No jail for Ossie Rogers, Magistrate called to explain ruling

Ossie Rogers.
Ossie Rogers.

[]Radio personality Ossie Rogers is somewhat free and does not have to worry about heading to jail for the Christmas. The High Court on Friday ruled that the order by district Magistrate Alex Moore was outside his powers when he sentenced the public figure to community service and also imposed a fine of $90.000 or six months imprisonment each should he fail to heed the ruling of the court.

In early November Sparendaam Magistrate Alex Moore found Ossie Rogers guilty of two of three charges which were brought against him by the traffic department of the Sparendaam Police Station. The Magistrate after looking at the evidence in front of him determined that Rogers was guilty of two out of three charges.

Following the decision of the Magistrate, Rogers through his lawyers moved to the High Court to file a motion seeking the quashing of the decision of the magistrate.

Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Joel Edmond, the main attorney for Rogers explained that the move to the high court was due to the actions of the Magistrate, Alex Moore which amounted to him acting outside of his powers.

Edmond related that from the first day the order was handed down by the Magistrate he knew that the Magistrate had erred and steps were going to be made to ensure that his client was not made to face any consequences as for failure either by intent or otherwise to carry out the order of a court which handed down a decision which was flawed in the first place.

The attorney related that the while his client might have been guilty and deserved a penalty which however has not been fully proven the issue at hand is the Magistrate’s inability to properly comply with the section under which he passed his judgment to the radio and television personality.

Edmond also explained that the section under which the Magistrate acted gave him the power to impose a fine (OR) impose a prison term. However the Magistrate apparently misinterpreted the law to mean that he can impose community service and at the same time impose a prison sentence.


Edmond suggested that the at no time would the National Assembly in drafting and passing its legislation would intend  to punish a person two time or offer double punishment to anyone for any offense committed. The attorney at law said that the law should have been interpreted as disjoint or separate and not together as was done by the magistrate.

While acknowledging that there is no intention to challenge the Magistrate’s right to find people guilty or innocent and the challenge was not about the finding of Rogers Guilty, the issue of hand to the attorney was the sentencing handed down by Magistrate Moore.

It was pointed out that the extramural act which speaks of community service states that the act must be used when the Magistrate feels that it will be better served instead of going to jail. However when the Magistrate put the community service on Rogers he automatically impose a prison sentence by deductive reasoning.

With respect to the fine which was imposed by the Magistrate, it was also pointed out that the Magistrate again acted outside of his powers when he set the fine to $90,000.

The High Court has given the magistrate until January 07 to respond to the decision to quash the matter decision against Rogers.



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