Opposition parties in shock after Malema included as member of JSC

2014-06-25 00:00

CAPE TOWN — EFF leader Julius Malema will in future help to appoint South Africa’s judges.

Malema was yesterday listed in the National Assembly as a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

This despite the fact the he has been charged with corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

As a JSC member Malema will interview candidate judges with the 22 other members in the commission and make recommendations to the president on who to appoint.

The commission also handles complaints against judges.

The JSC meets every year for five days in April and October.

Ten new members, six from the Assembly and four from the the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), were yesterday appointed.

Seven of the 10 are ANC members, including Dr Mathole Motshekga, Thoko Didiza, Dikilede Magadzi, Thandi Modise, Tsapane Mampuru, Dikgang Stock and Dumisane Ximbi.

From the opposition benches Malema, advocate Hendrik Schmidt (DA) and Narend Singh (IFP) were appointed.

The Constitution determines at least three of the six members must be opposition MPs.

Because the EFF is the second largest opposition party, it can appoint one member.

Mike Masutha, the new minister of Justice and Correctional Services, is also new on the commission. He automatically replaces Jeff Radebe, the former minister of justice, as a JSC member.

Eleven members remained unchanged and the commission currently has one vacancy.

Advocate Paul Hoffman, director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa (Ifaisa), and some opposition parties were shocked by Malema’s appointment.

“Well, if this is based on his experience in the equality court, insolvency court and soon the criminal court, he has more than enough experience,” a dumbfounded Hoffman said.

Koos van der Merwe, former IFP MP who was a JSC member for 18 years, said: “I want to see what the chief justice will do when Malema tries his antics in the JSC sessions.

“The ball is now in [chief justice Mogoeng] Mogoeng’s hands.”

FF+ chief whip Dr Corné Mulder said Malema’s appointment is “with all respect, outrageous”.

“One should use people from Parliament who understand what the judicial process is all about, not someone who has several court cases pending against him,” Mulder said.

The ANC’s parliamentary spokesperson Mathole Motshekga said the ANC had no objections.

“He is an MP and may represent Parliament as an institution. He has not yet been found guilty of any crime.”

DA MP advocate Hendrik Schmidt said the JSC is a “very serious institution” and the DA trusts Malema will render his duties in the JSC in the interests of an independent judiciary.

Malema will appear in the Polokwane high court on September 30.

How the JSC is appointed

Article 178 of the Constitution determines the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) must comprise:

1. The Chief Justice, who chairs the JSC: Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng;

2. The president of the Appeals Court: Judge Lex Mpati;

3. A judge president: Frans Kgomo;

4. The minister of Justice: advocate Mike Masutha;

5. Two practising advocates: A.M.M. Motimele SC and Mike Hellens;

6. Two practising attorneys: P.B. Mabunda and C.P. Fourie;

7. A lecturer in law appointed by peers from SA universities: Professor Engela Schlemmer;

8. Six MPs from the National Assembly:

8.1 Dr Mathole Motshekga (ANC);

8.2 Thoko Didiza (ANC);

8.3 Dikilede Magadzi (ANC);

8.4 Julius Malema (EFF);

8.5 Advocate Hendrik Schmidt (DA);

8.6 Narend Singh (IFP);

9. Four delegates from the National Council of Provinces:

9.1 Thandi Modise (ANC);

9.2 Tsapane Mampuru (ANC);

9.3 Dikgang Stock (ANC);

9.4 Dumisane Ximbi (ANC).

10. Four persons appointed by the president:

10.1 Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC;

10.2 Advocate Ismail Semenya SC;

10.3 Andiswa Ndoni;

10.4 Vacant.

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