JSC recommends 3 candidates for SCA Bench

Justice Mandisa Maya - Deputy Judge President: Supreme Court of the Republic of South Africa (UKZN School of Law website)
Justice Mandisa Maya - Deputy Judge President: Supreme Court of the Republic of South Africa (UKZN School of Law website)

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended three candidates for vacancies on the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Bench in Bloemfontein.

JSC member Thoko Didiza announced the decision following interviews held on Monday and Tuesday.

The three candidates are Free State Judge President Mahube Betty Molemela, Western Cape High Court Judge Ashton Schippers and Gauteng High Court Judge Tati Makgoka.

On Tuesday, Molemela appeared confident during her interview.

Molemela, who previously acted in the SCA, admitted she had experienced some challenges, but said she wanted to be part of the Bench so she could become part of the solution.

Molemela previously handed down a judgment that barred ANC branches in the Free State from attending the national elective conference in December 2017, after the party's provincial conference was nullified.

READ: Judge Colin Lamont withdraws application for appeals court position

She ruled that the Free State conference and its resolution were unlawful and void.  

Makgoka has also acted in the SCA.

During his interview on Monday, he commended SCA President Mandisa Maya for bringing about change, but he pointed out that his colleagues there were not always welcoming.

Schippers is known for a judgment he delivered in 2014 in which he ordered that former SABC head Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended for 60 days, pending a disciplinary hearing into his alleged misconduct.

In October 2015, the SCA upheld Schippers' ruling. However, it rejected the part of his ruling in which he said former public protector Thuli Madonsela's rulings were not binding.

Nine shortlisted candidates were vying for three positions on the SCA Bench. They were interviewed at the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand, Gauteng.

The JSC also recommended all three judges who were shortlisted for vacancies in the Competition Appeal Court positions.

KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Bhekisisa Jerome Mguni, South Gauteng High Court Judge Margaret Victor and South Gauteng High Court Judge Bashier Vally on Tuesday all managed to convince the JSC that they were ready to take on positions at the court.

Following deliberations, the JSC announced that it would recommend the three to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The commission also announced it would recommend Ms Sungaree Pather to be a member of the Electoral Court. Two people were interviewed for this position.

The JSC interviews continue on Thursday.

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