Hoffman takes advice on ruling

2013-09-10 16:17

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Advocate Paul Hoffman is taking advice on the Judicial Conduct Committee's dismissal of his complaint about Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's remarks on transformation, he said on Tuesday.

"I have studied [the decision] and I'm taking advice. I am now waiting for that advice", said Hoffman, who is director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa.

He was speaking after the committee's finding was announced on Tuesday.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) informed Mogoeng on Monday that a two-member panel had decided Hoffman's complaint should be dismissed.

The complaint was made about comments Mogoeng made while addressing Advocates for Transformation in Cape Town in July, and a remark Mogoeng allegedly made to Hoffman in The Hague, also in July.

Hoffman's complaint included allegations of contempt of court and of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, which could be construed as gross misconduct.

The institute contended that this could constitute grounds to justify Mogoeng's impeachment.

In Mogoeng's Cape Town speech on transformation he was reported as saying: "The apparent discomfort with the progress we are making in transforming the judiciary... must be dealt with decisively.

"And, for the record, many white males have been recommended for appointment by the JSC over the years. It is for them and those who know them better to say whether they are 'executive toys'."

In The Hague, he allegedly said to Hoffman: "You can continue to challenge me, but you will continue to be frustrated".

Findings

The committee's panel found that the complaint did not fall within the parameters of Section 14(4) of the Judicial Service Commission Act.

Section 15(2) of the act stipulates that complaints against judges, which do not fall within the parameters of Section 14(4) should be summarily dismissed.

"It was perfectly legitimate for [Mogoeng] to participate in a debate about transformation of the judiciary and to express his views on what he perceives to be resistance to it," the panel said in its report.

"His frankly expressed views were bound to sit uncomfortably with sections of the legal profession and the judiciary, but that cannot be said to undermine the standing and integrity of the judiciary."

The panel also found that, as head of the judiciary, Mogoeng could not avoid participating in discourse around transformation of the legal profession and the judiciary.

It found Hoffman's complaint that Mogoeng had descended into the political arena as "rather disingenuous".

"As head of the Judicial Services Commission, he was not only entitled to articulate the views and position of this body on the matter, but also to defend it."

The panel found there was no basis for Hoffman's complaint that Mogoeng was in contempt of court or attempting to defeat the ends of justice, as Mogoeng did not mention a particular case in his speech.

Regarding Hoffman's complaint about the comment Mogoeng allegedly made in The Hague, the panel said that without context the words were meaningless.

"The complaint that the remark constitutes a violation of some or other constitutional right is simply far-fetched."

"... The complainant [Hoffman] cannot engage in what appears to be provocative conduct towards the respondent [Mogoeng] and then turn around and complain that the resultant confrontation will prejudice his future appearances before the Constitutional Court."

Read more on:    jsc  |  mogoeng mogoeng  |  paul hoffman  |  johannesburg  |  judiciary

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
12 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.