Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has criticised individuals he claims are attempting to “delegitimise” the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
“A deliberate attempt is being made to delegitimise the JSC and through some scare tactics intimidate or mock the JSC into recommending … certain white men and at times certain women,” he said in a copy of a speech obtained by the SA Press Agency (Sapa) today.
“These developments seem to suggest that war has been declared against transformation.”
Mogoeng said it seemed these individuals wanted to discredit the JSC.
The chief justice was speaking to Advocates for Transformation (AFT) in Cape Town on Saturday.
He told the AFT that it and other “progressive organisations” had to defeat resistance to transformation.
“I have come to challenge you and other genuinely progressive bodies to resist all efforts geared at the protection of white-male dominance in the professions and the Bench,” Mogoeng said.
“The apparent discomfort with the progress we are making in transforming the judiciary … must be dealt with decisively.”
Earlier this year, JSC official Izak Smuts resigned amid controversy about a discussion document he wrote, criticising the way the JSC overlooked white men for judicial appointments.
Mogoeng said the individuals and NGOs who spoke regularly about the “perceived” problem areas in the JSC were mainly concerned about appointments.
“They seem to be more concerned about white men who are not appointed and do not seem to be concerned about the reasons for not recommending them for appointment,” he said.
Members of the profession had to lead the charge on the transformation of the judiciary.
“Sadly, they are conspicuous by their silence,” Mogoeng said.
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