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Johannesburg - The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on Monday announced the appointment of 33 new sheriffs in a bid to strengthen the profession and make it more representative.

The majority of these appointments are effective from September 1, 2017.

The sheriffs were employed to fill vacant offices nationwide and their appointment follows an open process whereby the posts were advertised and successful applicants were shortlisted and interviewed by an advisory committee that was established in each of the nine provinces.

The department in a statement said of the 33 appointed sheriffs, 18 are African (54%), 8 are White (24%), 4 are Coloured (13%) and 3 are Indian (9%).

Additionally, 16 women were appointed and they represent 48% of the new appointees.

Speaking of the appointments, the department outlined the factors leading to the appointment of these new sheriffs.

“The need to make the sheriffs profession more representative in terms of race and gender was one of the factors the deputy minister took into account in making his decision."

“It is important that sheriffs perform their duties in a professional manner and continue to provide a reliable and effective serve to the public, the legal profession and other role players in the justice system.”