Durban - Facing allegations of judicial misconduct, Judge Owen Rogers from the Western Cape High Court has made it to the top four list of candidates competing for a position at the Constitutional Court.
Rogers and 10 other judges are under JSC investigation for gross judicial misconduct after refusing to share a Bench with Judge Mushtak Parker.
Despite the complaint lodged over a year ago, the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) defended the short-listing of Judge Rogers and argued that there had been no objection brought to the Judicial Service Committee against Rogers who was interviewed on Tuesday.
“Complaints against judges are considered by the JCC and not the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The complaint against Judge Rogers is being considered by the JCC. Furthermore, no objection to Judge Rogers as (a) candidate was raised with the JSC in this regard,” said diector in the Office of the Chief Justice Yvonne Van Niekerk.
Barnabas Xulu from BXI Attorneys, who had lodged a complaint at the JSC against Judge Rogers, said that there appeared to be “favouritism and special treatment” when dealing with issues of judicial misconduct.
BXI had previously written to the JSC opposing the shortlisting of Judge Rogers and calling for his name to be taken off the list of candidates shortlisted for the position of permanent judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal or any Bench in the Republic of South Africa during the selection process.
Following the complaint on March 8 last year, JCC Secretary Sello Chiloane confirmed to Daily News that the complaint against Rogers was receiving attention. He said: “The commission has received the complaint which is being considered by the Judicial Conduct Committee”.
It was expected that the committee would, after having considered the complaint, commence with the process to determine the merits of the complaint brought by BXI. If satisfied in the event of the complaint being established, the committee would have had to appropriate remedial action as required by section 17(8) of the JSC Act.
Furthermore, BXI argued that the JSC processes in appointing judges should not ignore relevant evidence which casts the shortlisted candidate in a negative light and places in doubt claims that they are “fit and proper” for judicial appointment.