Egypt’s justice minister resigns for garbage collector comments

Ahram Online , Monday 11 May 2015

Minister of Justice Mahfouz Saber (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said on Monday that he had accepted the resignation of Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber, who stepped down one day after making comments that were widely seen as classist.

Mahlab said Saber's resignation came in response to the wave of criticism he faced after his Sunday live interview on TV channel Ten, in which he said that sons of garbage collectors should not be judges.

“The cabinet respects all layers of society and appreciates the working hands in particular, and is convinced that they are involved in shaping of the future of this nation,” Mahlab said.

The premier added that Mahfouz had expressed his respect for all layers of society during his meeting with him.

Mahfouz is the son of a simple man who didn’t complete his education but made sure that his sons would, Mahlab's statement read.

After being asked if he thought the son of a garbage collector should be appointed as a judge, in the Sunday interview, Mahfouz replied, "A judge should come from a social class suited to the job, with all due respect to garbage collectors.”

"A judge should come from a social class that is neither too high nor too low," he added.

The minister said he appreciated any garbage collector who had raised a son to graduate with a law degree, but said that he believed that if his son became a judge he would "become depressed" and wouldn't be able to continue in the position.

The comments stirred wide criticism.

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