Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has been asked to consider taking over from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
This is despite the controversy surrounding his tenure in the judiciary and the litigation he has lodged against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over his looming axing. The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) admitted that it supported Judge Hlophe’s nomination to be the country’s most senior judicial officer despite not nominating him.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office is expected to release the names of the nominees for the position today.
In its letter of support, the BLA said Judge Hlophe is an experienced judged who has provided interesting insights into the country’s jurisprudence. In terms of the Constitution, the Chief Justice is ‘the head of the judiciary and exercises responsibility over the establishment and monitoring of norms and standards for the exercise of the judicial functions of all courts’,” Ramaphosa explained.
According to the Constitution, the Chief Justice is responsible for leading the creation of jurisprudence as he or she presides over proceedings of the Constitutional Court. A panel of eminent persons is reviewing submissions of candidates.
The panel is headed by former commissioner for human rights in the United Nations, Judge Navi Pillay, and includes Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, his predecessor Jeff Radebe, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, the co-chairperson of the SA National AIDS Council Mmapaseka Letsike as well as Prof. Ziyad Motala from the Howard University School of Law.
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