Appointing black judges to meet quota ‘patronising’‚ says ConCourt judge candidate


Appointing black judges to meet quota ‘patronising’‚ says ConCourt judge candidate

Naledi Shange | 2017-04-04 13:17:10.0

Steven Majiedt. File photo.

Image by: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

While the numbers of black‚ female judges in superiors courts were relatively low‚ Judge Steven Majiedt on Tuesday said it would be “patronising” for black judges to be appointed to superior positions because of quota.

Majiedt‚ who is being interviewed by the Judicial Services Commission for a Constitutional Court position‚ argued that adequate training needed to be given to black legal representatives to prepare them for such positions.

He felt he was ready to take on the position of a Constitutional Court justice‚ adding that he could not hold back from setting his sights on the position until the number of female representatives picked up.

Asked why he should be considered for the post‚ Majiedt called on the commission to look at the merits of all five judges who were being interviewed for the post.

He also called on them to look at race representation in the Constitutional Court. He highlighted that he classified himself as black and not coloured.

“Look at the ability and see who will enhance that court and add value to the court‚” he said.

Majiedt‚ who is currently serving in the Supreme Court of Appeal‚ echoed the words of Acting Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya‚ who had on Monday told the JSC that there were racial divisions within the court.

He highlighted though‚ that there had been a lot of changes recently.

“It’s not only the faces that have changed but also attitude‚” he said‚ adding that before this‚ some of the judges had attitudes of superiority.

Maya had taken the judges on a diversity seminar and things were improving.

Majiedt however‚ said the diversity seminar could be seen as “preaching to the church” as those who had issues were not always willing to participate in programs promoting change.

TMG Digital

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