Mogoeng slams whites who resist change, JSC critics

2013-07-09 17:01

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Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has launched a scathing attack on a “good number” of white South Africans, saying their “apparent resistance to change” is a “constant and rude reminder” of apartheid.

Mogoeng has also lashed all critics of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for what he calls a “clutching at straws to discredit the JSC”.

Mogoeng made the speech, on the topic of The Duty to Transform, at a meeting of the Advocates for Transformation in Cape Town on Saturday.

Mogoeng began by saying that the “wounds and excruciating pain caused by centuries of being subjected to psychological trauma and merciless ‘beatings’ are still fresh and sharp”.

“The poverty, lack of real economic opportunities and the apparent resistance to change by a good number of fellow South Africans, who benefited tremendously from the excellent educational and economic opportunities reserved exclusively for them by the apartheid system, can only serve as a constant and rude reminder to the victims of poverty and limited opportunities for career and professional advancement.”

Mogoeng said it appeared that “war has been declared against transformation” and that people were “clutching at straws” to discredit the JSC.

He did not mention anyone by name, but said that the “same people or organisations who are accusing the JSC of being controlled by politicians are beginning to look like they want to control the JSC themselves”.

Mogoeng also said this “illegitimate neo-political (sic) campaign to have certain people appointed must be strongly opposed”.

But he also warned that defenders of transformation should be ready for “untold attacks from all sorts of people projecting themselves as fiercely independent, impartial, progressive analysts or highly respected professional commentators”.

“Be ready to be trashed by a well-coordinated network of individuals and entities often pretending to be working in isolation from each other.”

The JSC is currently opposing a court action by the Helen Suzman Foundation, which wants set guidelines on the relationship between transformation and merit for the JSC when it appoints judges.

Dene Smuts, the DA’s spokesperson on Justice and Constitutional Development, has also submitted a private members bill to Parliament which, if passed, would reduce the number of politicians on the JSC.

Full speech – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's address to a meeting of the Advocates for Transformation in C...

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