Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
THOSE opposed to John Hlophe ascending the highest judicial office in the land say that it would be a setback for the judiciary if he did so . And those who support the j udge claim that his ascendancy will transform the judiciary.
Hlophe has been judge president in Western Cape for some time and during his tenure has he tried to transform the judiciary by making the courts accessible?
His detractors claim that people will lose faith in the judiciary if Hlophe is appointed chief justice. Oh please! People have little faith in the judicial system.
So whether he is appointed or not, it will not change their perceptions. They are unable to access the country's highest court because of financial constraints and location. Only the rich and those who are sponsored can access the Constitutional Court. Victims of crime are losing faith in the system as cases are constantly postponed and withdrawn because of technicalities and missing dockets.
Most victims of gender violence are discriminated against in our patriarchal courts. Poor, black farmworkers who are killed by rich, white farmers get no justice either.
Is the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein accessible to the public?
Apartheid was legal and systematic. Transformation should not replace the "white master" with a "black master". The system should be changedcompletely. The judiciary must be accessible to all citizens. The Hlophe debacle is not in the general public's interest.
Chumile Sali, Tygerberg