JSC recommends none for Eastern Cape Judge President

2017-04-06 21:26
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. (Pic: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. (Pic: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS)

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Johannesburg – Four Eastern Cape judge candidates on Thursday failed to convince the JSC that they were ready to take on the task of judge president of the province.

Their efforts to sell themselves for the position, which included listing their plans to turn around the seemingly troubled division, proved fruitless.

Following deliberations at the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) announced that none of the candidates interviewed would be recommended.  

During their interviews, the judges had described the difficulties facing the Eastern Cape’s courts, which included a shortage of female judges.

Judge Mandela Makaula said Grahamstown was a "tricky horse to ride" and had only produced three black judges. He told the JSC there were 82 advocates in the province, but only 10 of them were black and of those, only three were women.

Witnesses had to travel long distances to get to the few courts in the province, and those using public transport only arrived in town after 10:00.

Quizzed on what contributed to the lack of female judges, he said: "The major problem is mentoring. They have to be mentored."

His competitor, Deputy Judge President David van Zyl‚ said he would enhance efforts at transformation should he be promoted.

“The practitioners that nominated me are black. They trust me and they know I would enhance transformation,” Van Zyl told the panel. 

Earlier on Thursday, an unimpressed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng reprimanded a candidate for making light of a serious matter.

Deputy Judge President Zamani Nhlangulela failed to take seriously claims that some judges in his division were arriving at court as late as 11:00.

Replying to Mogoeng’s question about whether or not he was aware of this, Nhlangulela said: "I only have two eyes. If only I had 10 eyes I would know, so now I am relying on what I am told. I am doing my best."

Mogoeng failed to find his response funny, especially after another commissioner had pointed out that the matter of judges' late coming was reported in the media.

The fourth candidate was Judge John Smith, of the High Court in Grahamstown.

The JSC also made no recommendations for a vacant judge's position in the Mthatha High Court. Three women were interviewed on Thursday evening. The forth candidate, a man, withdrew.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  johannesburg  |  judiciary

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