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Emphasis is on race - FW Foundation

Johannesburg - The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) was putting too much weight on race, rather than on properly qualified and fit candidates when recommending judges for appointment, the FW de Klerk Foundation said on Wednesday. “The failure of the JSC once again to recommend Jeremy Gauntlett for judicial appointment raises concerns that it is giving too much weight to race and not enough to whether candidates are fit and properly qualified,” said executive director Dave Steward.

Steward was responding to reports that Cape Town advocate Gauntlett was snubbed by the JSC for a position on the Constitutional Court bench for, among other things, not having the requisite “humility”.

A professional misconduct complaint has been lodged against advocate Jeremy Gauntlett by lawyer Paul Ngobeni. Credit: INLSA

Anyone fit and proper may be appointed as a judicial officer, said Steward.

“Candidates must also be able to act with complete independence and without fear, favour or prejudice.”

The judiciary has over the past 14 years been radically transformed in terms of race.

“It is now the duty of the heads of courts to ensure that judicial education is ongoing and that appointments are made based on skill and experience, and not solely because of race - and especially not political loyalty,” said Steward.

Sapa

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