s their name, Charnell, know what the cost implications will be on these properties? She doesn’t know what the City’s budget is; she is just a kitchen assistant.”
The Ndifuna Ukwazi Centre, which is assisting the 27 residents, said the recusal application was moot as Weinkove has recused himself.
The Bromwell Street residents are, however, still pursuing a complaint lodged with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) against the conduct of Weinkove whom they believe violated their right to dignity and breached the code of ethics required of judges.
The residents seek an order declaring that the City has a constitutional obligation to provide them with emergency accommodation in an area close to their homes. The City argues that Wolwerivier, 40km outside Cape Town, is the only place available for evictees.
Acting Judge Mark Sher will now preside and the matter will be argued afresh in September 2017.