Headway being made in judiciary transformation

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pretoria - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is making progress in transforming the judiciary, says Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.

Delivering his department's budget vote in Parliament on Thursday, Radebe noted that of the 243 judges, 25 were women and just over 50% were black.

"There are views which were expressed by some recently that the JSC tends to overlook quality and competence and that its decisions are influenced by political agendas. These sentiments are devoid of any truth and tend to undermine the integrity of the JSC's esteemed members, the majority of whom are derived from all the three branches of the state," he added.

The intense, robust debates by the Commission's members and the manner in which it arrived at its decisions were reflective of the country's evolving democracy, Radebe said.

Turning to issues of crime and corruption, the minister noted that the National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) was continuing with its ruthless approach in tackling corruption.

"The value of assets seized by the AFU during the past financial year is R533.4 million and the total assets over the past 13 years is nearing R5 billion. About R150 million recovered by the AFU has been allocated from the Criminal Assets Recovery Account to build capacity in the Anti-Corruption Task Team to intensify its investigative capacity," he said.