‘Leaked JSC document meant for internal debate’

The document was about the JSC’s approach to appointing white judges.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Tuesday said it is unfortunate that a document meant for internal debate was leaked to the media.

The document by Advocate Izak Smuts about the Judicial Services Commission (JSC)'s approach to appointing white judges has caused some controversy.

In it, Smuts reportedly said there was a very real perception the JSC was set against appointing white men except in exceptional circumstances.

Mogoeng said Smuts was asked to submit his views on transformation, but this was only meant for internal debate.

"It is unfortunate that this document, meant to stimulate internal debate and discussion, was released to some of commissioner Smuts' colleagues and to the media prior to the internal discussion for which it was commissioned. In this regard, the commission is of the view that was an error of judgment on the part of commissioner Smuts. He has apologised."

Mogoeng says the JSC had a lengthy and robust debate on the matter.

The JSC gathered in Cape Town to interview candidates for the Supreme Court of Appeal and various high court posts.