The Western Cape High Court. Picture: Laille Jack / African News Agency (ANA)
The Western Cape High Court. Picture: Laille Jack / African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape judges shortlist presents JSC with a ‘tough choice’

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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Cape Town - As interview for seven shortlisted candidates for the two vacant Western Cape High Court judicial positions, among several others, are set to take place from April 12 until April 23, a legal commentator has said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is faced with a tough choice.

The JSC will interview over 80 candidates for the various posts and will also showcase the diversity of the courts at different levels.

Judges Matter campaign research and advocacy officer Mbekezeli Benjamin said: “The JSC is faced with a tough choice among the Western Cape candidates such as advocates Nobahle Mangcu-Lockwood, Penelope Magona-Dano, Bryan Hack and Frederick Sievers SC, attorneys Selwyn Hockey, Matthew Francis or magistrate Daniel Thulare.

“They come from all corners of the profession. It's important that the JSC keeps a clear focus on selecting only the best candidates, and they can only do so through a fair and rigorous line of questioning of all candidates.

“It will be important to see that the JSC comes out with clear criteria, particularly for busy courts like the Western Cape which need judges with a strong track record of hard work, exceptional knowledge of the law, and respect among their peers in the legal profession,” said Benjamin.

The two women on the list, Mangcu-Lockwood and Magona-Dano, were shortlisted from only three female applicants.

In March this year Mangcu-Lockwood ruled against the troubled Kannaland municipality banning the council from continuing with a controversial R735 million electricity and water outsourcing deal.

In 2020 Magona-Dano ruled that the Intestate Succession Act discriminates against unmarried life partners in a case where a former domestic worker stood to inherit a Camps Bay guest house and flat.

As Chief Magistrate in Cape Town, Thulare has previously been critical of the concentration of decision-making power and representation in the judiciary. In 2019 he wrote that it was a structure which he felt was paternalistic towards the magistracy.

In a judgment last year, acting Judge Frederick Sievers ruled that Clicks was in contravention of the Pharmacy Act, which prohibits an entity having an interest in a community pharmacy from being the holder of a beneficial interest in a manufacturing pharmacy.

In October last year, acting Judge Selwyn Hockey interdicted the City from confiscating the property of about 30 people who had set up home on a grass verge near the vacant Arcadia Place old-age home from which they had been evicted in October 2019.

In 2019 acting Judge Bryan Hack made a ruling in relation to garnishee deductions which was hailed as a victory for the poor.

Judiciary spokesperson Sello Chiloane said: “Members of the public are encouraged to follow proceedings remotely via live streaming platforms on the Judiciary RSA YouTube Channel.

“The interviews for the Western Cape High Court are scheduled for April 23 at the Capital On The Park Hotel, located in Sandton, Johannesburg.”

Cape Argus

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