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Pressure on to fill Concourt post

14 Jul 2015 - 10:30

by Franny Rabkin

WHEN it comes to the Constitutional Court, it is a bit unfair that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has borne the brunt of criticism that there are not enough women on its bench.

The criticism should be directed at President Jacob Zuma because Constitutional Court appointments work differently to other courts.

The president’s role is a rubber stamp with the rest of the courts: he must appoint those who are recommended by the JSC. But for the Constitutional Court, the JSC has to give the president a list of names, with three more names than the number of vacancies, and he then makes his choice.

Since Zuma became president, there have been three rounds of interviews for the highest court.

In two of the three rounds, the JSC gave him female options to choose. But he has only appointed one woman to the Constitutional Court — Justice Sisi Khampepe in 2009.

In interviews that will be conducted on Thursday, all the candidates are women. They are: Supreme Court of Appeal justices Nonkosi Mhlantla, Zukisa Tshiqi and Leona Theron and KwaZulu-Natal High Court judge Dhaya Pillay.

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