Independent judiciary ‘critical to punish the corrupt’

2013-10-10 08:27

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An independent judiciary was vital to corruption-busting efforts in South Africa, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in Cape Town.

Delivering the fourth annual National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) human rights lecture, Mogoeng said yesterday corruption was frustrating the realisation of socio-economic rights for too many citizens.

Mogoeng acknowledged corruption was rife in South Africa, but said at times it was “exaggerated”.

“How we make sure it’s rooted out [is] through this independent judiciary, that we make sure that whoever is brought before our courts because of corruption, this corruption that frustrates the objective of socio-economic rights that our constitution promises... is dealt with and dealt with effectively,” he said.

Mogoeng said it was also vital to ensure the bench was free of corrupt judges who took bribes.

“Imagine if you have three corrupt judges... if we are corrupt it will take the word from one of the most powerful to say we have won this tender... and even oil your hand,” he said.

He made reference to those who won tenders for government building projects, but did not deliver or underperformed despite lining their pockets with taxpayers’ money.

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