Judge nominee for a vacancy in the Free State High Court Division, Cathy Page says all children in conflict with the law should not be discriminated against on grounds of race.
She had to answer a question from commissioner Mamiki Qabathe who represented the Free State Premier during the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)’s interviews.
Qabathe who is also Social Development MEC told Page how parents were complaining about alleged racism in Free State courts when children had to be released.
The MEC says parents complain that white children in conflict with the law are released into the custody of their parents while black children are either sent to rehabilitation centres or placed under correctional supervision.
Page was asked whether she was aware of such alleged discrimination and what she would do to reverse it if she were to be appointed.
“I do not stand for that … children, especially, in conflict of the law that they be discriminated against as to where they would be detained or released. The principles should be applied equally to all children in conflict with the law there. The Child Justice Act has very strong measures in place for the protection of children in conflict with the law related to arrests [and] related to how they end up in court.”
“The preliminary inquiries are there for that specific reason. So that a magistrate [is able] to establish as to whether this matter could be mediated, or whether it should be referred to the children’s court or whether it should be kept out of court. These measures need to be applied by the police,” explains Page.
Below is the Judicial Service Commission Interviews: