1953 South African general election
The 1953 South African general election, held on 15 April of that year, consolidated the position of the National Party under DF Malan, who won an absolute majority of the 156 seats in the House of Assembly. The United Party under JGN Strauss lost several seats, suffered several splits after the election; the second term of the white MPs elected to represent black voters, from special electoral districts in Cape Province under the Representation of Natives Act 1936, expired on 30 June 1948. These seats were not vacated by a dissolution of Parliament, so they were not contested at either the 1948 or 1953 general elections; the three representative seats were filled by elections on 17 November 1948. Two Independent MPs were returned; the third seat was taken by Sam Kahn, a South African Communist Party member, who gained the seat from an Independent. The term of these members expired on 30 June 1954; the Communist Party dissolved itself when legislation to ban it was going through Parliament in 1950.
Sam Kahn was banned from being a member of Parliament, in 1952, under the anti Communist legislation. Subsequently two successive by-elections were held in Cape Western, but the victors had similar views to Mr Kahn and were excluded from Parliament; the seat was left vacant for the remainder of the term. The white electors of the territory of South-West Africa, were allocated six seats in the House of Assembly; these new electoral divisions were first filled at by-elections on 31 August 1950. The governing National Party won all the seats, which were additional to the 150 general roll seats allocated to the Union of South Africa; the South Africa Act 1909 had provided for a delimitation commission to define the boundaries for each electoral division. The representation by province, under the tenth delimitation report of 1953, is set out in the table below; the figures in brackets are the number of electoral divisions in the previous delimitation. If there is no figure in brackets the number was unchanged.
The above table does not include the three native representative seats in Cape Province nor the six South-West African divisions, which were not included in the delimitation of the general roll seats for the Union under the South Africa Act 1909. At the end of the 10th Union Parliament, when it was dissolved in 1953, the House of Assembly consisted of two groups of members. General roll voters were represented by 156 members. Black voters in Cape Province were represented by three white MPs, known at the time as Native Representative Members; the general election, on 15 April 1953, only affected the representatives of general roll voters. From 1938 the Native Representative Members were elected on a different date; the overall composition of the House, set out by province before the general election, was as below. Abbreviations in the province list. Orange FS: Orange Free State SW Africa: South-West Africa NRM: Native Representative MembersNote: The NRM seat held by the Communist Party, is listed as Independent in the above table.
Sam Kahn and his two successors, after the Communist Party dissolved its public organisation and went underground, all claimed to be Independents. Since the 1948 general election Dr Malan's Reunited National Party had merged with its coalition partner, the Afrikaner Party; the merged party was named the National Party. The government had strengthened its political position, by conferring six parliamentary seats upon the white population of the territory of South West Africa; the principal opposition party was the United Party. Since the previous general election, in 1948, the UPs veteran leader Field Marshal Jan Smuts had died; the new Leader of the Opposition was J. G. N. Strauss; the other parliamentary opposition party was the Labour Party. In 1953, the United Party and the Labour Party had an electoral pact, for the third successive general election. During the campaign, the Labour leader John Christie died, his seat was contested at a by election after the normal day of the general election poll.
It was retained by a new Labour candidate and is included in the totals for the results section of this article, The NP promoted its policy of apartheid' Dr Malan suggested that the white voters could unite around the Nationalist programme. The UP criticised the idea of apartheid as impractical. Mr Strauss campaigned alleging that the first task of a South African government should be the suppression of Native criminals, who created insecurity in the cities. United Party supporters were optimistic on the eve of the poll; the vote totals in the table below may not give a complete picture of the balance of political opinion, because of unopposed elections and because contested seats may not have been fought by a candidate from all major parties. The total registered electorate was 1,385,591; the votes cast were 1,218,631. Due to a quirk in the first past the post system, the Nationalists won 37 more seats than United despite finishing only two percentage points ahead of United in the popular vote.
