Judges didn't feel compelled to attend leadership course

2012-03-17 00:00

THE country’s top judges last night closed ranks around Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who is accused by some in the legal community of blurring the lines between the church and state.

This follows Justice Mogoeng’s invitation to his heads of court to attend a leadership conference josted by American evangelist John Maxwell. It raised the ire of his detractors, some of whom claimed it amounted to an order for judges to attend.

In a statement after a regular heads of court meeting in Johannesburg, Justice Mogoeng also publicly committed himself to the principles and values enshrined in the Constitution, stating he would not engage in any activity that would undermine these values.

The statement repeated his comments earlier this week that as far back as 2005 the need for heads of courts to be offered leadership training was identified and that a year later judges underwent leadership training over two days under the auspices of the Stephen Covey Foundation, who, the judge has previously noted, is also a Christian.

“In July 2011 the Access to Justice Conference passed a resolution that leadership training be offered to heads of courts. This resolution was further endorsed by the heads of courts themselves at one of their regular meetings,” the statement said.

Lulama Luti, the chief justice’s spokesperson, said those present at yesterday’s meeting “unanimously stated that they had not felt compelled to attend the conference” and regarded the invitation to attend the conference as presenting them with an opportunity to enhance and strengthen their leadership capacity.

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