Appoint more female juries - Mogoeng

Friday, August 10, 2012

Port Elizabeth - While women continued to be under-represented as judges in South Africa's court system, the country has made great strides in promoting their participation in the judiciary, says Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

But he called for more female appointments, especially women judges and judge presidents.

Speaking to SANews on the sidelines of the International Women Judges Conference underway at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth on Friday, Mogoeng said given the fact that there were more women in South Africa than men, government needed to pursue "aggressively" gender equity on the bench.

"I know that we have made some progress but I think we could do better. We must push to ensure this agenda of gender equity in the South African justice system. There is no doubt about that," he said.

The conference, which is being organised by the International Association of Women Judges, paid tribute to the world's top female judges, including South Africa's own first female Judge President Mashangu Monica Leeuw from the North West.

Mogoeng added there were now more black people on the bench and that almost all leadership in top judiciary institutions had a good representation of Africans.

"So we have made significant strides in transforming the judiciary but what we need to focus on now is to develop a pool of legal practitioners out of black people and women in particular that can be appointed to the High Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. That would require the support of government and non-government organisations," Mogoeng said.