The candidates, who were put through a gruelling interview schedule by a panel that included the Economic Freedom Fighters’ leader Julius Malema, have been selected for President Jacob Zuma’s consideration and confirmation.

South Africa is still battling somewhat with gender representation in the judiciary. Currently only two women, Sisi Khampepe and Bess Nkabinde-Mnono, serve in the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa. Earlier this year, it was reported in The Mail and Guardian that as of 2014, although about 50% of the judiciary was black, only 15% were women.

South Africa is a signatory to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, which calls for equal representation in all structures.

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In September this year President Jacob Zuma received a report from the Commission for Gender Equality on gender representation in the judiciary. Following its investigation the commission found that the lack of female representation can be linked to several critical issues including a lack of certainty of the JSC procedure and criteria used to make appointments, a lack of clarity in the selection process of acting judges, as well as patriarchy and sexism, which continue to persist, requiring women to prove themselves in the male-dominated legal profession.

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News24 reports that the women nominees are:

Judge Annali Basson from Pretoria who has been a Labour Court judge since 2007.

Advocate Raylene Keightley from Kokstad, who was a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town.

Nelisa Mali, born in Ngangelizwe township in Mthatha. Her CV includes time as a public prosecutor, deputy director in the NDPP tax unit and an assistant general manager at the South African Revenue Service.

Attorney Lebogang Modiba hails from Alexandra, and has studied at Harvard and worked at the Women’s Legal Centre.

Interviews will continue in other provinces.

Additional reporting: Mail and Guardian, News24