JSC critic makes surprise U-turn

2013-05-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Inkatha Freedom Party MP Koos van der Merwe turned heads in Parliament yesterday when he rose in defence of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Van der Merwe, a frequent critic of the JSC, used his speech in yesterday’s parliamentary debate on the Justice Department budget to answer four points of criticism on the JSC’s processes.

On the perception that the JSC was appointing judges who would be sympathetic to the ANC, Van der Merwe said that he had seen no evidence of this in his 17 years as a member of the commission.

He dismissed the criticism that excellent white senior advocates were not “just” appointed as judges, saying white candidates must not complain if they were asked difficult questions.

As for the criticism that there were too few women judges, Van der Merwe defended the JSC by pointing out that very few women advocates applied to become judges.

On complaints that the JSC appointed “incompetent” black judges, he said the JSC especially focused on candidates’ qualifications.

He said those with other complaints should refer them to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

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