In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
AN EASTERN Cape candidate judge caused a stir before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) yesterday when he said he left priesthood for the law because he concluded there is no God.
Senior counsel Torquil Paterson told the JSC: "I left the church for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that I realised God does not exist. I am an atheist."
Paterson, whose lengthy theological studies included a stint at Oxford University, said he had eventually come to the conclusion that "all language of God is meaningless".
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe was left perplexed and asked: "So what you read in the Bible about the beginning does not exist? You do not believe that we were created in the image of God?"
"Minister you may believe that, I don't," Paterson responded.
Radebe insisted, to rare laughter at the JSC's interviews of aspirant judges: "If God does not exist, are you a materialist, a communist, a Marxist?"
Paterson denied that he was any of those, adding: "It is quite difficult to find a real Marxist."
Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza declared he was both an atheist and a Marxist. He then launched a scathing attack on Paterson for having failed to join Advocates for Transformation (AFT). Ntsebeza is the national chairperson of the organisation.
Paterson said he knew members of the AFT, but had not become a member because he believed its aims were adequately covered by the efforts of the General Council of the Bar to help black law graduates. He said he had recently had two black lawyers in tutelage.
Ntsebeza demanded to know whether he had read the constitution of the AFT, and how, if not, he could presume to know its objectives.
He asked how Paterson's appointment as a judge on the Eastern Cape bench could further transformation.
Paterson said: "It is not fair and right and not in the interest of the judiciary that I say I cannot make the judiciary more black, therefore I will not put my name forward." - Sapa