SAJBD responds to JSC

Board of Deputies deplore politicisation of judicial selection process

SAJBD responds to JSC: We deplore the politicisation of the judicial selection process

6 May 2021  

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has approached the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for a meeting to discuss the discriminatory and unconstitutional manner in which two Jewish candidates for judicial positions were treated during the recent JSC interviews.  During these interviews, it was patently obvious that even being associated with the representative body of South African Jewry could jeopardise the candidates’ chances of being appointed. We request that the JSC provide copies of the letters “from various organisations” that it relied upon when adopting this line of questioning. 

The SAJBD deplores this overt politicisation of the judicial selection process. Eligibility for the bench cannot be made contingent on holding the ‘right’ political opinions.  The intrusion of politically-motivated considerations into how the judiciary operates seriously compromises judicial independence, one of the cornerstones of our democracy. It further violates the constitutional right of Jewish community members not to be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of their beliefs, identity and/or associations.  

Issued by Wendy Kahn, National Director, SAJBD, 6 May 2021