Two attorneys recommended to fill vacancies on the Bench

June 1st, 2012
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By Nomfundo Manyathi

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended two attorneys to fill vacancies on the Bench in its latest list of recommendations to President Jacob Zuma. The JSC held interviews for shortlisted candidates from 16 to 19 April in Cape Town for positions at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and for various divisions of the High Court.

In total, 21 candidates, including three attorneys, were interviewed for 12 available vacancies.

Mthatha attorney Duncan Dukada has been recommended to become a judge at the Eastern Cape High Court in Bhisho. The JSC advertised a single vacancy at this court and four candidates were shortlisted and interviewed for the position.

Mr Dukada was admitted as an attorney in 1982. He was also admitted as a notary in 1988 and as a conveyancer in 1994. The 58-year-old obtained a BJuris degree at the University of Fort Hare in 1977 and an LLB at the University of South Africa in 1981. He has been a practising attorney at DZ Dukada & Co since 1986 and has acted as judge for a number of terms since September 2008.

Elizabeth Kubushi (52) is the other attorney that has been recommended for appointment. Ms Kubushi has been recommended for a position at the North and South Gauteng High Court, for which five candidates were shortlisted and interviewed for six vacancies.

Ms Kubushi was first admitted as an attorney in November 1987 and acted as a judge from February to December 2011 and, more recently, from January to March 2012. She was employed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as a state attorney in 1998. In 2002 she worked as a special adviser to the Minister of Defence and later as chief defence of legal services in the Department of Defence.

When Ms Kubushi left government, she registered to practise as an attorney again in January 2011.

The JSC recommended two other candidates for positions at this court, advocates Selby Baqwa and Bashier Vally. The remaining three vacancies will be re-advertised.

Other recommendations made by the JSC include:

  • Judge President of the Labour Court Dunstan Mlambo (52), who has been recommended for appointment as Judge President of the North and South Gauteng High Court. This appointment will take effect on 1 November 2012 when Judge President Bernard Ngoepe retires from the position. Two other candidates were interviewed for the post, Judge Frans Legodi (57) of the North Gauteng High Court and Deputy Judge President of the South Gauteng High Court Phineas Mojapelo (60).
  • Bulelwa Pakati has been recommended to fill a single vacancy at the Northern Cape High Court.
  • Justice Xola Petse, who has acted as Deputy Judge President of the Eastern Cape High Court and as an acting judge at the SCA, and Eastern Cape Judge Ronnie Pillay, both of whom have been recommended for appointment at the SCA.

The JSC also interviewed two candidates for the vacancy of Deputy Judge President at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, but decided not to recommend any of the candidates.

JSC spokesperson Dumisa Ntsebeza told De Rebus that the vacancies for which no one was recommended would be re-advertised and candidates would be interviewed at the JSC’s next sitting in October. Mr Ntsebeza said that the reason some candidates were not recommended was because they did not obtain a majority vote from the JSC members. He reiterated his call for appropriately qualified candidates to make themselves available for appointment. He added that the JSC would have a special sitting on 9 June to interview shortlisted candidates for the vacancy at the Constitutional Court following the retirement of former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo.

On 11 May the JSC announced the names of the four candidates who will be interviewed for the Constitutional Court position. These are Judges Lebotsang ‘Ronnie’ Bosielo, Mandisa Maya and Robert Nugent, all from the Supreme Court of Appeal, as well as North Gauteng High Court Judge Raymond Zondo. Judges Maya and Zondo recently acted as judges of the Constitutional Court.

Nomfundo Manyathi, nomfundo@derebus.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (June) DR 8.