FF Plus supports legal action on JSC

2013-04-15 16:17

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Johannesburg - The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) will support legal action, which may be taken against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) relating to transformation of the Bench, the party said on Monday.

"Some white men are interviewed very aggressively for a long time and are not recommended [for a judicial position]," said FF Plus MP Corné Mulder, who used to be a member of the JSC.

"It is general knowledge that some of South Africa’s top and most senior advocates do not allow themselves to be nominated, and are not prepared to be humiliated in this manner."

Mulder's comments came amid disagreement about transformation in the judiciary.

Last week, advocate Izak Smuts resigned from the JSC following an outcry about a discussion document he wrote.

Smuts, who was appointed to represent the advocates' profession in 2009, had been critical of the JSC for overlooking white men for judicial appointments.

His discussion paper was titled "Transformation and the Judicial Service Commission", and in it he complained that white males were being unfairly overlooked for judicial appointment.

He reportedly said there existed "a very real perception in certain quarters that the JSC is, in general, set against the appointment of white male candidates except in exceptional circumstances".

Scathing attack

In a statement handed to journalists shortly after the JSC concluded interviews for aspirant judges, Smuts launched a scathing attack on the commission, similar to comments he made on transformation in the document handed to the JSC earlier in the week.

Freedom Under Law said in a statement on its website that if no one else took action against the JSC, it would "institute appropriate proceedings to have the propriety and legitimacy of the JSC’s current course of conduct tested in court".

On Monday, JSC spokesperson Dumisa Ntsebeza told SAfm, Smuts had made the right decision by resigning if he did not agree with what the institution was doing.

The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) found the way in which the matter had been dealt with "in extremely bad taste".

"What a wonderful way to make sure that everyone toes the politically correct line and that all voices offering a different interpretation to the Constitution are silenced," CDP leader Theunis Botha said in a statement.

Botha said Smuts had addressed a matter of vital importance to many South Africans who felt alienated in their own country.

"To welcome his resignation reminds one of dancing on the graves of many loyal South Africans."

Read more on:    cdp  |  ff plus  |  jsc  |  izak smuts  |  theunis botha  |  corne mulder  |  johannesburg

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