I won't be trampled on, because people think I'm not black enough - ConCourt judge candidate

2017-04-04 17:22
The Constitutional Court. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

The Constitutional Court. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg – Judge Stevan Majiedt has told the Judicial Service Commissioners that he will not be trampled on by people who think he is not "black enough".

Majiedt was being interviewed on Tuesday by the JSC for a Constitutional Court position. A series of interviews are being held at the JSC in Midrand this week.

During his interview, Majiedt said he classified himself as a black person and not as coloured.

Majiedt said, following the 2006 incident when he and Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo were involved in a racial spat after he felt that he was overlooked for a position, he had learnt how to control his temper.

"As a judge, I understand that one should control one's temper – I have learnt to be temperate as possible," he said.

Asked what he learnt as a person, judicial officer, and as a team player, Majiedt said: "I will never allow myself to be trampled on, because people perceive me as not black enough. So I would have done the same thing, but I would have done it differently. I used a wrong method and I learnt a lot from it.

"I understood that one must control their temper – you mustn’t lose your temper. As a trial judge, when people are ready to provoke you... sometimes, even the lawyers that appear before you," he said.

'I am not coloured, I am a black person'

Majiedt left it up to the panel to decide if he was good enough for the Constitutional Court post.

"I can’t tell you whether I have enough merit for your recommendation. There is also the question of race representation... I don’t want to be misquoted, so often people tell me – there are no coloureds in the High Court - I am not coloured, I am a black person," he said.

Majiedt also said that women were not making themselves available and that very few of them appear in court. He said government was to blame for this.

"We see many cases where government comes in and we don’t see women," he said.

The 55-year-old Majiedt was part of a panel of Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judges who overturned the North Gauteng High Court’s culpable homicide verdict against athlete Oscar Pistorius. 

In December 2015, the SCA found Pistorius guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The SCA’s Acting Judge President Mandisa Maya, who sits on the JSC interview panel, commended Majiedt for his work. 

She said Majiedt had jumped in whenever she had asked for help. She also said he was one of the most hardworking judges at the SCA. 




Read more on:    constitutional court  |  johannesburg  |  judiciary

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