Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

JSC an ‘extension of ANC’s cadre deployment committee’, says Zille

Zille says politicians should not serve as members of the JSC.

Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chair Helen Zille has accused the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of behaving like an extension of the ANC’s cadre deployment committee when it comes to the appointment of judges.

While she says not all members of the judiciary are corrupt, Zille claims she has witnessed the ANC’s MPs serving on the JSC coming with pre-determined outcomes on individuals to be nominated to the bench.

She says this has resulted in the JSC behaving like the ANC’s cadre deployment committee, despite having opposition MPs as members.

“I’m afraid, tragically, the JSC became an extension of the ANC’s deployment committee.

”That’s what happened to that body and it is the biggest tragedy and part of the total farce and undermining of the South African state and the hollowing out of state institutions that the ANC’s cadre deployment committee has meant,” Zille said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Wednesday evening.

“The judiciary is not entirely gone yet, but believe me, that JSC behaves like an ANC deployment committee very often,” she added.

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Zille said because of the ANC’s majority in Parliament and in the JSC, the party has been able to nominate judges it prefers which makes them beholden to the governing party.

“There are many very good judges but believe me, I saw the rot enter when I sat on the JSC and saw it with the majority of ANC deployees seeking to get judges on the bench that would do the ANC’s bidding,” she said.

“The ANC’s MPs to the JSC constitute a majority on that body… I would see them come there with their minds made up as to who they were going to support to become judges.”

Role of politicians on JSC

It is for this reason, Zille says, politicians should not serve as members of the JSC.

She said when she was a JSC member, she often sent “a very respected lawyer” on her behalf to avoid conflict of interest.

“I don’t think that’s a place for politicians. You have to have a separation between political parties and the judiciary and there’s got to be a Chinese wall. Politicians should not be able to influence appointments to the bench,” she said.

Zille said even President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted to the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture that the ANC’s cadre deployment committee discussed the names of candidates it wanted to nominate for the bench.

She said this needed to be investigated, as well as claims that some judges were paid money by the State Security Agency (SSA) to influence the outcome of court cases involving former president Jacob Zuma.

“Now if that isn’t corruption, I don’t know what is. And we need to know who was deployed to the judiciary on the instructions of the ANC.”

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