Chief justice choice - opposition unhappy

2011-08-16 22:14

Cape Town - Only the ANC has so far come out in support of President Jacob Zuma's surprise nomination on Tuesday of Constitutional Court Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng as new chief justice.

Opposition parties mostly questioned the wisdom of the move.

Acknowledging receipt of Zuma's letter on Tuesday regarding the appointment of a new chief justice, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said it was difficult to give views on a candidate who had "already been chosen" by Zuma, because of not being acquainted with the selection criteria used.

However, after a brief background check he discovered Mogoeng, 50, seemed to lack Constitutional Court experience and "appears controversial to say the least".

"The only positive that I could casually pick up about the nominee is his age... I would strongly recommend that the experience of the candidate for the position of chief justice be accorded due regard in the selection method used," Holomisa said.

Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Koos van der Merwe said he had been taken by surprise by the nomination.

Mogoeng was a relatively junior judge in comparison to other more senior, experienced judges.

One would have expected a far more senior judge to have been afforded the opportunity to occupy the most powerful position in the judiciary.

"However, as it is clear that president Zuma has already made up his mind and that the consultation process is a mere formality, it is a foregone conclusion that Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng will be appointed the next chief justice," Van der Merwe said.

Track record

The Democratic Alliance reserved immediate comment on Zuma's nomination.

DA leader Helen Zille confirmed receiving a letter from Zuma asking for the DA's comments on Mogoeng's suitability for the position by August 24.

The party would carefully consider Mogoeng's track record, jurisprudence, and past commitment to the independence of the judiciary.

In addition, given the proposed expanded functions and office of the chief justice within the new legislative framework of the courts, any nominee for the position would need to have clearly displayed superior administrative and financial skills.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder also reserved immediate comment.

It was in South Africa's interest that a new chief justice would defend the independence of the legal system and the Constitution in an impartial manner.

"As the president has given us time until the 24th August 2011 to submit comments, I will be discussing the issue with party members and the decision making structures of the Freedom Front Plus before we give any comments," Mulder said.

Full confidence

The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania spokesperson Apa Pooe said Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke should have been nominated instead.

It was a vote of no confidence in Moseneke who had served no fewer than two different chief justices.

However, the PAC's disappointment did not in any way reflect on Mogoeng's capacity or reflect non-support thereof, he said.

The ANC, on the other hand, welcomed the nomination and said it had "full confidence" in him.

"Not only do we welcome progress in the process of filling the void left by retired chief justice Ngcobo, we firmly believe that this will now create certainty and stability in the highest court in the country - the Constitutional Court," spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

Zuma nominated Mogoeng to replace former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo whose term of office ended on Sunday.

In terms of the Constitution, Zuma has to appoint the chief justice after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and leaders of parties represented in the National Assembly.

Preferred candidate

On Tuesday Zuma sent letters to parties and the commission advising them of his nomination of Mogoeng as his preferred candidate for chief justice.

"Justice Mogoeng, who was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2009, brings several years of experience in the legal profession, including the judiciary," he said.

Mogoeng was appointed a judge of the North West High Court in June 1997, judge of the Labour Appeal Court in April 2000, and in October 2002 he became the judge president of the North West High Court.

He was born in Goo-Mokgatha (Koffiekraal) village, north-east of Zeerust, on January 14, 1961.

He graduated from the University of Zululand with a B Juris in 1983, and completed his LLB at the University of Natal, Durban in 1985.

In 1989, he completed his studies at the University of South Africa, where he studied an LLM concentrating on labour law, the law of property, the law of insurance, the law of evidence, and the law of criminal procedure.

- SAPA

Read more on:    jsc  |  da  |  ff plus  |  udm  |  pac  |  ifp  |  sandile ngcobo  |  jackson mthembu  |  jacob zuma  |  bantu holomisa  |  dikgang moseneke  |  helen zille  |  koos van der merwe  |  pieter mulder  |  mogoeng mogoeng  |  judiciary
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

DA ad scores nearly half a millions hits on YouTube

The DA's "Ayisafani" (It's not the same) election TV advert - originally pulled off the air by the SABC - has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! 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

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

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.