Johannesburg court directive “only for women” is just an experiment, justice says

A directive issued this week by a South Gauteng High Court judge, which said women and gender non-conforming people could enter his courtroom while men were to wait outside until they are called, was only a one-off experiment on access control, the judiciary said on Friday.

In the unopposed motion roll dated October 20, 2021, before Judge Gregory Charles Wright, he asked male litigants to wait outside his courtroom until called.

“Only in-person litigants and practitioners who are women and practitioners who identify as gender non-conforming may enter the courtroom. Male practitioners must wait outside the courtroom until they are called, ”reads the top of the court’s docket.

The roll consisted of 43 civil cases which were not opposed.

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A request for comment and context was sent to Wright’s secretary, as well as to the office of presiding judge Dunstan Mlambo. They did not respond.

Judicial spokesperson Nathi Mncube said: “Deputy Presiding Judge (DJP) Sutherland said this was a unique experiment conducted by Judge Wright on the staggering access to the courtroom. audience, ”Mncube said.

Mncube did not give further details on the note, adding that hearings will continue on virtual platforms in the future.

Court hearings on virtual platforms have become the norm since Covid-19 and the lockdown, which imposed requirements such as social distancing and a limited number of people meeting in one place.

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