‘Why didn’t you decline Zuma’s nomination?’ Malema asks deputy chief justice hopeful
Naledi Shange | 2017-04-03 17:43:56.0
EFF leader Julius Malema
Image by: Alon Skuy/THE TIMES
Judge Raymond Zondo‚ who has spoken out about how women are not equally represented in the judiciary‚ was on Monday asked by EFF leader Julius Malema why he didn’t he decline his nomination to the deputy chief justice position‚ and allow it to be given to a woman instead.
Malema is one of the commissioners interviewing candidates for the senior judicial position.
He questioned whether the appointment of a male candidate to the Deputy Chief Justice position would be “two step backwards” in gender transformation as currently a woman‚ Bess Nkabinde‚ was acting in the position.
Nkabinde’s 12-year term comes to an end on December 31‚ making her ineligible to permanently take up the post.
“Why didn’t you decline the nomination?” Malema asked Zondo.
“Commissioner Malema‚ I am here because the President [Jacob Zuma] wrote to the JSC and said that he is considering appointing me as Deputy Chief Justice‚” Zondo replied.
“I don’t have the same information that the president had at his disposal in making the decision he made but when I was told that this board is required to give its views on me‚ I availed myself for the interview.
“I am aware that in relation to the Supreme Court of Appeal‚ the president did nominate a woman to be president of the SCA – a position that has never been held by a woman‚” Zondo said.
Earlier‚ Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ who is chairing the interviews‚ declared that he and Zondo were friends‚ having met at university in 1981.
Thoko Didiza of the ANC‚ also declared that Zondo was a family friend of hers.
Malema‚ however‚ asked whether Zondo was not concerned about the perceptions that would arise if two friends were to head the highest court in the land.
He asked whether his appointment would not damage the good reputation of the office of the chief justice.
Zondo maintained that their friendship would not affect his integrity.
He is currently serving as a judge of the Constitutional Court and highlighted that he and Mogoeng were able to have differing views on court matters despite the fact they were friends.
Mogoeng further questioned Zondo on whether he thought any harm could come from two friends‚ who both have integrity‚ working side by side towards a common case.
Zondo answered‚ “No”.
– TMG Digital