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FAILURE EVEN BEFORE THE START
2017/07/31
The African National Congress is reputed for churning out lofty documents which they regrettably do not live up to.
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JUDGE MOGOENG SHOULD BE GIVEN A CHANCE

There has been much concern raised against Justice Mogoeng’s nomination to the office of Chief Justice. This happens as if he is being called in from some unknown planet and being imposed on the Constitutional Court. One wonders what would be case if the President had nominated some judge who is not already on the bench in the Constitutional Court.

Let us look at the facts surrounding Mogoeng’s rise.

While a prosecutor in the Justice Department Mogoeng was nominated as a Judge. He was then shortlisted for interview; was interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission where he satisfied the requirements of Section 174 (1) of the Constitution upon which his name was forwarded to the President of the Republic for consideration for appointment.

The President of the Republic in terms of Section 174 (4) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996 consulted leaders of political parties to state their acceptance or otherwise of the appointment.

Mogoeng was then appointed as a judge. There was no squeak about what he did or did not do while a prosecutor. The issues raised by Section 27 and other instances as well as some individuals regaling what happened while Mogoeng was prosecutor are inconsequential as the due process was followed when he ascended to the judiciary.

If, for whatever reason, insufficient or no research was done then such matters could have been raised when Judge Mogoeng appeared before the Judicial Services Commission to be interviewed for the position of Judge President of the High Court in Mmabatho. He made the grade and the same procedure as above was (presumably) followed by the President of the Republic. Only one leader of a political party raised a concern. All other instances were happy with his appointment as Judge President enjoying the same status as all other heads of the Judiciary in other High Courts.

Having served for over seven years as Head of the High Court without anyone raising a finger about his qualities and abilities or otherwise as a judge, Mogoeng was recommended for consideration to serve as a judge of the Constitutional Court upon which a procedure similar to the two above was followed and for the record the President of the Republic consulted leaders of political parties and the Judicial service Commission about his suitability to be appointed to such court. The result was concurrence from all concerned.

One wonders whether all those who are up against Mogoeng’s nomination to head the Constitutional Court have not been living in South Africa all along. It surprises that with the judge having appeared before the JSC so many times and the President having called on those mandated by Section 174 (4) of the Constitution to speak out on such appointments for so many times there is this uproar when he has to go a step further.

The South African public has had enough chance to scrutinize who Mogoeng is and is capable of and should not be seen to be doing their utmost to drag the mat under his feet at this stage after letting so many opportunities go without raising their ire against him.

The time has come that people should play the ball and not the man and that they hate the sin and not the sinner.

Mogoeng has not applied for the position of Chief Justice. He has been approached for nomination and accepted and it is up to the Judicial Services Commission to assess and ascertain his suitability or otherwise for that position.

Let us pray much the strength of Justice Mogoeng to give a good account of himself when he appears before the Judicial Services Commission so that he may serve with clear conscience and distinction.

Sent by: Sipho Mfundisi
Deputy Leader: UCDP


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