Is that why you ruled against me - Malema asks judicial candidate

2015-04-14 15:39
File: News24

File: News24

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Cape Town - A candidate for the judge president position in the Limpopo High Court opened a can of worms when he disclosed that he voted for the ANC, not long after he said he was also close friends with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was interviewing High Court in Pretoria Judge Joseph Raulinga on Tuesday, who had come under fire for mentioning Ramaphosa twice in his CV.

JSC member and leader of the EFF, Julius Malema, asked if he was involved in politics and belonged to a political party at present.

Raulinga said "I belong to", paused, and then said "I vote for the ANC".

It seemed to be the answer Malema was looking for as he demanded to know whether his political affiliation had anything to do with the ruling he made against Malema last March, before elections.

'Don't threaten me'

At the time, Raulinga had dismissed with costs the EFF's application seeking to remove or reduce a requirement for political parties to pay a deposit of more than R600 000 to contest the polls.

Malema wanted to know on Tuesday whether it was fair to assume that Raulinga had ruled against the EFF because he was Ramaphosa's friend.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha asked Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng if that was a fair question and Malema told Masutha not to intervene.

The minister told Malema not to threaten him and the politician responded that he was not threatening him.

Malema said justice must be seen to be done and he was simply trying to work out whether the ruling had been a miscarriage of justice.

Raulinga told the JSC that his friendship with Ramaphosa had nothing to do with the EFF's court outcome.

'High and mighty'

"I have dealt with a number of cases involving government and a number of cases where I ruled against government," he added.

Mogoeng asked why Raulinga had mentioned which political party he voted for.

"I must concede that it was actually an error," Raulinga said.

He claimed Malema had insisted to know who he voted for, but Malema chipped in to say he had never asked that.

Earlier, Raulinga's mention of Ramaphosa in his curriculum vitae, saw him receive a host of question on his political stance.

Mogoeng wondered why he mentioned Ramaphosa twice, when other candidates for the judge president position in the Limpopo High Court division had not mentioned any friends in their CVs.

He asked whether Raulinga was trying to tell the JSC he was connected to the "high and mighty" and that they better be careful.

'Unholy association'

Raulinga said he had known Ramaphosa for 42 years, before he became a high profile politician, and had used him as a reference in the past.

He chose not to use him as a reference this time because it would have been problematic and perhaps compromisedd both of them.

"There is no way I couldn't have mentioned him because he provided support for me throughout his life," he said.

Mogoeng said a judge should never be seen to have an "unholy association" with a politician.

He asked Raulinga again why he had mentioned certain friends in his CV introduction and the judge replied that he wanted to show he was sociable and did not live in isolation.

Raulinga is one of seven candidates for the new Limpopo High Court division.

Currently, the Gauteng division at Pretoria serves as the Limpopo division, with circuit courts sitting at Polokwane and a local seat at Thohoyandou.

Raulinga said his vision for the division would be informed by the province's composition, which was a rural setting with a farming community, had mining and agriculture as its economic activities, and had the "poorest of the poor" led by traditional leaders.

If appointed, he would motivate and mentor his colleagues while also disciplining them.

"Sometimes you need to use the poison of a serpent mixed with the love of a dove," he said.

Read more on:    jsc  |  mogoeng mogoeng  |  julius malema  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  michael masutha  |  cape town  |  judiciary

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