Malema uses age to discount Bench hopefuls

2015-04-19 15:00

North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is vying for the post of judge president of the Limpopo Division of the High Court, faced the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) in Cape Town this past week.

Masipa was the judge on the Oscar Pistorius trial. She was on the receiving end of an ­intense grilling during the week, which featured some very bizarre questions.

Expecting to be quizzed on her track record as a judge, Masipa found herself explaining her age and the “fame” she acquired when she presided over the Pistorius murder trial.

While Masipa was labelled “too old” for the Limpopo ­vacancy, another hopeful candidate was told he was “too young” to be a judge.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, himself a fairly new addition to the JSC, surprised Masipa when he asked why she was in the race for the job when she had only two years left before retirement.

“You are left with two years, and then after that we must go and get another judge to come and take over another division. Don’t you think it is better for this commission to go for someone who can stay for a longer period?” he asked.

Masipa said it would be unfair to be denied a promotion because of her age.

Another judge,?Joseph Raulinga, found himself on a slippery slope when he tried to drop names. His integrity was called into question when he revealed that he and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa were close, and that he voted for the ANC.

Judge President Mogoeng Mogoeng was not impressed: “Why did you mention which party you vote for? Isn’t it enough that your vote is your secret?”

Advocate Thembekile Malusi, who is vying for a position on the Eastern Cape Bench and who is in his forties, was also grilled about his age by Malema.

“You are too young to be a judge. To me, you seem too desperate to become a judge,” Malema said.

None of the three got the job.

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