Minister Jeff Radebe, former Minister of Justice, must today explain to the North Gauteng High Court, sitting as an Equality Court, why he had blatantly ignored a recommendation by the Magistrate’s Commission to promote magistrate Martin Kroukamp to the position of senior magistrate at the Alberton Magistrate’s Court in 2014.
Anton Van der Bijl, head of Labour Law Services at Solidarity, contends that this case is a typical example of government’s thoughtless pursuit of transformation targets at the expense of merit. “Apparently, Kroukamp was not appointed as his appointment would not promote transformation. The public has been deprived of the services of a competent and qualified magistrate because of his skin colour. It is a sad state of affairs when a person’s worth is reduced to arbitrational grounds such as race,” said Van der Bijl.
According to Anton van der Bijl, Article 10 read together with section 9(1) of the Magistrate’s Court Act (No 32 of 1944), the minister may appoint any qualified and suitable person. Van der Bijl emphasised, however, that when decisions are made, the Minister should make an appointment based on the recommendation of the Magistrate’s Commission. “Despite the fact that the Magistrate’s Commission recommended Kroukamp as the only suitable candidate, he was nonetheless overlooked by Radebe because of being of the wrong skin colour,” Van der Bijl said.
“We are committed to the struggle for an equal South Africa where people would be in a position to compete on an equal footing,” Van der Bijl concluded.
To read all the court papers, click here.