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Opposition call for Justice minister to resign over refusal to appoint White judges January 28, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in ANC Racism, Anti-White, Brigitte Mabandla, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Democratic Alliance, discrimination aginst whites, Free State, Freedom Front Plus, Geoff Budlinder, Inkatha Freedom Party, Koos van der Merwe, reverse racism, White, Whites.

Opposition parties have called for the resignation of Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla, and accused her of racism and of sabotaging the judiciary for her refusal to appoint white male acting judges in the Free State to fill temporary vacancies.

The Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus and the Inkatha Freedom Party warned yesterday that Mabandla’s refusal will further serve to hamper the sound administration of justice and lead to further backlogs in the Free State court.

Mabandla’s ban on the appointment of white judges in the Free State, which was reported earlier this week, sent shockwaves through the opposition, with the DA’s Justice spokeswoman Sheila Camerer accusing her of putting “politicking around transformation issues ahead of sound justice administration”.

The IFP’s Justice spokesman Koos van der Merwe said yesterday that Mabandla has demonstrated, through the ban, that she is racist and that she has no regard for the judiciary.

“This is not the first time that racism has reared its ugly head in the appointment of judges,” Van der Merwe said in a statement.

“We vividly remember how advocate Geoff Budlinder SC, a staunch ANC supporter, was refused an appointment as a judge simply because he is white. We also remember the words of Judge Cachalia, referring to the lack of skills of judges, when he said: ‘our chickens are coming home to roost’.”

Van der Merwe said there are “literally hundreds” of reserved judgments that are not being delivered. What is needed in the interest of the judiciary is for competent persons to be appointed to the bench, irrespective of the colour of their skin, he said.

“There are excellent black judges on the bench, but the pool from which they come is still small. We need much more patience in transforming the bench. The minister, in banning the appointment of white judges, demonstrates that she does not care at all that 25% of the criminal matters will now have to be postponed in the Free State; that many thousands of rands will be wasted …,” Van der Merwe said.

The IFP chief whip continued: “In view of Ms Mabandla’s demonstration of racism, and in particular in the light of the minister recently being found guilty by the Human Rights Commission for the violation of human rights, the time has come for President [Thabo] Mbeki to replace the minister with a responsible, competent incumbent who has the interests of the judiciary at heart.”

The DA’s Camerer said that while the JSC has urged the minister to give, particularly women, an opportunity to act as judges, no quota system operates or should operate as far as temporary acting appointments are concerned. “People are appointed to get the job done,’’ she said.

“Mabandla, who scored three out of ten in the DA’s Cabinet report card last year, is again demonstrating weak and misdirected management.’’

FF Plus Justice spokesman Frik van Heerden described Mabandla’s decision as “shockingly inappropriate, irresponsible and blatant racism and discrimination based upon race and gender”. He continued: “The Free State division of the high court has always had an excellent reputation. There have always been, and there still are, experienced people of quality to appoint as acting judges”. He described Mabandla as “undoubtedly the weakest minister of Justice since 1994. She has to urgently be replaced. A weaker minister than herself can undoubtedly not be found,” he said.

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: The Witness

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