Pres. Zuma’s “unprovoked announcement” to withdraw three respected legal brains from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has raised the ire of Economic Freedom Fighters.
Pres. Zuma announced in a statement on Thursday that according to a section of the Constitution‚ “members of the JSC served until they are replaced by those who designated them“.
The brief statement read: “The President has decided to replace the following three members:
– Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC
– Advocate Ismael Semenya SC
– Ms Andiswa Ndoni.
“The President has thanked the outgoing members for their indelible contribution to the JSC and their sterling service to the nation.”
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said on Friday night:
“This announcement comes without any explanation or any provocation of either the underperformance of these members or request to be released from these members.”
“We view this move as rather directly provoked by JSC’s refusal to appoint Advocate (Gcina) Malindi who is an ANC prosecutor into the bench‚” he charged.
Four years ago‚ Malindi famously burst into tears as he tried to “protect the president’s dignity” when he represented Zuma‚ the ANC and Zuma’s children in their urgent application to prevent the public display of the portrait‚ The Spear.
Ndlozi praised the legal specialists being dropped from the JSC as “seasoned and some of the best minds with integrity in the JSC“.
“Despite it being in Zuma’s powers to remove them‚ it cannot be that this is without any valid explanation.
“The ANC and Zuma are therefore only trying to have yes men and women in the JSC so that the JSC can appoint judges who can rule in their favour…‚” he said.
The EFF also rejected the president’s recommendation to have Justice Raymond Zondo as the Deputy Chief Justice.
“We believe in his integrity and seniority as he has indeed been serving in the Constitutional Court already. He deserves to be in the highest court in the land as a seasoned judge and as a man of integrity. However‚ it is inexplicable why Zuma would ignore the acting Deputy Chief Justice Bess Nkabinde who has been serving in the Constitutional Court longer than Justice Zondo. Above all‚ in the interest of advancing the gender struggle‚ why ignore a woman‚ well qualified‚ with integrity and who is already acting in the position?…” Ndlozi asked.
“Less than a month ago‚ Zuma argued that South Africa is ready for a woman President. Yet‚ when opportunity is ripe to appoint a woman Justice to the high position of Deputy Chief Justice‚ he does not.”