PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
ProJusticio
 
Comments: 3
Article views: 168
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all ProJusticio's badges.
 

This article has been selected as an Editor’s Choice report. Articles are selected based on quality of writing, audience response, newsworthiness and originality, and is at the discretion of the MyNews24 editors.

The judiciary as a mistress.

31 December 2011, 08:21
In recent times the judiciary has been lectured, lambasted and repeatedly warned to maintain its place and to refrain from overruling the will of the people, as manifest in our ANC government’s decisions and laws.

The President, the ANC Chief Whip and ANC Secretary General have all taken turns at this. This has happened even though the reality is that, if any judge does not understand that a judge must be apolitical, he/she is incompetent and should not be on the Bench. As an Acting Judge in the Eastern Cape I met many judges. I can give the categorical assurance that not one of them needs such lectures or advice. In fact it is grossly insulting. See “South Africa – a Constitutional Democracy under attack..”

There is now also a credible perception that, in addition, ANC leadership is implementing an agenda to “pack” the judiciary with “onside” judges, starting with the controversial appointment of Mogoeng Mogoeng, who was undoubtedly carefully handpicked for the post of Chief Justice, even though he was not the best candidate by a very long way. It is supposed that by having onside judges dodgy legislation, like the now internationally infamous Protection of State Information Bill, will be upheld by the courts.

If this is indeed the agenda, might I humbly, but passionately, advise and counsel ANC leadership to abandon it. It won’t work. It will not work! It will fail! I base my advice on my experiences as a judge and having attended international judicial conferences.

You see, once a human being is appointed as a judge, the psychological climate that he/she is then operating in is incredibly unique and different from that of the rest of us. It is a truism that judges lead lonely lives. Indeed they do, even though it is an incredibly fulfilling life. However it is not fulfilled by anything that any politician is able to offer. Once you appoint a person as a judge there is nothing more that you are able to offer, give or favour him/her with. Judges exist outside the circles in which assets, power and influence are traded in and dispensed.

Like any human being a judge needs personal affirmation on a continuous basis. That affirmation can only come from within judicial circles, not from outside. The judge becomes immersed in a world in which he/she is divorced from the hum drum of ordinary life and becomes preoccupied with developing a love for that which is good, that which is right, that which can be held up as truth for all to see. Truth becomes both the objective and the journey travelled, not polemics.

In addition, the way the system works, ensures that diversion from this path is quickly exposed. It is very difficult for a judge to give a bad judgment without soon knowing that he/she has stepped off the path and is losing the affirmation that we all crave. Your decisions and judgments are necessarily seen, considered and studied by your local and international community of judges, the legal sector, including legal scholars. It is members of this community that will react.

You will then know, beyond doubt, whether or not you are in step or starting on a maverick path. Probably the worst maverick path a judge can chose to take is one in which he/she is then seen by his/her peers as beholden to a politician. It is about as reprehensible as incest. The psychological pressure is both overarching and subconsciously enormously insistent.

It was therefore not at all surprising to me when, despite the highly visible and loud warnings, admonitions and counsel, the Supreme Court of Appeal handed down a very keenly worded judgment that the appointment of Menzi Simelane as the Director of the National Prosecuting Authority was unconstitutional for being irrational.

Put simply, once a person is appointed as a judge he/she will feel compelled to start acting like a judge --- not a politician. Ask the previous Nationalist Party that burnt its finger very badly when it tried to “take over the Bench” by appointed “onside” people as judges. In my book “The Other – without fear, favour or prejudice” I explain how I always felt a “dual personality”. 

There was Chris Greenland, an ordinary man, pretty terrified of the very Court he was presiding over, and there was Judge Greenland, who carried out a sacred office with due decorum. There were decisions that I handed down, which I did not “personally” support. However, as a judge, I was satisfied that they were right.
Lady Justice

So my appeal to ANC leadership is that, if that is your plan, don’t do it. Appointing people other than on merit will only result in South Africa having a mediocre Bench. As a result all citizens will eventually suffer.

It is not possible to have the judiciary as a mistress. The mistress will find love, comfort and satisfaction elsewhere. There is nothing you will be able to offer to keep her loyal.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Traveller from Kasi

Let’s just face it, travelling can be a bliss. Read more...

0 comments 28 views
Submitted by
Larry
International law is not a suicid...

Reason will apportion blame where it belongs. Only the children of Gaza are innocent and their blood is on Hamas’s hands.  Read more...

14 comments 206 views
Submitted by
Samantha Corbett
What does a book mean to you?

The right to literacy and the right to education should be fundamental pillars for every society. Books represent many things, but at their core, they’re a powerful medium for education and the growth and distribution of knowledge Read more...

1 comments 61 views
Submitted by
Reflect 014
Is this Middle Ages Plague stagin...

In addition to the ongoing spread and efforts to contain the Ebola virus there has been a re-emergence of a middle-ages bacterial disease known as Bubonic plague. Read more...

3 comments 138 views
Submitted by
MIcheal Rhodes
Dear South Africa, being black do...

I have read a plethora of comments on this site with one underlying message; black people in general are incompetent. Dear South Africa that could not be further from the truth.  Read more...

57 comments 1198 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
The unseen unkown world around us

For the past few months I have been involved in a project in my hometown. Read more...

4 comments 1284 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.