16 January 2013

South Africa: Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Calls On All Eligible Candidates to Apply for Sheriffs Positions

press release

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Jeff Radebe, has called on all eligible candidates to apply for 130 vacant offices of Sheriffs in all nine provinces. The closing date for applications is Friday, 18 January 2013.

The filling of these vacancies will contribute to both access to justice and improved service delivery as well as to transformation of one of the least transformed areas of our justice system.

In line with government's general commitment to speed up socio-economic transformation to eradicate the triple evils of poverty, unemployment and inequality, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has been making a concerted effort to redress past imbalances in the profession.

Previously, out of a total of 234 sheriffs, 167 (71,36%), were white, 44 (18,8%), African, 12 (5,12%) Indian and 11 (4,7%) coloured.

The gender composition of the profession was even more concerning with 196 (83,76%) men and a mere 38 (16,23%) women.

The demographic transformation of the Sheriffs' profession with regard to racial and gender representivity is a constitutional imperative.

On 31 August 2012, the Minister approved the appointment of 124 Sheriffs. Of these appointments, 64 (50, 3%) were African, 44 White (34, 6%), 12 Coloured (9, 44%) and 7 Indian (5, 51%). Women represent 40 (31, 49%) of the new appointees and men 87 (68, 50%).

"Whilst there is still a long way to go, these appointments go a long way to make the profession more representative, in line with the transformative vision and goals of our Constitution. They have doubled the number of women appointed as sheriffs," Minister Radebe said.

The Sheriffs profession plays a critical role in the administration of civil justice. Sheriffs are an important interface between the public and the justice system. They interact with and influence the work of lawyers, court officials, the police, the judgment creditors and debtors.

The work of Sheriffs can impact positively and negatively on the rights of people. Like many other professions the Sheriffs profession is undergoing a process of transforming and realigning itself with the values of our Constitution.

Min Radebe emphasised that, "Sheriffs are officers of the court. It is imperative that they understand and practice the values embodied in the Constitution in the execution of their duties."

Minister Radebe also said: "We call on all persons who are fit and proper to occupy the office of a Sheriff, who display the necessary technical competence and experience required to conduct the business of a sheriff and that have an understanding of the relevant legislation governing the office of a sheriff to apply for these vacant posts to further enhance the transformation and to attain gender equality of the sheriffs profession."

The advertisements were published on 16 December 2012 in two national newspapers with a closing date of 18 January 2013.

The 130 posts being advertised are located in the following provinces: Eastern Cape (27), Free State (21), Gauteng (7), KwaZulu-Natal (11), Limpopo (19), Mpumalanga (8), Northern Cape (13), North West (10), and Western Cape (14).

Application forms are available at all courts and applications of candidates can be handed in or addressed to the Court Manager of the court where the vacancy occurs.

Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

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