This was enough to deliver the Nationalists a second consecutive majority government. The overall composition of the House, set out by province after the general election, was as below. There were boundary changes, from the delimitation of seats in the previous Parliament, so no attempt is made to identify changes. Keesing's
Government of South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a parliamentary republic with three-tier system of government and an independent judiciary, operating in a parliamentary system. Legislative authority is held by the Parliament of South Africa. Executive authority is vested in the President of South Africa, head of state and head of government, his Cabinet; the President is elected by the Parliament to serve a fixed term. South Africa's government differs from those of other Commonwealth nations; the national and local levels of government all have legislative and executive authority in their own spheres, are defined in the South African Constitution as "distinctive and interrelated". Operating at both national and provincial levels are advisory bodies drawn from South Africa's traditional leaders, it is a stated intention in the Constitution that the country be run on a system of co-operative governance. The national government is composed of three inter-connected branches: Legislative: Parliament, consisting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces Executive: The President, both Head of State and Head of Government Judicial: The Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, the High CourtAll bodies of the South African government are subject to the rule of the Constitution, the Supreme law in South Africa.
The bicameral Parliament of South Africa makes up the legislative branch of the national government. It consists of the National Council of Provinces; the National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by popular vote using a system of party-list proportional representation. Half of the members are elected from parties' provincial lists and the other half from national lists. Following the implementation of the new constitution on 3 February 1997 the National Council of Provinces replaced the former Senate with no change in membership and party affiliations, although the new institution's responsibilities have been changed. In ordinary legislation, the two chambers have coordinate powers, but all proposals for appropriating revenue or imposing taxes must be introduced in the National Assembly; the President is elected by the members of the General Assembly. Upon election the President resigns as an MP and appoints a Cabinet of Ministers from among the members. Ministers however retain their parliamentary seats.
The President and the Ministers are responsible to the Parliament, of which they must be elected members. General elections are held at least once every five years; the last general election was held on 7 May 2014. The President, Deputy President and the Ministers make up the executive branch of the national government. Ministers are Members of Parliament who are appointed by the President to head the various departments of the national government; the president is elected by parliament from its members. The ministers individually, the Cabinet collectively, are accountable to Parliament for their actions; each minister is responsible for one or more departments, some ministers have a deputy minister to whom they delegate some responsibility. The portfolios, incumbent ministers and deputies, departments are shown in the following table; the third branch of the national government is an independent judiciary. The judicial branch interprets the laws, using as a basis the laws as enacted and explanatory statements made in the Legislature during the enactment.
The legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law and accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations. The constitution's bill of rights provides for due process including the right to a fair, public trial within a reasonable time of being charged and the right to appeal to a higher court. To achieve this, there are four major tiers of courts: Magistrates' Courts – The court where civil cases involving less than R100 000, cases involving minor crimes, are heard. High Courts – The court of appeal for cases from the magistrates courts, as well as the court where major civil and criminal cases are first heard. Supreme Court of Appeal – The final court of appeal for matters not pertaining to the constitution. Constitutional Court – The final court of appeal for matters related to the constitutionIn addition provision is made in the constitution for other courts established by or recognised in terms of an Act of Parliament; the provincial governments of the nine provinces of South Africa have their own executive and legislative branches, but not separate judicial systems.
In each province the legislative branch consists of a provincial legislature, varying in size from 30 to 80 members, elected through party-list proportional representation. The legislature elects one of its members as Premier to lead the executive branch, the Premier appoints between five and ten members of the legislature as an executive council to lead the various departments of the provincial government. Local government in South Africa consists of municipalities of various types; the largest metropolitan areas are governed by metropolitan municipalities, while the rest of the country is divided into district municipalities, each of which consists of several local municipalities. After the municipal election of 18 May 2011 there were eight metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities and 226 local municipalities. Municipalities are governed by municipal councils; the councils of metropolitan and local municipalities are elected by a system of mixed-member proportional representation, while the councils of district municipalities
Deputy President of South Africa
The Deputy President of South Africa is the deputy head of government of South Africa. They are a member of the Cabinet; the Deputy President is constitutionally required to "assist the President in the execution of the functions of government", may be assigned any government portfolio by presidential proclamation. The Deputy President performs the duties of the President of South Africa when the President is outside the country's borders, unable to fulfill the duties of the office, or when the Presidency is vacant. Under the interim constitution, there was a Government of National Unity, in which a member of parliament from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as deputy president. Along with Mbeki, the previous State President, F. W. de Klerk served as Deputy President in his capacity as the leader of the National Party the second-largest party in the new Parliament. De Klerk resigned and went into opposition with his party. A voluntary coalition government continues to exist under the new constitution, although there have been no appointments of opposition politicians to the post of deputy president.
