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WATCH | Mlambo battles questions on sexual harassment, Ramaphosa bias in chief justice interview

Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo faced allegations of sexual harassment and bias during his candidate interview for the role of chief justice.

03 February 2022 - 20:18 By DIANNE HAWKER and Demi Buzo

Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo fielded surprising questions about allegations of sexual harassment during his interview for chief justice which the JSC later agreed to ignore.

The question identified as the result of “rumours” was first fielded by advocate Dali Mpofu, a member of the Judicial Service Commission. Other commissioners then asked follow-up questions, prompting a debate about whether the issue should have been raised at all.

“It is a rumour that is difficult to pinpoint. The rumours don't identify anyone. I find it unfortunate that these rumours have made it into this process. Clearly its purpose is to poison my candidature,” Mlambo told the commission.

Mlambo has more than three decades of experience and has held several leadership positions.

During his designated time to share his vision if appointed chief justice, Justice Mlambo shared an extensive list of seven pillars of his vision which included in part effective and visible leadership within the judiciary, the introduction of efficiency measures into judicial operations and the modernisation of the courts which he said, if appointed, he would “champion” to influence his colleagues within the courts.

Several questions of his coherence in making rulings in high profile cases were brought forward. When asked by commissioner Griffiths Madonsela whether he favoured the Ramaphosa administration based on trends seen in how he litigated cases of the previous administration, Mlambo said, “The generalisation is unfortunate and unfair.”

Mlambo said he “valued his independence, impartiality and open-mindedness”.

The JSC will interview acting chief justice Raymond Zondo on Friday.

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