Judge Colin Lamont withdraws application for appeal court position

2018-04-09 22:08
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Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng announced on Monday, during Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews in Midrand, that Judge Colin Lamont, has withdrawn his application for appointment to the Supreme Court of Appeal Bench.

He will not be interviewed.

It was not clear why Lamont withdrew.

Nine shortlisted candidates are vying for three positions on the SCA Bench in Bloemfontein. 

One of them, KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Trevor Govern, who had acted in the SCA, told the JSC that he believed he was ready for a permanent position.

"I think I am ready and the court is ready for me," Govern said on Monday.

"As a judge, I will do what the Constitution asks and requires of me. I will not overstep the mark....I do work and find the work stimulating and enjoyable," he said.  

SCA President Mandisa Maya commended Govern for his work and said Govern had been helpful to colleagues, especially junior colleagues.

"I also know that you are we very committed to transformation," Maya said.

Govern previously declared the decision to prosecute former Hawks boss, Major General Johan Booysen, irrational.

This, after Booysen and other officers were accused of operating a "Cato Manor death squad". In 2012, they were arrested and charged with 116 crimes, including racketeering, murder and attempted murder.

The law required that all racketeering charges to be signed off by then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba.

However, Booysen challenged this and in 2014, Govern set aside Jiba's authorisation, ruling that there was no evidence to warrant it. The ruling was never appealed.

The JSC also interviewed Western Cape High Court Judge Elizabeth Baartman, who has had a 12-month acting stint on the Bench.

Baartman had the opportunity to be part of a full Bench presiding over a National Prosecuting Authority appeal against the culpable homicide conviction of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

She said she was ready for the SCA.

"I have never been one to shy away from a challenge," she added. 

Baartman, who appeared calm before the commission, also said there was a perception that acting judges did not know what they were doing. 

However, the SCA president pointed out that there was a concern that Baartman needed more time to sharpen her skills. 

She responded: "I do not agree. I was ready then and I am even more ready now to take up a permanent position in the SCA."

Read more on:    sca  |  judiciary

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