The official living residences of the Deputy President are Oliver Tambo House in Pretoria, Highstead in Cape Town and Dr John L Dube House in Durban. The Deputy President's term of office is not fixed by law; the Deputy President's term begins when he or she is appointed by the President from amongst members of the National Assembly and takes a prescribed oath. The Deputy President's term is ended by one of four constitutional mechanisms: dismissal by the President, a successful'motion of no confidence in the President' by the National Assembly, a successful'motion of no confidence excluding the President' by the National Assembly, or a newly elected President's assumption of office. A statement of resignation would be sufficient to end a Deputy President's term of office. Depending on the extent of any informal roles and functions of the Deputy President depend on the specific relationship between the president and deputy president, but the roles include tasks like: Spokesperson for the administration policies Adviser to the president.
Step up when the president is out of the country Parties National Party African National Congress List of current vice presidents Vice State President of South Africa
Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts was a South African statesman, military leader, philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. Although Smuts had advocated racial segregation and opposed the enfranchisement of black Africans, his views changed and he backed the Fagan Commission's findings that complete segregation was impossible. Smuts subsequently lost the 1948 election to hard-line nationalists, he continued to work for reconciliation and emphasised the British Commonwealth’s positive role until his death in 1950. He led a Boer Commando in the Second Boer War for the Transvaal. During the First World War, he led the armies of South Africa against Germany, capturing German South-West Africa and commanding the British Army in East Africa. From 1917 to 1919, he was one of the members of the British Imperial War Cabinet and he was instrumental in the founding of what became the Royal Air Force.
He became a field marshal in the British Army in 1941, served in the Imperial War Cabinet under Winston Churchill. He was the only person to sign both of the peace treaties ending the Second World Wars. A statue of him stands in London's Parliament Square, he was born on 24 May 1870, at the family farm, near Malmesbury, in the Cape Colony. His parents, Jacobus Smuts and his wife Catharina, were prosperous, traditional Afrikaner farmers, long established and respected; as the second son of the family, rural custom dictated. In 1882, when Jan was twelve, his elder brother died, Jan was sent to school in his brother's place. Jan attended the school in nearby Riebeek West, he made excellent progress here, despite his late start, caught up with his contemporaries within four years. He moved on to Victoria College, Stellenbosch, at the age of sixteen. At Stellenbosch, he learned High Dutch and Ancient Greek, immersed himself in literature, the classics, Bible studies, his traditional upbringing and serious outlook led to social isolation from his peers.
He made outstanding academic progress, graduating in 1891 with double first-class honours in Literature and Science. During his last years at Stellenbosch, Smuts began to cast off some of his shyness and reserve, it was at this time that he met Isie Krige, whom he married. On graduation from Victoria College, Smuts won the Ebden scholarship for overseas study, he decided to travel to the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom to read law at Christ's College. Smuts found it difficult to settle at Cambridge, he isolated by his age and different upbringing from the English undergraduates. Worries over money contributed to his unhappiness, as his scholarship was insufficient to cover his university expenses, he confided these worries to a friend from Victoria College, Professor J. I. Marais. In reply, Professor Marais enclosed a cheque for a substantial sum, by way of loan, urging Smuts not to hesitate to approach him should he find himself in need. Thanks to Marais, Smuts's financial standing was secure.
He began to enter more into the social aspects of the university, although he retained his single-minded dedication to his studies. During his time in Cambridge, he found time to study a diverse number of subjects in addition to law, he wrote a book, Walt Whitman: A Study in the Evolution of Personality, although it was unpublished until 1973. The thoughts behind this book laid the foundation for Smuts' wide-ranging philosophy of holism. Smuts graduated in 1894 with a double first. Over the previous two years, he had been the recipient of numerous academic prizes and accolades, including the coveted George Long prize in Roman Law and Jurisprudence. One of his tutors, Professor Maitland, a leading figure among English legal historians, described Smuts as the most brilliant student he had met. Lord Todd, the Master of Christ's College, said in 1970 that "in 500 years of the College's history, of all its members and present, three had been outstanding: John Milton, Charles Darwin and Jan Smuts."In December 1894, Smuts passed the examinations for the Inns of Court, entering the Middle Temple.
