Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola will appoint 207 new magistrates with effect from February 2020 with the focus being to strengthen gender transformation, the department said on Monday.
In a statement issued on Monday, the department said Lamola had considered the recommendations made by the committee of the Magistrate’s Commission, which were submitted in September.
The interviews of the 608 candidates took place between March 4 and April 29, the department said.
“A fully transformed judiciary is a constitutional imperative. The new appointments will go a long way in further transforming our magistracy to reflect the demographics of our country.
“More than half of our country’s population is female and therefore it is important that our bench reflects this.”
The department also said that progress had been made over the last two decades in terms of gender transformation.
It said, before the new appointments, there had been 758 female magistrates nationally in June.
“This equates to an increase of 166.9% in the number of female magistrates from December 1998 to June 2019.”
The new appointments would strengthen transformation as 105 were female, bringing the total number of female magistrates to 863 out of a total of 1 803 magistrates, the department said.
“This means that 47.8% of our magistracy are female. The filling of these vacancies is an important step in capacitating our judicial officers and our courts, so as to enable them to deliver justice to all.”