Candidates interview for three empty positions on Supreme Court of Appeals
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is scheduled to conduct interviews to fill three vacant positions in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), this week.
Ten candidates were to be interviewed at the office of the chief justice on Monday and Tuesday.
Among the candidates is judge Colin Lamont‚ who convicted Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir on charges of drug dealing‚ kidnapping and attempted murder. This was despite there being a bomb scare in the court and several attempts on his life‚ believed to have stemmed from his presiding over the case.
Back in 2011‚ Lamont made a landmark ruling on the song Dubula Ibhunu (Shoot the Boer)‚ which was one of EFF leader Julius Malema’s anthems. Lamont ruled that the song constituted hate speech and ordered that Malema be interdicted and restrained from singing it.
Judges Matter‚ a website with all the information on the proceedings‚ said when Lamont was interviewed for an Electoral Court position in 2016‚ he experienced one of the shortest interviews in JSC history. The interview‚ which was successful‚ lasted 10 minutes.
Also vying for one of the positions is Judge Trevor Gorven.
One of his notable judgments occurred in 2014‚ when he dismissed charges of murder and racketeering against KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss‚ Maj-Gen Johan Booysen‚ who had been linked to the Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit‚ which was accused of being a hit squad.
Judges Matter highlighted how during that judgment‚ Booysen had criticised the then acting national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba over her "deafening silence" in response to Booysen’s assertion of mendacity.
"Even accepting the least stringent test for rationality imaginable‚ the decision of the national director of public prosecutions does not pass muster‚" he was quoted as saying.
"I can conceive of no test for rationality‚ however relaxed‚ which could be satisfied by her explanation. The impugned decisions were arbitrary‚ offend the principle of legality and‚ therefore‚ the rule of law‚ and were unconstitutional."
Gorven’s judgment raised stark questions about Jiba’s suitability for the job‚ especially her tendency not to prosecute cases related to former president Jacob Zuma.
Another interesting candidate is Judge President Mahube Betty Molemela‚ who is the second woman to be appointed judge president of a provincial division after the North West’s Monica Leeuw.
Molemela has handled at least two cases related to the ANC in recent years. One case was that of the right-wing plotters who had allegedly planned to detonate a bomb at the ANC’s national conference in Mangaung, in 2012.
In December‚ Molemela also presided over the case of the ANC Free State provincial executive committee and she found that it was ineligible to vote in the party’s elective conference.
"The ruling prevented then provincial ANC chairperson and Free State premier Ace Magashule‚ his entire executive and 14 Free State branches from participating in the election of a president to replace the outgoing Jacob Zuma.
"Magashule was considered a ‘Premier League’ strongman and supporter of Zuma and the decision would have been a significant contributing factor to Cyril Ramaphosa‚ rather than Zuma’s proxy‚ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ ascending to the ANC presidency‚" the Judges Matter website states.
Other candidates include the following:
• Judge Elizabeth Dorothy Baartman
• Judge Tati Moffat Makgoka
• Judge Yvonne Thokozile Mbatha
• Judge Pieter Andries Meyer
• Judge Ashton Schippers
• Judge Irma Schoeman
• Judge Moroampholo Philemon Tsoka