Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has been subpoenaed to appear in the High Court in Pretoria to explain why a white magistrate was denied promotion.
The trade union Solidarity’s racial discrimination case against Minister Jeff Radebe is heard in Pretoria. It follows Radebe blatantly ignoring the Magistrate’s Commission’s recommendation to promote magistrate Martin Kroukamp to a position as senior magistrate at Alberton’s Magistrate’s Court in 2014, believing that appointing Kroukamp would not promote the government’s racial transformation plan.
According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, Article 10 of the Magistrate’s Court together with Article 9(1) of the Magistrate’s Court Act 32 of 1944 the minister may appoint any qualified and suitable person. Van der Bijl emphasises, however, that when the decisions are made, the Minister should appoint someone based on the recommendation of the Magistrate’s Commission. “Despite the fact that the Magistrate’s Commission recommended Kroukamp as the only suitable candidate, he was still overlooked for the position because Radebe argues that appointing Kroukamp would not promote transformation,” said Van der Bijl.
Van der Bijl argues that this case is a typical example of the government’s thoughtless pursuit of transformation targets at the expense of merits. “The public has been deprived of a competent and skilled magistrate because of his skin colour. It is sad that a person’s worth is reduced to arbitrational grounds such as race,” said Van der Bijl.
“We are devoted to the struggle for an equal South Africa where people are placed in a position to compete on equal footing,” concluded Van der Bijl.