Mogoeng sends male candidate packing

2013-04-11 17:46
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (File: Beeld)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (File: Beeld)

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Cape Town - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng abruptly dismissed an aspiring judge on Thursday after he dithered when asked if female candidates should be given preference.

Sinky Nkosi, an attorney in Nelspruit, was being interviewed in Cape Town by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for a vacancy in the North and South Gauteng division.

Commission member Dumisa Ntsebeza asked him how he would react if a deserving male candidate were overlooked and all four vacancies were awarded to women.

Nkosi replied that he would accept the decision as the prerogative of the JSC and would consider applying again when new vacancies became available.

He was interrupted by Mogoeng, who said: "No, no, he is asking for your opinion on transformation."

The chief justice reminded Nkosi that transformation of the judiciary was a constitutional imperative, and added: "What should it be in your view? Should there be a preference for women?"

Nkosi answered that "assuming" there was an over-representation of one gender, he believed it should be corrected.

But Mogoeng interrupted him: "Base your opinion on what is the position."

Finally Nkosi answered that he believed "at least one man has to be given an opportunity".

Mogoeng thanked Nkosi and signalled that the interview was over without asking, as is customary, whether the candidate would like to add anything.

Nkosi said after the interview he believed the demographics of the Bench should be addressed and he believed this cause would be served by giving as many as three positions to women.

He added: "You cannot leave merit out of it."

Earlier, Nkosi had been quizzed by Mogoeng and other commissioners on his track record while serving as an acting judge in the division, and had given assurances that he had no outstanding judgments.

This has been a key criteria for the chief justice during interviews with candidates this week to fill eight vacancies.

Mogoeng told candidates it was of primary importance that they had a gameplan for righting the division's "embarrassing" record of high numbers of reserved judgments.

Other candidates included Potchefstroom magistrate Leonie Windell and senior counsel Greg Wright.

Read more on:    jsc  |  dumisa ntsebeza  |  mogoeng mogoeng  |  judiciary

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