Judge 'patronises black people'

2009-09-07 09:26


  • The Futurist
    World governments, corporations, and leadership forums Was R380.95 Now R342.86
    buy now
Johannesburg – Retired Constitutional Court judge Johann Kriegler has been criticised for showing a "clearly patronising attitude toward black people", following his campaign against the JSC's decision to drop its hearings into misconduct claims against Cape Judge President John Hlophe.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, criticised Kriegler after he, Advocate Kgomotso Moroka SC and businessman, Cyril Ramaphosa, suddenly broke ties with the organisation Freedom Under Law (FUL), of which Kriegler was the chair, at the weekend.
Their resignations followed on Kriegler's announcement that FUL would oppose the decision by the Judicial Service Commission, to throw out the matter regarding Hlophe.

According to Kriegler, the JSC's failure to "carry out its constitutional duty", was the "greatest threat to the legal order" since the end of apartheid.


Ntsebeza and Moroka were both members of FUL's board and Ramaphosa was part of the advisory panel.

On Sunday Ntsebeza, who was also a member of the JSC, expressed his concern about Kriegler's "public campaign against the JSC".

However, he did say that he had "no problem in principle" with FUL's plans to apply for the revision of the JSC's decision.

"What does bother me, however, are the statements and words which are attributed to Judge Kriegler in the media. It's impossible to live with a very clear patronising attitude toward black people, which has become a recurring theme in his (Kriegler's) statements."

Ntsebeza was referring to a speech made on August 18 at the University of the Witwatersrand, where Kriegler warned that the independence of the bench should not be sacrificed "on the altar of transformation".

Kriegler also said the JSC had broken from its constitutional mandate by making transformation, instead of qualifications, the fundamental requirement for appointment to the bench.

Ntsebeza told Beeld that he found Kriegler's words "offensive". "The essence of what he is saying, is that all black judges were only appointed because they were black, not based on merit."

But despite this fact, he still respected Kriegler. "He's an elderly man, so I have to respect him".

Kriegler regrets resignation

In a joint news statement, Moroka and Ramaphosa said: "We are deeply concerned that ... we were not informed or consulted regarding FUL's decision to begin this legal process."

In a personal letter to Moroka, Kriegler wrote that he received his letter of resignation "with great regret... especially since my actions were instrumental in your decision".

It was "even more tragic" since Moroka had acted "admirably" during a JSC hearing into Hlophe.

"Should you in any stage in the future want to renew your association with FUL, you would be welcomed back unconditionally," wrote Kriegler.

Moroka said she had not yet received Kriegler's letter, but would like to respond to it personally, "since I have a long history with the judge and deep respect for him".

Conflicts of interests

Three board members - Moroka, Ntsebeza and advocate Jeremy Gauntlett SC - were forced to withdraw from the FUL decision due to "potential conflicts of interests".

Moroka was a member of the JSC for 15 years, Ntsebeza is currently a member and had earlier acted on behalf of Hlophe, and Gauntlett is a candidate for a post on the bench of the Constitutional Court.
The decision was made unanimously by six of the FUL's 10 directors. FUL spokesperson, Niall Gahan, said any "personal problems" between Ntsebeza and Kriegler "were not relevant to the legal action against the JSC decision".

"It will continue."

Read more on:    jsc  |  dumisa ntsebeza  |  john hlophe  |  johann kriegler  |  judiciary


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24

  • Wednesday Goodwood - 09:41 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound
    DELAYS approaching Voortrekker Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:40 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between Lower Church Street and the Waterfront exit via the Elevated Freeway
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! 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

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:


It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...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.