The Black Lawyers Association (BLA) has changed its tune on Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, seemingly backtracking on their outrage for his blanket statement on black lawyers.
The BLA had last month believed Malema was unfit to serve on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) following his criticism of black lawyers when questioned on social media about appointing a white legal team to defend him in his assault case.
But the association seemed to have changed its mind after meeting with the leader on Thursday as stated in a joint statement with the EFF at the weekend.
“After deliberations and sound reflection, the BLA accepts that EFF president Julius Malema never generalised black people
as incompetent. The BLA does not doubt the EFF and its president’s commitment to the transformation of the legal profession, particularly increased briefings for black legal practitioners and promotion of black lawyers into serious responsibilities in the Judiciary,” the joint statement said.
“Throughout his participation in the JSC, [Malema] has been consistent and dependable on the transformation of the judiciary. With this in context, the BLA does not question his fitness to be a commissioner in the JSC.
“As a way forward, the EFF and BLA will continue to work together to pursue the transformation of the legal profession and will discuss common perspectives and approaches on how the transformation should be pursued.”
But the BLA may have realized that as a member of the JSC, Malema could help those having aspirations in that space, said
political analyst Somadoda Fikeni.
“I think it’s a situation where they wanted to get EFF to commit to future wars in terms of transformation and at the same time Malema explaining himself away from what was seen as almost blanketing every other black lawyer.”
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