Putting JSC delay on premier unfair - Free State govt

2015-10-07 21:43
(Leon Sadiki, City Press)

(Leon Sadiki, City Press)

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Johannesburg - It was unfair of the media to blame Free State Premier Ace Magashule for a two hour delay at the Judicial Service Commission interviews in Cape Town on Wednesday, the Free State provincial government said.

"We can state for the record that the premier boarded the flight at 07:45 as scheduled, for a flight that was scheduled to take off at 08:15," spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said in a statement.

"However, as the premier was at the airport - a message was received from the airport management that the flight has been delayed."

Magashule then informed the JSC of the delay, which the premier had no control over.

"After waiting at the airport, the flight eventually took off and landed in Cape Town at 11:10. Upon arrival in Cape Town, the premier went straight to the scheduled interviews," he said.

"Our disappointment with those that covered this story is that they have sought to unfairly portray the premier in a negative light on a matter that the Premier had nothing to do with. "

Mvambi said the reporter concerned should have checked with airport management, and reported objectively instead of "biased reporting that the premier of the Free State has been unfairly subjected to".

Earlier on Wednesday, News24 reported that the interviews, for two high court judge positions, were delayed due to Magashule's late arrival.

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke noted proceedings had started two hours late because of Magashule.

The premier explained apologetically that he had battled to get a flight from Bloemfontein, and when he did, the plane was delayed.

But commissioner Narend Singh, an IFP MP, did not let him off lightly, and complained it was not the first time Magashule had delayed proceedings.

Magashule started denying this to Singh, but EFF leader and commissioner Julius Malema chipped in.

"The premier is not going to do that. This is not a Cabinet meeting. There is a speaker on the floor, you must speak through him," he boomed.

Moseneke then asked applicant Peter Fischer SC, who was being interviewed at the time, to leave the room, and then added that the media should leave too so that the panel could talk privately.

When allowed to return, Malema asked Moseneke to allow the media to set up again, and Moseneke quipped: "That must have been an opportunity to tweet a few things while we were deliberating."

Fischer, who said he rejected the label Afrikaner, preferring to call himself African, is one of seven people applying for the vacancies.

The others are Nobulawo Martha Mbhele, Joseph Jamela Mhlambi, Shanaaz Mia, Nkopane Wilfred Phalatsi, advocate Louis Le Roux Pohl SC and advocate Celeste Reinders.

Read more on:    anc  |  ace magashule  |  judiciary

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