Cape Town - Attorney Lister Nuku will become one of the youngest judges to sit in the Western Cape High Court once the recommendation by the Judicial Service Commission is signed off by President Jacob Zuma.
Nuku was the sole candidate chosen to fill one of two judicial vacancies at the High Court, at a sitting of the JSC in Cape Town on Friday.
Of the four candidates interviewed at a Cape Town hotel, Nuku, 44, was the only one to receive the minimum votes required to get the JSC’s nod for judicial appointment.
Candidates have to receive 13 or more votes from the 25-member commission.
The other three candidates were Cape Bar advocate Michael Donen SC, and attorneys Stephen Koen and John Riley. The remaining vacancy will be readvertised.
Nuku was born in Libode, a small town in the Eastern Cape, in 1971. He was admitted as an attorney in 1996, a conveyancer in 2002, and a notary public in 2003.
Nuku is the founder and director of Nongogo, Nuku Attorneys Inc, which was founded in 1999 with offices in Cape Town and East London.
He has three degrees; a Baccalaureus Procurationis from Walter Sisulu University (the University of Transkei); a post-graduate diploma in corporate law from Unisa, and a Master of Laws in Commercial Law from UCT.
He has also completed a programme in insolvency law and practice from Unisa.
He was appointed as an acting judge for the Western Cape High Court in April 2015, and has served four terms of three months each.
Asked during his interview whether he had trouble writing judgments, Nuku said it was not a challenge. “What helped me was writing my masters dissertation.
“When I started out I was fortunate that (other) judges assisted me in how to write judgments.”
Nuku said he had been a member of the ANC, but had not renewed his membership.
Asked by EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema what he would do if he became a judge, Nuku said he would not renew his membership of the ANC.
Malema said making attorney Nuku a judge would be positive for black lawyers countrywide.
Outgoing Western Cape Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso, who was standing in for Judge President John Hlophe, asked whether there was any field of law with which he didn’t feel comfortable. Nuku replied he was “able to cope with everything”.
Nuku’s candidature was supported by the Western Cape branch of the Black Lawyers Association.
In a letter to the JSC secretariat, the association described Nuku as “passionate about the development of the legal profession as a whole”.