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17 Sep 2009 07:06
A third candidate to fill vacancies on the Constitutional Court bench has withdrawn, Business Day reported on Thursday.
Judge Shehnaz Meer of the Western Cape High Court and Land Claims Court is the third to withdraw after Supreme Court of Appeal judges Belinda van Heerden and Robert Nugent.
Her withdrawal comes amid talk of a loss of confidence in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which is conducting the interviews, especially after it decided three weeks ago not to hold a formal inquiry into the dispute between Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe and Constitutional Court judges.
JSC secretary Vuyelwa Masangwana confirmed that Meer had withdrawn, and said she did not give reasons.
Meer could not be reached for comment.
Former Constitutional Court Judge Johann Kriegler has said the interviews were “impaired” because of the JSC’s decision in the Hlophe dispute.
Kriegler, who is challenging the decision on Hlophe in court, said he had been approached by five candidates who had wanted to withdraw.
He managed to persuade four of them to stay in the race, but could not persuade Nugent, who had told Kriegler that he was “not prepared to submit his candidacy to the deliberations of people he does not trust”.
Van Heerden withdrew before the JSC’s decision in the Hlophe matter.
It is said that the four positions at the Constitutional Court, due to fall vacant next month, will be the most significant appointments since its establishment.—Sapa
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