JSC to remove sexual harassment references from Mlambo interview

Mlambo was effectively ambushed as he was not informed that the issue would be raised during his interview for the position of chief justice on Thursday, in accordance with the JSC’s rules of procedure.

Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo being interviewed on 3 February 2022 by the Judicial Service Commission for the Chief Justice position. Picture: @OCJ_RSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - All references to an unfounded allegation of sexual harassment against Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo are to be deleted from the record of the proceedings of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Mlambo was effectively ambushed as he was not informed that the issue would be raised during his interview for the position of Chief Justice on Thursday, in accordance with the JSC’s rules of procedure.

Mlambo denied the rumour as baseless and said that it was clearly intended “to poison his candidature” for the judiciary’s top job.

The acting president of the JSC, Xola Petse, has ruled that questions and answers relating to the rumour be expunged from the record of proceedings.

“Although Judge President Mlambo elected to answer those allegations and in fact refuted them, he was not forewarned that those rumours would be raised with him during his interview and coupled with the fact that we have nothing concrete by way of writing submitted to the commission, fairness dictates that we should not have regard to those rumours,” Petse said.

Petse made his ruling hours after Mlambo faced lengthy questioning by commissioners Dali Mpofu, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and KwaZulu-Natal advocate, Griffiths Madonsela. It’s unclear why he didn’t step in sooner.

Earlier, Mlambo highlighted that judges were having to navigate a toxic environment blighted by polarised politics, a scenario that played out at the JSC on Thursday.