Former court interpretor gets nod from JSC for Land Claims Court
Johannesburg - Muzikawukhelwana Ncube, a former court interpreter, has been nominated by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) as a judge to the Land Claims Court in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ncube was interviewed on Thursday and shared his passion and support for land reform – particularly the rights of labour tenants.
Ncube has been a magistrate for 38 years and has acted as judge at the Land Claims Court since 2006.
He has various degrees in environmental law.
The nominee was questioned on his views on the expropriation of land without compensation.
Ncube indicated that he supported the view for the expropriation of land with compensation because he believed the land issue in the country can never be resolved without this matter being dealt with.
He also maintained that the Constitution should be changed to make it explicit.
Ncube was also questioned on a controversial ruling he made in 2013, while acting judge at the Land Claims Court, regarding the department of rural development's failure to speedily address claims made by labour tenants.
He ruled that a special master for labour tenants should be appointed to help speed up the department's duties.
The department of rural development appealed the ruling and labelled the proposed creation of a special master as "judicial overreach".
The case went to the Supreme Court of Appeal which sided with the department and agreed that it was a judicial overreach. But in 2019, the Constitutional Court agreed with Ncube's ruling.
Ncube defended his ruling on Thursday, saying people had waited for a long time for land while it had not been resolved by the government.
“People had waited for more than 20 years for the land the Constitution had promised them. The aim of the special master was to work hand-in-hand with the department to speed up the process,” Ncube said.
“The Supreme Court of Appeal found that it was judicial over-reach and overturned the order. But the Constitutional Court reinstated it, saying it was an effective judicial intervention in an endeavour to assist the poor and the landless.”