Candidate tells JSC quota system for appointments is ‘patronising’
While the number of black‚ female judges in superior courts is relatively low‚ Judge Steven Majiedt said on Tuesday that it would be "patronising" for black judges to be appointed to superior positions because of a quota.
Majiedt‚ who is being interviewed by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) for a Constitutional Court position‚ argued that adequate training needed to be given to black legal representatives to prepare them for such positions.
He felt he was ready to take on the position of a Constitutional Court justice‚ adding that he could not hold back from setting his sights on the position until the number of female representatives picked up.
Asked why he should be considered for the post‚ Majiedt called on the commission to look at the merits of all five judges who were being interviewed for the post.
He also called on them to look at race representation in the Constitutional Court. He highlighted that he classified himself as black and not coloured.
"Look at the ability and see who will enhance that court and add value to the court‚" he said.
Majiedt‚ who is currently serving in the Supreme Court of Appeal‚ echoed the words of acting Supreme Court of Appeal president Mandisa Maya‚ who on Monday told the JSC that there were racial divisions within the court.
However, he also highlighted that there had been a lot of changes recently.
"It’s not only the faces that have changed but also attitude‚" he said‚ adding that previously the judges had had attitudes of superiority.
Maya had taken the judges on a diversity seminar and things were improving.
However, Majiedt said the diversity seminar could be seen as "preaching to the church" as those who had issues were not always willing to participate in programmes promoting change.