White judge supports transformation but believes there might be slot for him at SCA

10 April 2018 - 11:57
By Ernest Mabuza
President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Mandisa Maya.
Image: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Alon Skuy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Mandisa Maya.

A white male judge applying for one of three positions with the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) supports transformation but believes there might be a slot for him in that court.

Pieter Meyer‚ a judge at the Johannesburg High Court‚ was being interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission for one of the positions. Eight other candidates‚ including four women‚ are also in the running.

The white judges were asked whether they would feel slighted in the event that black candidates were chosen. SCA President Mandisa Maya on Tuesday asked Meyer an “unfair question” which she had also put to his competitors.

“Why should you be appointed over women and black candidates vying for these very same posts who had not had the opportunity to hone their legal skills as sharply as you have as a white male? The simple question is: how do we transform the SCA without weakening its intellectual capacity?” Maya asked Meyer.

Meyer said he did not think that Maya’s question was unfair.

“I am on record in this commission. I have said that I believe absolutely in transformation and the only reason why I make myself available is in case there is a slot for me.

“But that is what the commission needs to decide and I know that you have got a very difficult function‚ to weigh up all the different interests and to decide on who the candidates should be to be appointed‚ but for myself‚ I absolutely believe in transformation.”

Meyer said he thought he was suitable for the position as he had been a judge in one of the busiest courts for the past 11 years.

“I think I am equipped to take my 31 years experience now into the SCA. You will have noticed from the comments received about me that I like to engage practitioners when they appear before me‚” Meyer said.

“I respect people‚ so I think I can add value to the SCA‚ especially with all my experience that I gained over many years on most of the disciplines of law.”

The interviews continue.