Jappie recommended for KZN judge president

2015-04-13 17:30

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Cape Town - KwaZulu-Natal High Court Deputy Judge President Achmat Jappie has been recommended for the position of judge president after being interviewed by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) on Monday.

JSC spokesperson Dumisa Ntsebeza confirmed the recommendation when he exited a conference room at a Cape Town hotel, where members sat for over two hours deliberating.

The JSC is tasked with interviewing 23 candidates for six other positions by Wednesday.

Jappie was the lone candidate for the judge president position.

He was reprimanded for the response he gave during his interview on Monday morning when Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng asked him, seemingly in jest, what he done to "intimidate his colleagues to get them out of the race".

Jaapie replied that he thought he had charmed his female colleagues, which first drew laughter from the room and then condemnation from some members.

Jappie said the question had been put to him in jest and he had responded accordingly.

He did not think female representation was a matter that should be taken lightly and it was something he had encouraged, and would continue to do so.

"If you know the women judges of the KwaZulu-Natal benches, they are not easily intimidated, I can tell you that. And I can tell you that they are also not easily charmed. They are women on their own, very individualistic," he told the JSC.

He said less than half of the judges in the province were female and that it was a challenge convincing women to serve on the bench.

"When you ask them, all of them have very lucrative practices which they do not want to give up. In the past, I have ensured that whenever acting appointments are made, that at least one is a woman."

The solution was to make the bench a conducive place for them to work.

He said he had no problem withdrawing his comment and apologised unequivocally.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  cape town  |  judiciary

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