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I used my whiteness for the betterment of the country, Concourt judge candidate tells interviewers

Advocate Alan Dodson SC

Advocate Alan Dodson SC

Published Oct 4, 2021


CONSTITUTIONAL Court candidate advocate Alan Dodson SC was the first to take the hot seat during the rerun of the interview processes that are currently taking place in Johannesburg.

This is the second time the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is holding these interviews.

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Earlier on Monday, Dodson was questioned at length over being the only candidate who was not a sitting judge, with advocate Dali Mpofu also pointing out “the elephant in the room” of the fact that Dodson was a white man.

“Nobody seems to be talking about that. That’s the elephant in the room,” Mpofu said.

However, Dodson took the question in his stride by answering that there was not much he could do about being white or male.

“I don’t want to sound soppy but to use words that are not mine: I am an African. I lived in three countries in Africa. Every cell and fibre of my body is made from the African soil. I have never relied on my whiteness to take advantage.

“To the extent that I have white skin, I haven’t taken advantage of it and I’ve done the best to use the privileges that still come with it. I don’t deny there are privileges that have been attached to my white skin, but I try to use the resources and the privileges that I’ve had educationally for the betterment of the country and to represent the disadvantaged in South Africa,” Dodson said.

He added that he believed he could enrich the Concourt with his vast experience as an attorney, human rights lawyer, land court judge and his work in the UN. He also spoke his work during the 1980s as a criminal lawyer who represented many disadvantaged youths during the uprising.

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The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) began its rerun of the Constitutional Court interviews on Monday after objections to the initial proceedings were lodged.

The South Gauteng High Court ordered for 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.

Interviews for Judges Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane, Jody Kollapen, Rammaka Mathopo, Mahube Molemela, Bashier Vally, David Unterhalter and Advocate Alan Dodson SC were set down for Monday. The eighth candidate, KwaZulu-Natal high court judge Dhaya Pillay opted out of the new interview process after failing to be recommended.

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