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Concourt interviews to begin rerun after objections



Published Oct 4, 2021


The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is expected to begin its rerun of the Constitutional Court interviews today after objections to the initial proceedings were lodged.

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will chair the JSC as it starts proceedings with interviews for two seats on the Constitutional Court bench on Monday.

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The South Gauteng High Court ordered the JSC to reconvene and interview the eight candidates for positions in the Constitutional Court in August after the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) approached the high court to have the interview process restarted.

Judges Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane, Jody Kollapen, Rammaka Mathopo, Mahube Molemela, Bashier Vally, David Unterhalter and Advocate Alan Dodson, SC, are scheduled to be interviewed on Monday.

The JSC recommended Judges Kathree-Setiloane, Kollapen, Mathopo, Molemela and Vally for appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April.

The interviews were widely criticised for being “politicised”, particularly the interviews of KwaZulu-Natal high court judge Dhaya Pillay and Gauteng high court judge David Unterhalter, who both did not make the JSC shortlist.

During the interviews, questions from the EFF’s Julius Malema to Judge Pillay was criticised when she was asked about her relationship with Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and about her financial interests.

Pillay opted out of the new interview process after failing to be recommended.

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Casac said it challenged the “unfair manner” of the interviews and the “total failure” of the JSC to conduct any meaningful deliberations on the attributes of the candidates that were interviewed.

At that time, JSC spokesperson Advocate Dali Mpofu said they decided to settle with Casac to avoid unnecessary lengthy litigation that would have left the Constitutional Court with acting judges for two to three years.

The interviews for the vacancies in other superior courts will take place this week.

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For the Competition Appeal Court (Judge President), only Judge Bhekisisa Jerome Mnguni is the candidate.

For the position at Competition Appeal Court, which has two vacancies, Judge Denise Carol Fisher and Judge Norman Michael Manoim made the list.

Two vacancies at the Electoral Court (Judge Member), the candidates are Judge Jamela Joseph Mhlambi and Judge Lebogang Temperance Modiba.

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Other two vacancies are at the Electoral Court, where there are four candidates, and they include Professor Nomthandazo Patience Ntlama-Makhanya, Zaahira Moosa Allie Tiry, Sungaree Pather and Professor Moses Retselisitsoe Phooko.

In the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, Mthatha, where there is one vacancy, five candidates made the cut, and they are Advocate Nceba Kirby Dukada SC, Mziwonke Samson Dunywa, Mbulelo Victor Nqumse, Lindiwe Rusi and Buyiselo Irven Somacala.

There are three vacancies at the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, Grahamstown, and 10 candidates include Advocate Méchelle Beneke SC, Mziwonke Samson Dunywa, Professor Avinash Govindjee, Stephen Kenneth Gough, Justin Gregory Alexander Laing, Sandiswa (Mickey) Mfenyana, Mbulelo Victor Nqumse, Advocate Thandi Victoria Norman SC, Advocate Nicholas John Mullins SC, Advocate Olav Harald Ronaansen SC and Buyiselo Irven Somacala.

There is one vacancy at the Free State Division of the High Court. The JSC decided not to shortlist any candidate for this position.

There are 10 vacancies for the Gauteng Division of the High Court, and there are 17 candidates gunning for the positions.

There are two vacancies at the Gauteng Division of the High Court for secondment to the Land Claims Court, and Advocate Susannah Jane Cowen SC is the only candidate.

There are seven candidates battling it out for two vacancies at the Mpumalanga High Court, Mbombela and Middelburg.

And finally, there are five candidates on the list with two vacancies at the Western Cape High Court.

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Political Bureau