AUTHOR: Njabulo S Ndebele
PUBLISHER: Sunday Times
DATE: 2 October 2011

DESCRIPTION: Acts of hostility in public do not have to take violent forms. They can assume the semblance of orderly conduct. What public messages can we read from the manner in which the succession process for the chief justice was handled? We can read the following: merit in the appointment of public officers is no longer a necessary criterion. Proven experience and competence, local and international repute, authority and respect for seniority are no longer absolute requirements. If this is so, what criteria should replace them? No matter what process was put in place, including the televised interview of a single nomination, the message is clear, and it is no ordinary message; it is a game-changing message according to which the state must now function.

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