NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ESTABLISHES KANGAROO COURT

For the first time in our history, a kangaroo court has been instituted in Seychelles.

The extra-judicial court or quasi-judicial court, with self-arrogated wide-ranging powers, has been created by the LDS-dominated National Assembly under Article 104 of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles.  It goes by the elaborate name of “Anti-Victimisation Committee”, chaired by none other than the Speaker of the National Assembly himself, Patrick Pillay, who has been abdicating his responsibilities to his deputy; the Chief Kangaroo Judge, CKJ Clifford Andre. The other “judges” of this kangaroo court are Wavel Woodcock, Jenny de Letourdie, Egbert Aglae and Basil Hoareau. With the exception of the latter, not one of them can be credited with a modicum of intelligence, let alone knowledge of the law.

The hearings are on Saturdays and on Thursdays after 6 pm – some people have been asked to attend at 9 pm next Thursday! These are mostly government employees who have done a full day’s work. Why meet after working hours and after dark? Is there an ulterior motive to the Committee members’ schedule of meetings? Have couches been laid out in the antechambers of the National Assembly for the “perpetrators” of victimisation to expiate their sins on?

The terms of reference of this so-called committee are sufficiently vague to allow it to summon any individual, at any time of the day or night, to appear before it to answer to any claims of victimisation, frivolous, dubious or spurious as the case may be. Its powers are also not stated though complainants are able to claim damages! Moreover, the Committee has not defined “victimisation”, resulting in abuse of due process through tendentious claims.

As regards the public service, “aggrieved” employees should have filed their cases before the Public Service Appeals Board (PSAB) first and exhausted that avenue. How about the private sector where a person loses a case in the Employment Tribunal and then takes it up in the Anti-Victimisation Committee?

Are we to understand that this Committee is above the courts or that the Assembly is now also the courts? Is there an alternative justice system in Seychelles?

In any event, this quasi-judicial Committee does not apply the rules of evidence or fair hearing. No notice is actually given of the complaint, only the barest allegation by the so-called victim. The proceedings are really about the humiliation of the so-called perpetrator, especially by Clifford André. No one is spared – except for the “honourable” members of the National Assembly.

This paper has learnt that the latest in line to be served with a summons is the former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Herminie.

We have also learnt that three cases have been filed against the Judiciary. Of those, one includes a case filed by an employee, dismissed five years ago, who exhausted the PSAB, the Ombudsman process etc. and still lost. She has asked for SR 200,000 from the Judiciary for her dismissal, occasioned by her leaving court premises during working hours to assault her husband’s paramour!

Will there be a fourth case – one in which a judge who has been suspended files a case for victimisation against the Chief Justice?

Or will there be a case of victimisation filed against this paper for reporting the truth?

We shall wait and see. Meanwhile, The Independent is firmly of the view that this kangaroo court is unconstitutional and if challenged will be declared so.

Independent

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