His old Cambridge college, Christ's College, offered him a fellowship in Law. Smuts turned his back on a distinguished legal future. By June 1895, he had returned to the Cape Colony, determined to make his future there. Smuts began to practise law in Cape Town. Finding little financial success in the law, he began to divert more and more of his time to politics and journalism, writing for the Cape Times. Smuts was intrigued by the prospect of a united South Africa, joined the Afrikaner Bond. By good fortune, Smuts' father knew the leader of Jan Hofmeyr. Hofmeyr in turn recommended Jan to Cecil Rhodes. In 1895, Smuts became an supporter of Rhodes; when Rhodes launched the Jameson Raid, in the summer of 1895–96, Smuts was outraged. Feeling betrayed by his employer and political ally, he resigned from De Beers, left political life. Instead he became state attorney in the capital of Pretoria. After the Jameson Raid, relations between the British and the Afrikaners had deteriorated steadily. By 1898, war seemed imminent.
Orange Free State President Martinus Steyn called for a peace conference at Bloemfontein to settle each side's grievances. With an intimate knowledge of the British, Smuts took control of the Transvaal delegation. Sir Alfred Milner, head of the Briti
Mogoeng Thomas Reetsang Mogoeng is the current Chief Justice of South Africa, in office since 8 September 2011. Mogoeng was born on 14 January 1961 in Goo-Mokgatha village near Zeerust in the North West Province, his father was his mother a domestic worker. Mogoeng became politically active at high school, from which he was suspended for organising a memorial to the victims of the Soweto uprising. Mogoeng received a B. Juris in 1983 from the University of Zululand and a Bachelor of Laws in 1985 from the University of Natal. There he had been active in the Azanian Students' Movement during a time of grave repression by the SADF. From 1985 he worked for the government of Bophuthatswana as a High Court prosecutor in Mahikeng, he obtained a Master of Laws by correspondence from the University of South Africa in 1989.. Mogoeng left Bophuthatswana's civil service the following year to begin practice as an advocate. After a short period at the Johannesburg Bar, Mogoeng returned to Mahikeng, where he practiced for six years.
He was the chair of Lawyers for Human Rights' Bophuthatswana chapter and a part-time lecturer at the University of Bophuthatswana. In 1997, Mogoeng accepted an appointment to the North West High Court, though he had felt that he was too inexperienced to be made a judge, he became a judge of the Labour Appeal Court in 2000 and the Judge President of the North West High Court in 2002. In October 2009, in President Jacob Zuma's first raft of judicial appointments, Mogoeng was elevated to the highest court in South Africa, its Constitutional Court, he was appointed with Chris Jafta, Sisi Khampepe and Johan Froneman. Less than two years in mid-2011, Mogoeng was nominated for appointment as Chief Justice. Mogoeng's nomination was controversial, drawing strong criticism from across the political spectrum, including from within President Zuma's own Tripartite Alliance, as well as from the press and international civic organizations, legal academics and bar councils. Mogoeng was one of the Constitutional Court's most junior members, having been appointed to it less than two years earlier, having been a relative unknown at one of the smallest High Court divisions prior to that.
Besides his general lack of reported judgments, critics noted that he had failed to recuse himself in S v Dube, a case where his wife had appeared as the state prosecutor. In addition, Mogoeng was nominated ahead of the expected appointee, Dikgang Moseneke, who had served the Constitutional Court for nine years and as Deputy Chief Justice for six. Moseneke had been overlooked once before, when Sandile Ngcobo was appointed Chief Justice, his second snubbing was attributed to his Pan Africanist Congress background and remarks at a social occasion distancing himself from the ruling African National Congress. Mogoeng's own meteoric rise under the Zuma administration raised concerns about his independence, his nomination ahead of Moseneke reminded many of the notorious supersession by L. C. Steyn, a National Party favourite, of Oliver Schreiner. Whereas Moseneke had been active in the struggle against apartheid, COSATU said it was concerning that Mogoeng had been a prosecutor for a bantustan, but the most widespread concerns were about Mogoeng's judgments in gender-violence cases.
The Nobel Women's Initiative accused Mogoeng of invoking dangerous myths about rape and of victim-blaming. Of the many judgments cited by critics in which Mogoeng had been lenient on rapists and domestic assailants, three were emphasised. In State v Sebaeng, Mogoeng reduced the sentence of a child rapist on the basis that he had been non-violent and indeed "tender" in raping the victim; the 2005 case of State v Moipolai involved the rape of a pregnant woman by her long-term boyfriend. Despite several aggravating factors, Mogoeng reduced the man's sentence from ten years' imprisonment to five because the rape was, he said, not as serious as if a stranger had committed it. In State v Mathebe, Mogoeng reduced the sentence, from two years' imprisonment to a fine of R4,000, of a man who had tied his girlfriend to his car and dragged her 50 meters along a dirt road. Mogoeng's explanation was; when these three judgments were raised in a BBC interview, Mogoeng compared his judgments in sexual-assault cases to a game of football, saying it would be wrong to call Manchester United a bad team because it loses three matches in a season.
