Cape Town — Opposition parties have reacted with shock after EFF leader Julius Malema was included as a new member of the Judicial Services Commission, which is responsible for appointing the country’s judges.Sapa reported on Tuesday that Malema was appointed as one of the 10 new members of the JSC, along with former ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga and former Cabinet minister Thoko Didiza.
Others elected to the JSC are the DA’s Hendrik Schmidt, the IFP’s Narend Singh and the ANC’s Dikeledi Magadzi.
Members of the National Council of Provinces who will serve on the JSC include the ANC’s Thandi Modise, Tsapane Mampuru, Dikgang Stock and Dumisane Ximbi.
The JSC is responsible for interviewing judges and making recommendations to President Jacob Zuma on judicial appointments. It also handles complaints against judges.
According to Beeld, Malema’s appointment was greeted with surprise because he has been charged with corruption, money laundering and racketeering. He is due to return to court in September.
FF+ chief whip Corné Mulder described Malema’s appointment as “outrageous”, saying JSC members should understand the judicial process, not have several cases pending against them.
A DA MP said the party hoped Malema would render his duties in the JSC in the interests of an independent judiciary.
However, an ANC spokesperson told Beeld that the party has no objections as Malema is an MP and may represent Parliament, adding that Malema has not yet been found guilty of any crime.
Advocate Paul Hoffman, director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, said Malema has more than enough experience if the appointment is based on his experience in the equality court, insolvency court and soon the criminal court.
Meanwhile, Namibia is reportedly set to witness the launch of a replica version of Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party, after a soon-to-be registered Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) formation was introduced to the public on Tuesday.
According to The Namibian, the NEEF was being spearheaded by a former member of the ruling Swapo party, Epafras Mukwiilongo, who has styled himself as the “commander in chief”.
Mukwiilongo and his right hand man Kalimbo Iipumbu, who is the second commander in chief, were reportedly in South Africa recently and they claimed links to Malema, saying their party was a “radical left” political, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement.
They also claimed to have held talks with the EFF, said the report.
The movement is against homosexuality and the foreign exploitation of the country’s natural resources, proposing that land and natural resources should be owned by indigenous people.
Mukwiilongo accused the Swapo-led government of conforming to “capitalist interest” at the expense of the citizens.
Swapo (South West African People’s Organisation) is Namibia’s liberation movement which remains the country’s ruling party today. It was formed in Windhoek in 1960.
Swapo was originally formed to advocate immediate Namibian independence from South Africa and became the country’s leading party following independence in 1990.
Twitter was abuzz yesterday with people and media houses commenting on the newly formed movement. — Sapa