Mogoeng answers critics in JSC interview
Cape Town - The Judicial Service's Commission (JSC) gave Constitutional Court judge Mogoeng Mogoeng the opportunity to answer his critics before his interview started in Cape Town on Saturday morning.
Mogoeng is President Jacob Zuma's proposal for Chief Justice.
"You are the president's nominee for Chief Justice and the JSC has convened with a view to determining in its opinions whether you are a suitable candidate to be appointed as Chief Justice," Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke , who is chairing the interview said.
Earlier Aids activists sang and danced inside the hall of Cape Town Convention Centre where Mogoeng was to be interviewed.
The special sitting was open to the public and the media. There was an audience of more than 1 000 people, many wearing "HIV positive" and "Feminist" T-shirts.
Moseneke asked the audience to refrain from clapping during the proceedings.
"The applause will hardly help in having an open and beneficial debate," he said.
"I will ask you not to go that route otherwise we will have to adjourn and hold the debate in private meeting.
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) spokesperson Mark Heywood said the organisation had many concerns about Mogoeng's appointment.
"We are firmly of the view that he is not a suitable candidate." Heywood said Mogoeng had delivered a significant number of judgments that showed "patriarchy" and leniency to rape and women abuse.
"We have studied Justice Mogoeng's written submission to the JSC, but his response does no settle our concerns.
"His judgments speak for themselves."
Mogoeng was nominated by Zuma to be the country's next chief justice following the retirement of former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo after his term of office expired on August 14.
In his submission to the JSC, Mogoeng said he was not homophobic or gender-insensitive, nor is he inexperienced for the job.
Before the interview began the Democratic Alliance's candidate on the JSC, Hendrik Schmidt, had wanted to reopen the debate on further candidates.
After much discussion however, Moseneke ruled the commission would stick to the agenda and discuss the issue later.
"It is not necessary to conduct a separate ballot and we will proceed with the agenda," Moseneke said.
"If there is any need to revisit this matter it will be at the end of the interview.