'Judiciary must be transformed'
Chief Justice says transformation is just as important as merit when appointing new judges.
CAPE TOWN - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Tuesday the judiciary must be transformed and it doesn't need to apologise for this.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) made headlines this week after a leaked document by one of its commissioners spoke about a perception that it is against appointing white men as judges.
Mogoeng said the JSC, which has gathered in Cape Town to interview candidates for various courts this week has had a lengthy and robust debate about this issue, which was fleshed out in a document compiled by one of its own commissioners Izak Smuts.
He is it is not a constitutional requirement for the best of the best to be appointed.
"Merit does count but it is not all about merit. Transformation is just as important to avoid a situation that former President Nelson Mandela complained about. I think it was during the Rivonia trial where he said he felt like a black man in a white man's court."
Mogoeng said it was unfortunate that Smuts' document about transformation was leaked to the media as it was meant for internal debate.