Madlanga aces questioning, wins ConCourt seat

16 April 2013 - 02:48 By Sapa
Advocate Mbuyiseli Madlanga. File photo.
Advocate Mbuyiseli Madlanga. File photo.

President Jacob Zuma has appointed Mbuyiseli Madlanga SC as a Constitutional Court judge from August 1, The Presidency said yesterday.

"I congratulate advocate Madlanga on his appointment and wish him all the best in this new role of promoting constitutional justice in our country," Zuma said.

Madlanga is currently an evidence leader at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the deaths of 44 people in wage-related protests in Marikana, North West, last year.

He was also the evidence leader in the inquiry into national police commissioner Bheki Cele's fitness to hold office.

Madlanga was the only candidate who had been an acting judge on the Constitutional Court - for four terms, an unusually long stint.

During Judicial Service Commission interviews for the position in February, he dealt deftly with potentially sticky questions.

He was candid about his resignation from the bench in 2001 - resignations have in the past been frowned on by JSC commissioners - saying it was well known at the time that he did so because he could not afford to continue as a judge.

He said he joined the bench when young and had six children to take care of and a bond to repay.

He said, at the time, he had explained this to then chief justice Arthur Chaskalson and to then justice minister Penuell Maduna.

He said, since then, his circumstances had changed.

On a 1998 judgment for which he had been criticised he said he was the first to accept that the judgment that overturned his was correct.

Commissioner Izak Smuts, who resigned from the JSC last week, added that the judgment was written in the early days of the constitution - "an explorative phase".