No other nominations for chief justice
Cape Town - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will not call for further nominations for the position of chief justice other than President Jacob Zuma's nomination, Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng.
There had been "lengthy deliberations" and a "secret ballad" and the majority of the commission had decided that they would not call for further nominations, JSC spokesperson CP Fourie said in Cape Town on Saturday.
"The JSC deliberated on whether it would call for further nominations other than that made by the President, and resolved by a majority that it is neither permissible nor desirable to do so.
"The JSC will convene a meeting to which it will invite the nominee of the President to submit to an interview for the purpose of determining the suitability of that candidate to be appointed as chief justice," he said.
"The proposed date for the public interview is Saturday September 3 in Cape Town."
The JSC was meeting in Cape Town this weekend to discuss procedure in the consultation process over Zuma's nomination of Judge Mogoeng.
Fourie said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe was present at the commission. "[He] contributed in the debate."
Fourie said the debate about nominations was conducted in a "professional manner".
The JSC would now send an invitation to Mogoeng for an interview.
Once the JSC's invitation has been sent to Mogoeng, he must complete a prescribed questionnaire which will be submitted with his CV to the commission, Fourie said.
The JSC will also invite various law bodies to make written submissions on the Mogoeng's suitability for the position of chief justice.
Those law bodies included: the General Council of the Bar of SA, the Law Society of SA, the Magistrates Association of SA, and the department of justice and constitutional development, among others.
Fourie said the JSC would look at Mogoeng's written responses, the responses he gives at the interview and submissions from the various law bodies.
The JSC would then advise Zuma, in writing, whether Mogoeng is a suitable person to be appointed to the position of chief justice.
Zuma nominated Mogoeng on Tuesday to replace former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, whose term of office expired on Sunday.
In terms of the Constitution, Zuma has to appoint the chief justice after consultation with the JSC and leaders of parties represented in the National Assembly.
The Democratic Alliance spokesperson, Dene Smuts, said the party would only comment on Mogoeng's nomination when DA leader Helen Zille gave Zuma her reply on Mogoeng's suitability for the position and after the JSC has had an opportunity to interview the nominee.
The DA also called for a public interview with Mogoeng after Zuma announced him as his nominee for chief justice.
Other opposition parties have strongly opposed Mogoeng's nomination on the grounds that he lacks the necessary experience, especially on constitutional issues.
The ANC and its allies, on the other hand, have thrown their weight firmly behind Zuma's choice.
This weekend's meeting would be chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, as set out in the JSC Act.