'Give blacks, females a chance'

2009-10-19 21:02

Cape Town - New Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo said black and female lawyers and judges must be given the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to allow them to take up senior positions.

"The fact is that people have not been given the opportunity to get that experience. What we should be looking at is the potential," he said.

"How can we level the playing fields and make sure?" Ngcobo asked, as he chaired Judicial Service Commission interviews of candidates for two vacancies on the Supreme Court of Appeals, his first task since succeeding Pius Langa as chief justice.

Ngcobo made the remarks after acting SCA judge, Eric Leach, said he believed the single most important criteria to serve on the appellant court was experience.

Experience 'is most important'

"I think experience is the most overpowering quality in a judge," he told members of the JSC.

Leach was responding to questions from advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza about judicial transformation, who said the courts were still an area of "unbalance and disequalibrium".

Leach answered that he did not think he had been invited on more than one occasion to act at the SCA because he was a white male.

He added that he was not responsible for the fact that others had not been invited for lack of experience.

"I am a South African and I'm proud to be one.

"Does it matter what the shape of my face, the length of my hair or the colour of my skin is?"

'On our way to promised land'

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said this reminded him of the rhetoric of US civil rights icon Martin Luther King Junior. Leach responded that he believed that much had been achieved in the way of transformation in the South African judiciary in the past two decades.

"If we are not quite in the 'promised land', we are a long way toward it," he said.

One of two women to be interviewed for a position at the SCA on Monday was Judge Zukisa Tshiqi from the South Gauteng High Court who agreed that transformation was on track.

"We are getting there, as long as we are consistent, as long as we continue at the rate and pace at which we are moving," she said.

The JSC will on Tuesday interview for the south and north Gauteng division.

Other candidates for the SCA included South Gauteng deputy judge president Jerry Shongwe and KwaZulu-Natal judge, Malcolm Wallis.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

  • Wednesday Cape Town - 10:46 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before Hospital Bend has been CLEARED - HEAVY DELAYS from Bhunga Avenue
  • Wednesday Hout Bay - 10:30 AM
    Road name: Chapmans Peak Drive
    ROAD CLOSED between 10am and 3pm every Wednesday for Alien Vegetation Clearing until July
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.