Justice minister wants only black female counsel

2015-10-08 20:13
Michael Masutha (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Michael Masutha (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha has said he will only be represented by black female counsel. Masutha was speaking at the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) for new judges on Thursday.

"I will only be represented by black female counsel at all times, unless circumstances are such that a suitably qualified female black counsel is not available," he said.

Masutha said this during the interview of KwaZulu-Natal High Court judge Kantharuby Pillay, a candidate for the position of Deputy Judge President for the province. He went on to ask Pillay what she thought of his stance.

In response, Pillay said, "Sometimes situations call for desperate measures and I am very, very happy to hear that was done."

Pillay was a co-founder of the International Association of Women Judges.

Among some of the issues raised before the JSC was the problem of transforming the judiciary in terms of the number of women judges.

Part of the problem was that they were not briefed for cases as often as they should be. This meant they had to work harder to gain the relevant experience to be invited to act as magistrates or judges.

Masutha said he recently had five matters brought to his desk and where there was a male lead - and where he [Masutha] was the only party - he asked that the male be replaced with a suitably qualified black female. This regardless of whether the male lead was black or white, he said.

"Some measures are needed to transform society and I think that is a step in the right direction," said Pillay.

Read more on:    jsc  |  michael masutha  |  judiciary

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