Smuts delivers parting shot

South Africa
Advocate Isak Smuts SC says, in his experience, there is an approach by the Judicial Service Commission that is negatively inclined towards white male applicants for judicial appointments, irrespective of their skills and merit. eNCA

CAPE TOWN -  Advocate Isak Smuts a member of the Judicial Service Commission has resigned from his position on the JSC.

Smuts, who represents the advocates' profession, informed the commission on Friday that he was quitting, while the JSC was doing its last round of interviews to fill vacancies on the bench.

In a statement handed to reporters shortly after proceedings, Smuts launched a scathing attack on the JSC, similar to comments he made on the issue of transformation in a document handed to the JSC earlier in the week.

His discussion paper was titled: "Transformation and the Judicial Service Commission", in which he complains white males are being unfairly overlooked for judicial appointment.

In it, he reportedly said there exists "a very real perception in certain quarters that the JSC is, in general, set against the appointment of white male candidates except in exceptional circumstances".

In Friday's statement he described the track record of the JSC, during the few years he served on it, as "disturbing".

JSC spokesman Dumisa Ntsebeza said Smuts did not refer to any such statements when he informed them of his resignation on Friday.

"He said this would be his last day and he was resigning for obvious reasons," Ntsebeza said.

 

-Sapa

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