News / South Africa

Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
2 minute read
6 Oct 2021
8:31 pm

High court candidates wait for nod

Bernadette Wicks

The JSC has recommended 10 candidates for appointment to the bench of the High Court in Pretoria and in Johannesburg.

The Constitutional Court full bench. Picture: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Alon Skuy

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended 10 candidates for appointment to the bench of the High Court in Pretoria and in Johannesburg.

This comes on the back of two days of interviews with a total of 17 candidates.

The candidates recommended are attorneys Noluntu Bam, Jabulani Dlamini, Mncedisi Patrick Khumalo and Anthony Millar; advocates Allyson Crutchfield, Harshila Khoosal Kooverjie, Steven Kuny, Cassim Ismail Moosa and Jabulani Nyathi; and Soweto-based regional magistrate Dario Dosio.

Their appointments still have to be confirmed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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The candidates faced some tough questions from the panel, with attorney Livhuwani Betty Vuma – ultimately not recommended – on Wednesday on the receiving end of a gruelling line of questioning around a decision she had taken during a previous acting stint on the bench to deal with an urgent after-hours matter at a Spur.

The incident was raised by Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, who asked Vuma to confirm it.

Although she denied that, as Mlambo had suggested, she had “refused” to go to court, Vuma did admit the incident had taken place.

She said that she had been scared to go into the Johannesburg city centre at night but was at pains to apologise for it.

EFF leader Julius Malema made much of the fact that Spur sold alcohol – suggesting “next it could be a tavern”.

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Again, a contrite Vuma apologised but highlighted she had arranged with the manager to be seated in a quiet spot where things weren’t too “rowdy”.

This didn’t appear to placate Malema, though, who went on to ask Vuma whether she didn’t want to withdraw her candidacy in light of the fact that she had admitted to bringing the judiciary into disrepute.

She, insisted she did not.

Pressed further by ANC MP Archibold Jomo Nyambi about the message her potential appointment would send, she said: “I am still a fit and proper person and I qualify to be a judge,” adding that if she were not appointed, the message sent would be that “we are not a forgiving people”.