Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/tfm72w

THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL OF SOUTH AFRICA

2 December 2021

Summary

This inevitably entails redressing the injustices of the past.17 [45] In his oral submissions, counsel for the amicus inter alia referred this Court to the judgment of the Equality Court in Singh v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others (Singh)18 on the basis that it is apposite to the interpretation of s 174(2) of the Constitution. [...] The appellants asserted that it was in the context of paying consideration to the afore-mentioned imbalance that the Committee took into account that the race profile was such that the proportion of white male magistrates constituted 26.5 percent of the total complement of the ‘Free State Cluster A lower court judiciary’ and was thus disproportionate to the population demographics in that area. [...] 24 [52] I am of the view that, given the history of our country, the stipulations of s 174(2) of the Constitution and the provisions of the AP, the mere allusion to the demographic composition of a specific office and the race of the respective applicants should not be considered to be a taboo topic. [...] [64] The record of the Committee’s meeting reveals that, in line with the AP, the Committee had paid due regard to the needs of the office, the practical managerial experience of the candidates, the racial and gender composition of that office and the population demographics of the area in which the court is situated. [...] [65] Considering the demographic composition of that office, the population demographics of that area, the experience of the candidates, including the fact that a fair number of the candidates had sufficient acting and/or managerial experience were available to address the demographic needs of that office, I am unable to agree with the first judgment’s conclusion that the Committee did not balance.

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