White lawyer appointed as senior magistrate after 12 years of litigation against justice department

22 October 2021 - 22:26
The minister of justice and correctional services, Ronald Lamola, has appointed Martin Kroukamp as a senior magistrate.
The minister of justice and correctional services, Ronald Lamola, has appointed Martin Kroukamp as a senior magistrate.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola has appointed Martin Kroukamp as a senior magistrate — after 12 years of litigation.

The case against the justice department started when Kroukamp was excluded from promotion based on his race. Solidarity took the matter to the Equality Court, which ruled on August 16 2021 that Kroukamp be appointed to the post.

Lamola signed the appointment letter on October 10.

“We are extremely pleased by the ruling, and we welcome Mr Kroukamp’s eventual appointment made in terms of this ruling. The message it sends out is clear and the government should take note that this type of discrimination will not be tolerated and that the correct action is indeed enforceable by a court of law,” said Anton van der Bijl, Solidarity’s head of legal matters.

According to Solidarity, Kroukamp’s case will also pave the way for future litigation regarding appointments by state departments.

Solidarity said the government must renounce its racial ideology and make appointments on the basis of the applicants’ knowledge and experience; race must thus be removed completely from the criteria.

“Kroukamp was appointed in an acting capacity in this position for a decade as the department refused point-blank to appoint him permanently because of the colour of his skin. It is absurd that race dictates appointments.

“Solidarity regards this ruling and appointment as a victory against this type of discrimination, and we will continue to fight for justice to be done for similar cases as well,” Van der Bijl said.

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