Legal academic Pierre de Vos said Mogoeng was the most conservative member of the Constitutional Court. He pointed to Mogoeng's ambivalence over gay rights – in Le Roux v Dey Mogoeng dissented, without giving reasons, from paragraphs which said it was not defamatory to call someone gay – and to his dissenting judgment in The Citizen v Robert McBride, which would restrict freedom of expression. Moseneke, as the country's Acting Chief Justice pending a permanent appointment, chaired the Judicial Service Commission when it interviewed Mogoeng to determine his suitability. Mogoeng seemed prickly throughout, having to apologize to Moseneke for lashing out at one of his questions. In response, one commissioner told Mogoeng "arrogant" and unsuited to the position. Commentators said that Mogoeng's conduct at the interview heightened concerns about his judicial temperament. Mogoeng's own view was. Mogoeng's appointment was recommended by the JSC and confirmed by President Zuma on 8 September 2011; the JSC's decision to appoint Mogoeng, despite his many critics, coupled with the partisan conduct of the JSC's
Piketberg is a town in the Western Cape, South Africa, located about 50 miles east of Saldanha Bay. The original spelling of the name was "Piquetberg"; the town is in the foothills of the Piketberg mountains, a range of low mountains formed from Table Mountain Sandstone. The area around the mountains is conducive to the farming of wheat, while the area on top of the mountains, being cooler and frost-free, is suited to the farming of fruit and Rooibos Tea. Piketberg possesses a large Dutch Reformed Church designed by the architect Carl Otto Hager in his trademark neo-Gothic style; the area was inhabited by the Khoikhoi and the San before the arrival of 21 Dutch and German families in 1705-06, there is still well-preserved San rock art in the mountains. There was once a small military post in the town to protect the livestock of farmers from raids by the Khoikhoi. By the 1730s the population had grown to around 400 White people; the Holtzhausen, Joubert, van Rooyen and Visagie families are among the earliest settler-pioneers of 1705-06.
The Picquet commando was established in 1711 by the VOC and consisted of a squad of 15 Riflemen of the Militia and a single 80 mm field cannon for protection against depredations of natives and wild animals. The cannon-fire protected the European-descended farming community from the attacks of the indigenous groups, the "Gonjemans"; the community used its cannon to signal the arrival of ships in Cape Town. Piketberg's farmers would load their carts with produce and wares. Head to Cape Town to do business; the cannon fired on special occasions like Queen Victoria's birthday and the arrival of the town's first telephone line. It fired for the last time in the 1961 on the proclamation of the Republic. A misfire left the school's windows aflame. Hereafter, the cannon was filled with cement; until the Piketberg cannon stood in front of Piketberg High School, aimed East, in the direction of Porterville High School, its rival. Jewish HeritageThe many Jewish surnames in Piketberg's historic graveyard bear witness to its once-vigorous Jewish community.
Most had Lithuanian roots. They were entrepreneurs and raised themselves out of poverty by wheeling and dealing from farmstead to farmstead. Lodewyk Ando Simon, of Hungarian Jewish descent, moved from nearby Redelinghuys to Piketberg and built the synagogue in 1925, it is estimated. Rabbi Moses Beraitzer, was the first rabbi, he was a strict shepherd to his flock. Though blind in his years, the Rabbi served undaunted, preached the Talmud from memory, it is unsure. The University of Cape Town's Kaplan Centre houses several of the synagogue's historic documents. Since 1996 the synagogue has been home to the Piketberg Tourism Bureau. In recent years the synagogue has been part of the town museum. In February 2004 descendants of Piketberg's lost Jewish community celebrated their roots with a tree planting ceremony; the Piketberg Bio-scope building was built in the late 1920s. It was one of the first bios in the region. During the 1970s the cinema ran performances on Wednesday and Saturday. Bruce Lee and James Bond movies were popular.
