Judge pulls out of running for Northern Cape deputy judge president job

2017-04-05 17:47
The Chief Justice of South Africa. (Lucky Nxumalo)

The Chief Justice of South Africa. (Lucky Nxumalo)

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Johannesburg – A judge vying for the position of Northern Cape deputy judge president withdrew her candidacy on Wednesday, it emerged during interviews at the JSC.

Judge Cecile Williams wrote in a letter that her competitor for the job, Judge Violet Phatshoane, had been groomed for the position by Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said.

Williams’s withdrawal left Phatshoane as the only candidate. She was being interviewed for the job by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in Midrand.

Mogoeng asked her if her being groomed for the role of judge president or deputy judge president could pose problems.

“Perhaps there could be problems arising from that,” a soft-spoken Phatshoane replied.

If the JSC recommended her for the job and President Jacob Zuma appointed her, she would have to sit down with her colleagues to iron out some problems, she said.

In December 2016, Phatshoane sentenced former Northern Cape ANC provincial chairperson John Block to in effect 15 years in prison for corruption and money-laundering.

Asked how she would ensure that women were properly prepared to become judges, she said more work needed to be sent their way while they were still advocates.

“We should change briefing patterns to ensure that advocates at entry level get enough briefs. They should be paired with senior councils to gain experience."

She said she possessed the necessary qualities of a judge.

“I took an oath to exercise the law without fear or favour and prejudice,” Phatshoane said.

Supreme Court of Appeal Acting Judge President Mandisa Maya asked Phatshoane if her age would pose any difficulties to her older colleagues.

“I cannot foresee there would be any difficulty with them concerning how I would command authority. I cannot foresee any resistance from my colleagues,” she replied.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  judiciary

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