South Africa

Newsflash: Ramaphosa announces four replacements for Judicial Service Commission

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced four candidates to be designated to the Judicial Service Commission, replacing members appointed by former President Jacob Zuma.

The Constitution makes provision for the designation by the president of four individuals to the Judicial Service Commission. 

President Cyril Ramphosa has written to the leaders of all parties represented in the National Assembly announcing his four candidates, drawn exclusively from the legal profession. They are Hlaleleni Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu, advocates Thandazani Griffitsa Madonsela and Mikateko Joyce Maluleke as well as Doris Lebogang Tshepe.

They will replace advocates Lindi Nkosi-Thomas SC, Thandi Norman SC, Thabani Masuku SC and Sifiso Msomi who were all designated by former President Jacob Zuma.

Matolo-Dlepu is the present chair of the Legal Practice Council and past co-chair of the Law Society of SA where she served on the gender committee. She is the director of Molefe-Dlepu Incorporated and was vice president of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) from 2012 to 2013.

Madonsela was Assistant State Attorney in Durban and a member of BLA’s Durban branch. He was called to the bar in 2001 and is a member of Advocates for Transformation and has served as AFT’s representative on the Bar Council of the KZN Society of Advocates. Madonsela had a commercial practice and acted as a judge of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in 2011.

Maluleke is a former director in the Gender Directorate of the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and a former special adviser to former Minister for Women, Lulu Xingwana. Maluleke has a BA LLB and LLM in tax law.

She also headed several projects including the monitoring and evaluation of all programmes of the DOJ for compliance with international and national obligations. Maluleke brings with her extensive knowledge of customary law.

Tshepe is an attorney at Cheadle and Haysom and has been managing director of the firm since 2006. She heads the commercial and communication law department in the firm. Tshepe is a non-executive director of Transnet SOC (Ltd), chairing the Risk Committee. She is also a non-executive director of Boardroom Alliance (Pty) Ltd. Tshepe holds a B Proc degree from the University of Limpopo, a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Masters in Tax Law (LLM) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Section 178 (1) (I) of the Constitution empowers the president, as head of the national executive, to designate four persons as members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). 

The function of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is to perform an advisory role to the president and national government on matters relating to the judiciary or administration of justice. 

It is also tasked with interviewing candidates for available judicial posts and following these, makes recommendations for appointment to the Bench to the president as well as attending to all complaints brought against judges.

The JSC has faced mounting criticism for its tardy record in pursuing and completing complaints laid against judges, most notably Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe. 

The JSC currently consists of 23 representatives of government structures and the South African legal community and is chaired by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. 

Other office-bearers in the JSC management structure are President of the Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Mandisa Maya, North West Judge President Monica Leeuw and Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. 

Also on the commission are Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola while advocates Dali Mpofu and Jennifer Cane represent the Bar. Representing attorneys are Lutendo Sigogo and CP Fourie.

Commissioners include six National Assembly members, three drawn from the ANC — Thandi Modise, Vusumuzi Xaba and Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe — as well as the EFF’s Julius Malema, the DA’s Glynis Breytenbach and the IFP’s Narend Singh.

Professor of Law Nomthandazo Ntlama was appointed in terms of Section 178 (1) g and four permanent delegates from the National Council of Provinces are Sylvia Lucas, Thamsanqa Dodovu, Kenneth Mmoiemang and Archibold Jomo Nyambi. DM