Gender Transformation In Spotlight At Judicial Service Commission
Women need to take on leadership roles in the judiciary, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Monday.
More needed to be done to fast-track gender transformation, he said on the first day of interviews for new judges. Mogoeng is chair of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
The first round of interviews was focused on positions for the deputy chief justice and for a position at the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Mogoeng and other commissioners questioned the first interviewee, Constitutional Court Justice Raymond Zondo, the only candidate nominated to replace retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke.
The panel focused on gender transformation and balance, and challenges facing women in the legal fraternity.
President Jacob Zuma nominated Zondo. If chosen, he would replace current acting Deputy Chief Justice Bess Nkabinde, whose term ends in December. Nkabinde was in attendance.
Zondo said more women needed to be supported and nominated to positions in the courts.
“The reality was that a lot of black lawyers did not have a lot of knowledge on labour law. In order to know labour law, you need to be given labour law work and a lot of black, [female] lawyers were not given the work,” he said.
Mogoeng mentioned that one of the recommendations about Zondo commended his support for and promotion of women within the judiciary.
The International Association of Women Judges had applauded Zondo for bringing women, such as Judge Mandisa Maya – who was nominated for the post of SCA president – Bess Nkabinde and Sisi Khampepe, into the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court.
In Cape Town, Zuma appointed advocates Thabani Masuku, Thandi Norman and Sifiso Msomi to the JSC. Zuma had initially expressed his intention to replace commissioners Dumisa Ntsebeza, SC, Ishmael Semenya, SC, and Andiswa Ndoni as early as March.
The JSC conducts interviews for judicial posts and makes recommendations for appointments to the president. If a nominee was not suitable, applications were opened again for more candidate nominations.