The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) has condemned “scandalous and baseless attacks” on the judiciary.
The lawyer’s association said it noted and welcomed increased debates on the integrity of the judiciary as this would allow for the strengthening of it. The organisation said such discussions should only be aimed at building the country’s courts for the better.
There have been accusations levelled against certain members of the judiciary over the past couple of months, but so far no evidence has been presented.
The association said: “We, however, caution that such conversations should be aimed at building and strengthening the judiciary. Through public scrutiny, alongside other forms of checks and balances, the judiciary will be held more accountable for their actions”.
“It is under the same breath that Nadel condemns scandalous and baseless attacks on the judiciary. Those who are guilty of this are not just attacking the judiciary but are declaring war on our democracy and the rule of law,” the organisation said in a statement on Sunday.
Last week, the Judicial Service Commission wrapped up nominations for court vacancies across the country. The association said it was proud of its former members who made the cut in various judicial positions.
“Nadel is jubilant and celebrates its former president, advocate Petrus Gcinumuzi Malindi SC, on his recommendation for appointment as a judge of Gauteng Division of the High Court. Advocate Malindi has dedicated the majority of his life in service of the people of South Africa,” the organisation said.
It also hailed a former member, Judge Sheila Mphahlele, who was appointed as the first deputy judge president for the Mpumalanga High Court Division.
“Even in her appointment as a judge, Judge Mphahlele continued to contribute towards the transformation of the legal profession through voluntarily training attorneys in various aspects of the law.
“Judge Mphahlele was also part of the panel of judges who conducted judicial skills training for legal practitioners on behalf of Nadel legal education,” the association said.
“Nadel appeals to the conscientiousness of those recommended to various positions in the judiciary to at all times remember that they are servants of the people. (They are) subject to the collective will of the people as expressed in the Constitution of South Africa and are called to execute their functions without fear or prejudice.”