Parliament names JSC members

Parliament on Tuesday appointed six MPs, half of them from the opposition, to serve on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which advises the president on the appointment of judges.

The National Assembly approved Cecil Burgess, Fatima Chohan and Ngoako Ramatlhodi from the African National Congress to serve on the JSC.

Those named from opposition ranks are the Democratic Alliance’s Hendrik Schmidt, Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille and Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Koos van der Merwe.

They were named amid reports on Tuesday that President Jacob Zuma, who has the prerogative of naming four new members of the JSC, is in no hurry to do so.

The Cape Times quoted presidential spokesperson Thabo Masebe as saying “there are no plans at the moment” to change the presidential nominees on the body.

The National Assembly in the same session also approved the nomination of four members of the Magistrate’s Commission.

They are Mike Masutha and Nduduzi Manana from the ANC, Deborah Schafer from the DA and Steve Swart from the African Christian Democratic Party.

The president appoints the chief justice, deputy chief justice and the president and deputy president of the appeal court in consultation with the JSC, and the rest of the country’s judges on the basis of advice from the body.

The president’s four nominees serve on the JSC complaints committee, which is currently wrestling with the misconduct allegations against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, but those named by Parliament do not.—Sapa

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