Look at ability, judge tells JSC

2011-10-19 20:28
Cape Town - The frontrunner for the post of judge president of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court has dismissed calls for his race to play a role in his selection for the job.

The individual selected should be chosen for his ability to give leadership, Judge Chiman Patel told the Judicial Service Commission in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"If he has the qualities of leader then he is able to lead," Patel said in response to a question from commissioner Koos van der Merwe on there being no Indian judge presidents in South Africa.

"My colleagues feel I have that. I have no difficulties."

The commission was interviewing Patel for the position concerned.

Patel, who has sat on the Supreme Court of Appeal, was once a lecturer of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the then University of Natal.

He was appointed acting judge president of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court more than a year ago, after the death of judge president Herbert Msimang.

He was nominated for the position by 14 judges in the division. He also has the overwhelming support of the KwaZulu-Natal Bar.

A small faction of judges, and the Black Lawyers Association in Pietermaritzburg however, favour Judge Njabuliseni Madondo for the post.

Patel said running the court had been challenging, but with the co-operation of his colleagues "all has gone well".

He said there were 427 applications for leave to appeal outstanding at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg. By October, these had been reduced to 249.

"We are committed that by February next year there will be no backlogs for leave to appeal," he said.

Patel, who has been on the bench for 12 years, said transformation was "a big challenge" to all divisions in South Africa.

Work as a team

In his interview, Madondo said there was no animosity with fellow judges at the moment.

"We respect each other. There is nothing," he said.

He said the most important thing for a judge was to provide effective, efficient, accountable, quality justice.

"To do that you have to work as a team. We have to rise above political interests and ambitions and do something for the greater good of the province."

Asked whether an Indian candidate should be appointed, he said demographics had to be taken into account.

Indians only represented 8% of the population, while 86% of the population was black, he said.

"We still have things to address... imbalances and things... which needs more insight.

"The crux of the matter is who can best do the job. If it is the feeling of the JSC I can occupy position, then I will take it."

Read more on:    jsc  |  herbert msimang  |  judiciary

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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!



This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

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

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order 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


Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...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.