‘He is not a suitable candidate’

2011-09-03 09:07

Aids activists sang and danced inside the Cape Town Convention Centre this morning ahead of the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC’s) interview with chief justice nominee Mogoeng Mogoeng.

“The TAC has many concerns about Justice Mogoeng’s appointment,” Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) spokesperson Mark Heywood said.

“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 not settle our concerns. His judgments speak for themselves.”

In his submission to the JSC, Mogoeng said he was not homophobic or gender-insensitive, nor does he lack experience for the job.

Mogoeng has been nominated by President Jacob 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.

He would be interviewed in a special sitting of the JSC today to assess his suitability as chief justice.

After the interview, the JSC would deliberate on Mogoeng’s written responses, his responses at the interview, and submissions from various law bodies, among others.

Zuma would then be advised of the JSC’s views “as to his suitability or otherwise”.

Section 174(3) of the Constitution provides for the chief justice to be appointed by the president after consultation with the JSC and leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly.

The African Christian Democratic Party, the ANC and its allies, have thrown their weight behind Zuma’s choice of Mogoeng.

The decision however has been widely criticised by opposition parties, civil rights groups and NGOs and the Cape and Gauteng bars.

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