I see new beginning for Limpopo - judge president candidate

2015-04-13 21:03

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Cape Town - If appointed as judge president of the new Limpopo High Court division, Judge Nare Frans Kgomo will keep a close eye on reserved judgments, court finances and the way magistrates deal with sensitive trials.

This is what he told the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) during his interview in Cape Town on Monday afternoon.

Kgomo said he envisioned a new beginning for the province.

"The first thing is to ensure that it starts on a clean slate, that everybody who is a member of the bench does his or her part and to ensure there are no backlogs... if it starts well, it will roll on well," he said.

Currently, the Gauteng division at Pretoria serves as the Limpopo division, with circuit courts sitting in Polokwane and a local seat at Thohoyandou.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said he envisaged issuing a proclamation on August 1, outlining the jurisdiction of the court.

He planned to second five judges from other divisions, in addition to a deputy judge president and judge president.

Kgomo said he envisaged an initial team of eight to 10 judges, including the judge president position.

"I must ensure that I am aware and alive to what is happening with the allocation of work to the judges."

He said he would ask for the court books to be brought to his chamber every morning so he could check how many judgments had been reserved and note that in a special register.

It worried him that high courts were not given the budget to effectively deliver on their mandate and that finance officials were receiving merit payments at the end of the financial year for not spending the full budget.

"[I would] communicate that high courts be removed from the tutelage of regional office and be given charge of their finances. They can easily be controlled," Kgomo said.

"I am able and capable of checking finances and will train my colleagues to do that."

If appointed, he would also take on a supervisory and mentoring role with chief magistrates, because there was a "big problem" in dealing with trials involving sexual offences and the application of minimum sentences.

Kgomo is competing with six other judges for the Limpopo position.

The JSC has been tasked this week with interviewing 23 candidates for three judge president and four judge positions.

Read more on:    jsc  |  cape town  |  judiciary

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