New Free State judges appointed

2015-10-08 13:45
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Cape Town - Two women from humble beginnings have been chosen to serve as judges at the high court in the Free State.

Attorney Nobulawo Martha Mbhele and advocate Celeste Reinders were chosen out of the seven candidates, said Judicial Service Commission (JSC) spokesperson Carel Fourie on Thursday.

Mbhele told the JSC interview panel on Wednesday that she attended primary school on the Free State farm on which her parents worked and that she was put through university by one of her two policeman brothers. The farm owner paid her university registration fees.

Her father later became a farm owner himself, thanks to a government programme.

She rose to become a partner in a law firm with another candidate Joseph Mhlambi, and will now have to divest from that company.

At 42, she often had to blow her own trumpet describing herself as competent and capable to convince sceptics who thought she was too young for the heavyweight job.

She will also have to resign her membership of the ANC in accordance with the statutory requirement to be seen to be independent.

Reinders explained that she also came from humble beginnings, taking a loan to pay for her studies and working hard to get through law school and finally into acting positions on the bench.

She had also written an essay on the difficulties that female judges face, including having to work that much harder to prove themselves when they return to work after having children.

The other candidates were Shanaaz Mia, Nkopane Wilfred Phalatsi, Louis Le Roux Pohl SC and Peter Fischer, whose uncle was anti-apartheid lawyer Bram Fischer.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  judiciary

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