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Introduction to the JSC

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is made up of 23 representatives from different structures of the government and South African legal community. Justice Raymond Zondo, the Chief Justice, presides and in his absence, the Deputy Chief Justice. This is currently no deputy Chief Justice.

The purpose of the JSC

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) performs an advisory role to the President and national government on any matters relating to the Judiciary or administration of justice. The committee was established in terms of section 178 of the Constitution.

The JSC also assists in interviewing all of the candidates for the judicial posts available across South Africa and following those interviews the committee makes recommendations for appointment to the bench to the President.

Lastly, the JSC sees to all complaints brought against Judges.

The 23 members include:

  • Justice Raymond Zondo, the Chief Justice (or the Deputy Chief Justice in his absence)
  • The President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (currently  Justice Maya**)
  • A representative for the Judge Presidents, who run the divisions of the High Court. Usually, North West Judge President Monica Leeuw, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo or KZN Judge President Achmat Jappie.
  • Mr Ronald Lamola, the Minister of Justice
  • Adv Kameshni Pillay SC represents the Bar
  • Adv Jennifer Cane SC represents the Bar.
  • Mr Etienne Barnard represents the attorneys
  • Mr Mvuzo Notyesi represents the attorneys

Some members of parliament and representatives of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) including Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa.

There are also National Assembly representatives of minority parties; the IFP, the EFF and the DA. The law academics are also represented. The President has four appointees, currently Hlaleleni Kathleen Matolo-Dlepu, Doris Lebogang Tshepe ,  Thandazani Griffiths Madonsela SC and Ms Nomaswazi Shabangu-Mndaweni.

Also present at each interview is the Judge President of the division which is being interviewed for – the prospective boss of the judge – and a representative of the Premier for that province.

For further details read our article: Who sits on the JSC panel?

** Judge Maya has been appointed the President of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) by President Zuma.


JSC Meetings

As members of JSC act in other professional capacities, the JSC and its various committees meet twice a year for a week, usually in April and October.

The meetings are generally held in Midrand at the Office of the Chief Justice and the JSC Secretariat makes all logistical arrangements for all commissioners and is responsible for collating an agenda and documents relating to general matters to be dealt with by the JSC.

Complaints against judges

Complaints against Judges who contravene the Code of Judicial Conduct must first be reported to the JSC Secretariat which is located within the Office of the Chief Justice. The Code of Judicial Conduct provides for ethical and professional standards is required of every Judge.

To find out more about the JSC click here: https://www.judiciary.org.za/index.php/judicial-service-commission/about-the-jsc

Read our article: Who sits on the JSC panel?


[Updated: March 2022]