Johannesburg – Judge Pule Tlaletsi told the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that he believed he had all it took to be the next Judge President of the Northern Cape High Court division.
"I have been nominated and people think I do have the quality. I think I may be equal to the task and serve my people," Deputy Judge President Tlaletsi said during his interview on Wednesday at the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand.
Public Service Minister Faith Muthambi, who sits as a commissioner on the JSC panel, said in the past that Tlaletsi has taken more than a year to deliver a judgment, and asked if it was acceptable to have such a record.
"It is not acceptable," Tlaletsi said.
He said these were judgments of the Labour Court appeal, which had to go through other processes.
Tlaletsi said the Labour Court needed more judges on a long-term basis.
Tlaletsi was appointed to the Northern Cape High Court in 2003 and later to the division's deputy judge presidency. He has also served as a judge on the Labour Appeal Court.
He was the only candidate who was being interviewed for the position. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng announced on Wednesday morning that Judge Cecile Williams had withdrawn her candidacy.
Mogoeng didn't give reasons for her withdrawal.
Williams was supposed to have been interviewed for the Judge President or Deputy Judge President position in the Northern Cape High Court.
Tlaletsi also told the panel that he believed in gender transformation and that those who had been disadvantaged should be given an opportunity to express themselves.
Commissioner Thoko Didiza asked Tlaletsi if there were challenges in the High Court and what he would do to address these if he were to lead it.
"There are systems in place – there is already a legacy which is there. One should continue the groundwork that has been done and perhaps improve [in some places] and move forward," Tlaletsi replied.
Tlaletsi said one of the challenges was increasing the number of women in the judiciary.
He said the Northern Cape High Court had four female judges and three male judges.