Judge Joffe jumps ship at education institute

2011-01-10 10:51

Judge Meyer Joffe had left his job as head of the Judicial Education Institute because of a disagreement over “financial terms”, Justice Dikgang Moseneke said today.

“Judge Joffe vacated his office because the council of the Judicial Education Institute and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development could not reach agreement on the financial terms upon which he was to be appointed,” said Moseneke, chairman of the executive committee of the SA Judicial Education Institute.

A special meeting was held on December 15, where the institute’s council “resolved to accept, with regret, the end, with effect from 30 November 2010” Joffe’s appointment as director and chief executive.

Joffe took up the position in March 2010.

The Mail & Guardian reported in 2009 that controversial Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe was tipped for the job, but did not want to take it unless it was for “strategic reasons”.

The report said Hlophe had his eye on a Constitutional Court job and could see the Judicial Education Institute position “possibly as a temporary side-lining in preparation for his later move to the Constitutional Court”.

However, in the end, Joffe was the only candidate for the position.

In his last sitting as a judge, he handed down a 15-year jail sentence to former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi for corruption in August 2010.

Moseneke said: “The council is unanimous in its gratitude to Judge Joffe for having accepted the invitation to serve as the first director of the Judicial Education Institute, and for the excellent contribution he has made in setting up the fledgling operations of the Judicial Education Institute.”

The institute was set up in 2009 to create “judicial excellence”, which would include training judges.

The council would meet soon to start the process of finding a new director.

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