The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Monday evening shortlisted five candidates to fill two positions at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).
The shortlisted candidates are judges:
- Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane
- Jody Kollapen
- Rammaka Mathopo
- Mahube Molemela
- Bashier Vally
The candidates’ names will now be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for consideration after the JSC had to redo the interviews on Monday, after widespread criticism over the questions put to candidates earlier this year in April.
In terms of section 174(4) of the Constitution, the president appoints justices of the ConCourt following consultation with the chief justice and leaders of political parties represented in the JSC.
During his interview, Johannesburg High Court Judge Kollapen shot down the notion that a “judicial dictatorship” was emerging in South Africa.
Asked for his thoughts on the idea that a “judicial dictatorship” was taking hold of the country – a sentiment harboured by former president Jacob Zuma and some of his supporters in recent months and years – Kollapen said he did not believe this to be the case.
“And if that is the perception, it’s unfortunate because judges don’t decide matters based on their own individual idiosyncrasies. We take an oath of office,” he said.
Kollapen did say, however, that it was important to debate the topic when and as it arose.
One of the seven candidates interviewed by the JSC who did not make the shortlist, advocate Alan Dodson, faced a grilling from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who questioned him on how long the court should take to rule on urgent applications.
In response, Dodson said it was “almost like asking how long is a piece of string” and pointed to the challenges that arise because of the number of justices on the bench.
He was also questioned at length over being the only candidate who is not a sitting judge, with advocate Dali Mpofu touching on the fact that he is a white man.