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Thu Apr 24 08:03:42 SAST 2014

Judge Davis is not the best of arbiters: iLIVE

Cliff Saunders, Northcliff | 26 November, 2012 00:29
Judge Davis says debate is needed over Constitutional Court judges. © Unknown. COURT OUT: Judge Dennis Davis presents Judge for Yourself. © Unknown.

Why am I not surprised by Judge Dennis Davis' remarks ("Take politics out of courts", November 23), which favoured the ANC's point of view during his judgment on the no confidence debate controversy involving President Jacob Zuma.

In essence, the judge rebuked politicians for running to the courts whenever they have a serious disagreement.

The ANC could not contain its pleasure and declared, "Judge Davis concurred with our view", although constitutional law expert Paul Hoffman disagreed with the Davis judgment.

This is a judge who loves the limelight - as evidenced by his television programme, Judge For Yourself.

In June, I sent an e-mail to the programme's executive producer, Barbara Friedman, complaining about the blatant bias that prevailed when Davis interviewed the head of the FW de Klerk Foundation, Dave Steward, and two pro-ANC panellists. The topic on that show centred on remarks that De Klerk made about apartheid [on CNN].

Steward didn't stand a chance.

Not only did the two pro-ANC panellists hammer him mercilessly, but I was also shocked when I heard an equally abrasive Davis refer to De Klerk as "being in his dotage".

The ultimate insult I'd say - and that from the anchor of a panel discussion.

The executive producer responded to my written complaints by assuring me that she had "forwarded" my e-mail to the judge, who was on holiday, and that "he will deal with the matter when he returns".

Five months later, that has not happened.

A judge should stick to his job and not seek fame through controversial television shows, which often serve to reveal his prejudices and lack of fairness and balance.

Will the ANC be offering him a job - eventually?

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Thu Apr 24 08:03:42 SAST 2014 ::