Five candidates will vie for two vacancies in South Africa‘s Constitutional Court, with interviews set to start on Tuesday.
Newly-appointed chief justice Raymond Zondo will chair the interviews from 9am to 3pm.
The candidates are advocate Alan Dodson SC, Gauteng high court judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane, Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judge Mahube Molemela, SCA judge Owen Rogers and Gauteng high court judge David Unterhalter.
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For judge Rogers it will be the first time he is interviewed for a vacancy at the apex court.
Initially, six candidates were shortlisted, but Johannesburg judge Keoagile Matojane withdrew his candidacy.
Section 174(4)(a) of the constitution requires the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to submit to President Cyril Ramaphosa three more names than required to fill a vacancy in the ConCourt.
According to the JSC, the updated criteria will be used when considering candidates for judicial appointments. These guidelines were adopted in 1998 and updated in 2010.
The JSC tasked the rules committee to review the criteria to recommend to the commission any amendments to expand and/or supplement the criteria.
HOW MUCH WILL THE TWO CHOSEN CANDIDATES EARN?
The two chosen judges will receive an annual income of R2,316,919 each. This means that their monthly salary is about R193,076.58
According to the Government Gazette, the total remuneration package includes a cash annual salary component of 72.24 % and a non-cash component of 27.76%, which includes a motor allowance and employer medical contribution.
The total remuneration package does not include pension benefits which are separately regulated by the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act.
How much do SCA and high court judges earn?
SCA judges earn the same as ConCourt judges (R2,316,919) and high court judges earn R1,882,486.
Last year, Ramaphosa announced judges’ salaries and benefits would not be increased for the financial year, citing fiscal constraints and the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic as reasons.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CONCOURT JUDGE?
ConCourt judges are independent and cannot be MPs.
They are required to be impartial and to uphold justice for all without fear, favour or prejudice.
The main task of the ConCourt, among other things, includes decisions on constitutional matters and issues connected to decisions on constitutional matters, and making the final decision whether a matter is a constitutional matter or connected with a decision on a constitutional matter.
Section 167(4) of the constitution gives the ConCourt exclusive jurisdiction in deciding disputes about the powers and constitutional status of branches of government.
Only the ConCourt may do the following:
- decide disputes between organs of state in the national or provincial sphere concerning the constitutional status, powers or functions of any of those organs of state;
- decide on the constitutionality of any parliamentary or provincial bill;
- decide on the constitutionality of any amendment to the constitution; and
- decide parliament or the president has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation.