Madam justice blazes trail

2018-06-20 06:01
Madam Justice Mahube Molemela (left), with Justice Bess Nkabinde Molemela has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal.Photo: Supplied

Madam Justice Mahube Molemela (left), with Justice Bess Nkabinde Molemela has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal.Photo: Supplied

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The Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, has congratulated its chancellor, Madam Justice Mahube Molemela, on receiving another feather in her cap.

Judge Molemela was appointed by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa as a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which is in Bloemfontein.

She took office of this position on 1 June.

Judge Molemela’s responsibilities as judge of the SCA is to adjudicate on matters as outlined in Chapter 8, Section 168 (3)(b) of the Constitution of South Africa.

Her appointment to the influential position is based on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Including Molemela there were four female candidates and six male candidates nominated for the position. Candidates were interviewed in April.

The other female candidates were Judge Elizabeth Dorothy Baartman, Judge Yvonne Thokozile Mbatha and Judge Irma Schoeman.

The male candidates were Judge Trevor Richard Gorven, Judge Colin Gordon Lamont, Judge Tati Moffat Makgoka, Judge Pieter Andries Meyer, Judge Ashton Schippers and Judge Moroampholo Philemon Tsoka.

Judge Molemela was chosen ahead of two favou­rites, Judge Makgoka and Judge Schippers.

Molemela was appointed to the SCA despite some members of the JSC expressing concern that she appeared to be shooting up the ranks at a breathtaking pace.

With her appointment as SCA judge, Molemela conti­nues making history.

She first broke new ground when she was appointed as the first female judge president in the Free State High Court.

Dan Maritz, CUT spokesperson, said the university was indeed proud to be associated with Molemela.

“The university is privileged to have her as our chancellor,” said Maritz.

“She has a good record of personal support to worthy causes in our communities and continues to render such support through the position she holds in society.

“As such, she is the right person to facilitate the advancement of our university.

“Furthermore, her previous experience as a CUT council member stand her in a good stead to assume another influential position.

“She is privy to the challenges that the university is facing, and is aware of our aspirations, and our commitment to our vision.

“We look forward to her contribution to the expeditious administration of justice in our country,” said Maritz.

Born and raised in Thaba Nchu, Judge Molemela was inaugurated as CUT chancellor in June 2016, having served in the council of the institution.

Her tenure will end in 2019.

Judge Molemela is spouse to Sello Molemela, one of the sons of late Dr Rantlai Petrus “Whitehead” Molemela.

The second woman to be appointed judge president of a provincial division after the North West’s Monica Leeuw, Molemela holds LLB and LLM degrees from the University of the Free State (UFS), where she also later taught in the law faculty.

Judge Molemela has identified retired judge of the Constitutional Court Justice Bess Nkabinde as her inspiration to ride the crest of the wave in the profession.

Judge Molemela has handled high-profile cases, including dealing with the right-wing plotters who had allegedly sought to target the ANC’s 2012 national conference in Mangaung.

Last year, on the eve of the ANC’s elective confe­rence in Nasrec, Johannesburg, Molemela ruled the Free State provincial executive committee and several ANC branches were ineligible to participate.

The ruling prevented then provincial ANC chairperson and Free State premier, Ace Magashule, his entire executive and 14 Free State branches from participating in the election of a president to replace the outgoing president, Jacob Zuma.

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