Another judge gives up on JSC interviews

2009-09-17 10:14

THIRD candidate to fill vacancies on the Constitutional Court

bench has withdrawn, a newspaper reported today.

According to Business Day Judge Shehnaz Meer of the Western Cape

High Court and Land Claims Court is the third to withdraw after Supreme Court of

Appeal judges Belinda van Heerden and Robert Nugent.

Her withdrawal comes amid talk of a loss of confidence in the

Judicial Service Commission, which is conducting the interviews.

This comes after it decided three weeks ago not to hold a formal

inquiry into the dispute between Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe and

Constitutional Court judges.

JSC secretary Vuyelwa Masangwana confirmed that Meer had withdrawn,

and said she did not give reasons.

Meer could not be reached for comment.

Former Constitutional Court Judge Johann Kriegler has said the

interviews were “impaired” because of the JSC’s decision in the Hlophe


Kriegler, who is challenging the decision on Hlophe in court, said

he had been approached by five candidates who had wanted to withdraw.

He managed to persuade four of them to stay in the race, but could

not persuade Nugent, who had told Kriegler that he was “not prepared to submit

his candidacy to the deliberations of people he does not trust”.

Van Heerden withdrew before the JSC’s decision in the Hlophe


It is said that the four positions at the Constitutional Court, due

to fall vacant next month, will be the most significant appointments since its


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