CAPE Judge President John Hlophe has thrown down the gauntlet. It appears we will witness American-style lobbying for a judge to become the country's top jurist.
The Hlophe machinery kicked off in style last week, telling all who would listen about their preferred candidate's own long walk to high public office.
His story, the Hlophe fan club would have us believe, is a Nelson Mandela-meets-Jacob Zuma tale. Indeed an impressive marketing ploy.
For all his ills, history will remember Hlophe as the man who made deciding who becomes chief justice a public contest. He has successfully dismantled the myth that being ambitious is a shameful thing. Maybe politicians will follow suit.
Now we are waiting for what the public relations drive will say about things that determine whether one is a good or a bad lawyer - such as irreproachable integrity.