Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
12 Aug 2021
1:10 pm

Ramaphosa tells Zondo about ANC’s ‘preference’ for certain judges

Thapelo Lekabe

President Ramaphosa says the JSC exists as a 'safeguard' on the appointment of members of the judiciary.

Outgoing chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Gallo Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he sees nothing wrong with the ANC’s cadre deployment committee discussing the names of candidates the party prefers to be appointed to the judiciary.

Ramaphosa on Thursday told the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture that the deliberations of the committee were aimed at the transformation of the judiciary.

He said this should be viewed in a “positive light and spirit” as the ANC had always been at the forefront of transformation in the country.

“I want to hasten to add that without the governing party’s initiatives in this regard, many of the transformative processes that we have today in our country would not be there. Many people will deny this, but that is a fact,” Ramaphosa said.

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The commission’s evidence leader, advocate Paul Pretorius, revealed that the ANC’s cadre deployment committee met on 22 March 2019 and made its recommendations on the appointment of judges.

Pretorius said this was after the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC’s) screening committee compiled a shortlist of possible appointments to various positions in the judiciary.

“The deployment committee met in this regard and made its own recommendations after the shortlist was compiled and the interviews of the JSC occurred in April 2019,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the JSC existed as a “safeguard” on the appointment of members of the judiciary.

He said in the end, the names discussed by the ANC’s deployment committee were just preferences and not actual appointments.

“There have been times where the governing party would have wanted a particular candidate, and the candidate in the end was not appointed and a different one was.

“And to me it just shows the robustness of this whole process because in a way it shows the preference, but the preference in the end is not the appointed person or official,” Ramaphosa said.

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