South Africa's segregation crept into the movie theatre. Non-whites sat in the gallery and whites sat on the main seats. Shaun Abrahams, former national director of public prosecutions at the National Prosecuting Authority was born in Piketburg. Sheila Cussons, Afrikaans language writer and poet was born in Piketburg. Andries Treurnicht, Apartheid era National Party politician a former Minister of Education was born in the town. Colla Swart, noted photographer and resident of Piketburg. Media related to Piketberg at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Constitutional Court of South Africa
The Constitutional Court of South Africa is a supreme constitutional court established by the Constitution of South Africa. It was the final appellate court for constitutional matters. Since the enactment of the Superior Courts Act in 2013, the Constitutional Court has jurisdiction to hear any matter if it is in the interests of justice for it to do so; the Court was first established by the Interim Constitution of 1993, its first session began in February 1995. It has continued in existence under the Constitution of 1996; the Court sits in the city of Johannesburg. After occupying commercial offices in Braamfontein, it now sits in a purpose-built complex on Constitution Hill; the first court session in the new complex was held in February 2004. The Constitutional Court consists of eleven judges who are appointed by the President of South Africa from a list drawn up by the Judicial Service Commission; the judges serve for a term of twelve years. The Court is headed by the Chief Justice of the Deputy Chief Justice.
The Constitution requires. In practice, all eleven judges hear every case. Decisions are reached by a majority and written reasons are given; the movement for the establishment of a constitutional court in South Africa was begun in 1920 by the African National Congress. By 1956, judges and liberals in the country had drawn up a bill of rights in support of the creation of the court; the first meeting of selected members of the court took place in 1994. In 1995, President Nelson Mandela appeared at the court to deliver a speech for its commissioning. According to South African History Online Mandela said, “The last time I appeared in court was to hear whether or not I was going to be sentenced to death. For myself and my colleagues we were not. Today I rise not as an accused, but on behalf of the people of South Africa, to inaugurate a court South Africa has never had, a court on which hinges the future of our democracy." Constitution Hill is the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The Constitution Hill precinct is located at 11 Kotze Street in Braamfontein, Johannesburg near the western end of the suburb of Hillbrow.
The hill overlooks downtown Johannesburg to the South and the wealthy northern suburbs of Houghton and Sandton to the North. The court building was constructed using bricks from the demolished awaiting-trial wing of the former prison. Most of the prison was demolished to make way for the new court, but the stairwells were kept and incorporated into the new building as a reminder of the Constitution's transformative aspirations. Inside the main room, a row of horizontal windows has been set up behind the seats of the judges. While the windows are at head-height on the inside, they are on ground level on the outside; those sitting in the court have a view of the feet of passersby moving along, above the heads of the judges, to remind them that in a constitutional democracy the role of judges is to act in the interests of the people of the nation, rather than in their own self-interest. The first court session in the new building at this location was held in February 2004; the court building is open to the public who want to attend hearings or view the art gallery in the court atrium.
The court houses a collection of more than 200 contemporary artworks chosen by Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs, including works by Gerard Sekoto, William Kentridge, Cecil Skotnes. The doors to the Court have the 27 rights of the Bill of Rights carved into them, written in all 11 official languages of South Africa. One of the stairwells from the old awaiting-trial block with the Portuguese words A luta continua written in lights, has been retained. Sections 174 to 178 of the Constitution deal with the appointment of judicial officers. Judges may not be members of Parliament, of political parties. To select judges the Judicial Service Commission first draws up a list of candidates, which must have at least three more names than the number of vacancies; the Commission does this after holding public interviews. The President, after consultation with the Chief Justice and the leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly, chooses the judges from this list. In terms of section 176 of the Constitution, judges of the Constitutional Court serve for a non-renewable term of 12 years or until they reach the age of 70, whichever is earlier.
Section 4 of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act 47 of 2001 has extended the term limit to an effective term of 15 years including prior service on other courts. The effect is that judges who had served more than 3 years before their appointment to the Constitutional Court retain a 12-year term limit; the same section extends the retirement age to 75. However, in terms of section 3, if the judge has been a judge for 15 years by the time she reaches the age of 65, she may voluntarily retire. Following the retirement of Justice Johann van der Westhuizen in January 2016, there was one vacancy on the Court which the Judicial Service Commission struggled to fill due to the small number of applicants. Since the retirement of Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, there are now two vacancies on the Court. Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson Chief Justice Pius Langa (born 1939, appointed by Nelson Mandela in 1994, elevated to Deputy President of the Court by Nelson Mandela in 1997, became Deputy