Interviews begin for ConCourt vacancy

The JSC is expected to start interviewing candidates for a vacancy in the Constitutional Court today.

The JSC is expected to have to deal with political hot potatoes when it starts to interview five candidates for a vacancy in the Constitutional Court on Friday. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is on Friday expected to start interviewing five candidates for a vacancy in the Constitutional Court.

The commission was this week criticised after no female judges were nominated to the court, while there has also been controversy over its treatment of Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett.

Senior legal figures have said the JSC should have tried harder to ensure that a woman was interviewed for the spot, but the commission said no women were nominated and it had to fill the vacancy.

Currently, only two of the sitting 10 Constitutional Court judges are women.

The five candidates vying to fill the post left by retiring Justice Zak Yacoob are judges Selby Baqwa, Brian Spilg, Lebotsang Bosielo and advocates Jeremy Gauntlett and Mbuyiseli Madlanga.

Gauntlett has been interviewed for a judicial post several times before.

Last year, the JSC said it turned him down because of his judicial temperament and not because of his expertise.

This has led to claims other senior legal figures could take the JSC to court if it does not appoint him this time around.

The JSC has to send four names to President Jacob Zuma, so it could include Gauntlett on that list and leave the final decision to him.