'Red lights flashing' over Mogoeng

2011-09-05 09:28

Johannesburg - The Sonke Gender Justice Network expressed concern on Monday about reports that Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng would be the country's next chief justice.

"We are worried and disappointed," Sonke spokesperson Mbuyiselo Botha told SABC radio news. "Red lights are flashing."

Botha said there was already a "persistent failure from the judicial system as to how [abused] women in this country are handled".

"It [the system] is not taking care of women suffering from abuse."

Botha said if Mogoeng's past judgments were anything to go by, it did not bode well for women.


Mogoeng was grilled at the weekend by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) following President Jacob Zuma's nomination for him to become the country's next chief justice.

His past judgments have been scrutinised in the media, including rulings on marital rape.

Lawyer Paul Hoffman, of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, told SABC on Monday morning that he hoped criticisms against Mogoeng's nomination would cause Zuma to reconsider his appointment.

"He [Mogoeng] was not able to properly deal with the criticisms about his gender insensitivity, about his professional ethics, about his experience and capacity as a judge nor about his attitude toward homosexuality," Hoffman told the broadcaster.

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 was he inexperienced for the job.

A JSC commissioner told Sapa on Sunday that most of its members had voted in favour of his appointment.

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