Mind your language – Mogoeng Mogoeng

2013-08-09 15:02

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South Africans should lead by example if they want a society that doesn’t abuse women, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has said.

Addressing a women’s judges conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mogoeng said it was important for parents raising boys to teach them respect and to lead by example.

“If I beat up people, he will learn that is how he is supposed to be. If I insult people in public he will learn that is how he is supposed to be.”

He said South Africans should “mind our language, we have become too loose to express our anger”.

Mogoeng also praised the re-introduction of the sexual offences courts, but cautioned they needed to be adequately resourced.

“More numbers are needed ... These are not going to be effective for as long as you don’t have more prosecutors, more judicial officials and good interpreters,” Mogoeng said.

He also said he had met with Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi to discuss training for medical officers appointed by the department who played a role in providing documentary evidence of rape or assault and giving oral evidence in court.

“When I was a trial judge I saw many victims of violence, including women who had been raped, crying because those who attacked them were found not guilty and discharged. Those who examined the victims did not know what they were doing and did not know how to give evidence or complete forms.

“We can’t have a situation where people who are guilty are found not guilty because members of the medical profession did not do what they were meant to do,’’ he said.

Mogoeng said he had asked the heads of courts and the magistrates’ commission to do a needs assessment on the physical and human resources needed to make the courts more effective, while a multi-disciplinary effectiveness committee had been established to set norms and standards.

“I know that budgets have been cut, but crime in general and gender violence in particular must be priorities if our economy is to take shape, if our people are to have confidence in the broader justice system and the criminal justice system in particular,’’ Mogoeng said.

» Read more on the sexual offences courts in City Press on Sunday

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