Candidate for secondment to the Land Claims Court in the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Luleka Flatela, has dispelled claims that her activist role could be a problem if she is appointed as a judge.

Flatela is speaking before the Judicial Service Commission in Sandton, Johannesburg, on the fourth day of interviews to fill vacancies in several courts across the country.

She has served as a judge in the Eastern Cape High Court, the Gauteng High Court and the Land Claims Court.

Flatello was named a People’s Lawyer during the Taxes Must Fall movement in 2015.

During this time, Flatello represented students in bail hearings, as well as in civil and disciplinary cases related to riots that required access to universities.

This is how she answered the question about her independence: “Activists, as I know them, are those who balance well between rights and are not afraid to go where others are afraid to go, so I think we should all be activists, especially in court land claims where you deal with the most vulnerable and the most privileged. So, in terms of balancing their rights, I think my life as an activist will help a lot in the Land Court.”

The Hague Conference

Justice Baratang Mokumi on Wednesday criticized South Africa for not participating in the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). She appeared at the JSC in Sandton for an interview for a position at the Electoral Tribunal.

Mocumie represents South Africa at the HCCH, a body that aims to overcome the challenges that accompany cross-border legal proceedings and determine which country has jurisdiction.

Currently, the organization includes 91 states, of which South Africa is a member.

Speaking to Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, who sits on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Mokumi complained about the department’s laissez faire approach.

“South Africa is not participating as it should. We always say that we must speak with one voice. We do not receive information from the department (or) from the office of the Chief Justice. We don’t have the resources to figure out exactly how we can talk more about the Hague Conventions and the impact of international child abduction on our own children. You might think that because it’s covered by family law, it’s a soft skill that doesn’t need (attention), but there’s a lot that can be done to improve our systems, to improve the protection of our children, they’re the most vulnerable.”

VIDEO | Judges Matter Research and Advocacy Officer Zihona Ndlebe discusses the interview:

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