LSSA urges JSC to scrutinise judicial candidates for racist tendencies

June 1st, 2017

By Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) once again condemned any form of racism in society and particularly within the judiciary. This comes after the LSSA noted the resignation of High Court Judge Mabel Jansen, as announced by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in early May.

In a press release, the LSSA said that as a profession and a country we rightly look on our independent judiciary with pride. ‘The now infamous comments by Judge Jansen on social media have been correctly condemned in all sectors of our society,’ said LSSA Co-chairpersons Walid Brown and David Bekker.

‘However, there is no place for any undercurrent of racism in judges appointed to the Bench. In this regard the recent revelations at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews about alleged institutional racism in some of our courts, are also noted. Should these allegations be based on any semblance of fact, it is also condemned unconditionally,’ the co-chairpersons stated in the press release.

They went on to encourage the JSC to continue interrogating any potential judicial appointees on any history of racist tendencies. ‘In order for us to move forward as a society we need to start respecting each individual as an equal, as enshrined in our Constitution,’ the LSSA said.

Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele, Communications Officer, Law Society of South Africa,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2017 (June) DR 19.