Free State premier delays JSC interviews

2015-10-07 12:41
Ace Magashule Photo: Leon Sadiki

Ace Magashule Photo: Leon Sadiki

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Cape Town - Wednesday's Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews for vacancies on the bench started on a dramatic note over Free State Premier Ace Magashule's tardiness.

Peter Fischer, SC whose uncle was well-known anti-apartheid lawyer Bram Fischer, was in the hot seat for one of two posts as a High Court judge on the Free State bench, when Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke noted that proceedings had started two hours late because of Magashule.

The premier explained apologetically that he had battled to get a flight from Bloemfontein, and when he did, the plane was delayed.

But commissioner Narend Singh, an Inkatha Freedom Party MP, was not letting him off lightly, and complained that it was not the first time he had delayed proceedings.

Magashule started denying this to Singh, but Economic Freedom Fighters leader and commissioner Julius Malema chipped in.

"The Premier is not going to do that. This is not a Cabinet meeting. There is a speaker on the floor, you must speak through him,"he boomed.

Without skipping a beat, Moseneke asked Fischer to leave the room, and then added that the media should leave too so that the panel could talk privately.

As reporters left carrying laptops and other equipment hastily packed up, a JSC official checked that nobody had left a recording device behind.

When allowed to return, Malema asked Moseneke to allow the media to set up again, and Moseneke quipped: "That must have been an opportunity to tweet a few things while we were deliberating."

Fischer, who said he rejected the label Afrikaner, preferring to call himself African, is one of seven people applying for the vacancies.

The others are Nobulawo Martha Mbhele, Joseph Jamela Mhlambi, Shanaaz Mia, Nkopane Wilfred Phalatsi, advocate Louis Le Roux Pohl SC and advocate Celeste Reinders.

Once settled in, Fischer spoke about the impact his famous uncle had on the family. His father had urged him not to follow the same path to avoid ruining his career and harming his family.

"I have always wondered how I could emulate it, but I am not in the same category as Bram... he was a once in a millenium."

Read more on:    jsc  |  ace magashule  |  julius malema  |  dikgang moseneke  |  judiciary

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