Durban - Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s election to serve on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has raised eyebrows, but the commission is taking it in its stride.
JSC spokesman, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, told the Daily News on Wednesday the commission welcomed the appointment as it was the prerogative of the political party to decide who to put forward, and for Parliament to elect its commission representatives.
“Candidates will have to respond to a wider range of questions. The EFF will bring a particular perspective,” he said.
On Tuesday Parliament announced 10 new members for the JSC, which regularly interviews candidates for the Bench.
The 23-seat body’s recommendations go to the president for appointment, and it also deals with complaints against judges.
Others among the 10 MPs now serving on the commission, alongside representatives of the judiciary, legal profession and ministers, include former ANC chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, and Thoko Didiza, a former cabinet minister under president Thabo Mbeki, who returned to Parliament after the May 7 elections.
However, opposition parties at Parliament have raised questions over Malema’s appointment, describing it as “outrageous”.
Among them was the Freedom Front Plus, while the DA said it was hoped the EFF leader was up to the job.
According to Beeld newspaper, Advocate Paul Hoffman, the director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, said Malema had more than enough experience, given his appearances in the equality court, insolvency court and, soon, in a criminal court.
This was a reference to Malema’s run-ins over his Kill the Boer song, which played out in the equality court, and his clash with the taxman over an unpaid R16 million debt.
But last month Malema reached a settlement with tax authorities in the North Gauteng High Court.
In September he returns to court in Polokwane to face fraud and corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges.
Long-serving JSC member, the now retired IFP chief whip Koos van der Merwe, told Beeld he would like to see what Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng would do when Malema starts his shenanigans: “The ball is now in Mogoeng’s court.”