Mogoeng: Juries not suitable for SA

2012-10-03 22:28

Durban - Trial by jury is not suitable for South Africa and would simply clog up the legal system, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in Durban on Wednesday.

Mogoeng said he believed that the wide discrepancies in education between various South Africans would be problematic.

The jury system of trials was abolished in South Africa in the 1960s.

"It would complicate the system. I'm against it because it's time consuming and it is not suited to our country."

Mogoeng was speaking at the law school of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's socio-legal programme titled "In Conversation With".

He said that after having witnessed the jury trial system in the United States, he believed that the country would "be better off without it".

Asked about perceptions that his appointment last year was politically motivated, Mogoeng challenged anyone to bring proof of that.

He said he was concerned that there were some who "were lazily clasping at allegations" and challenged the media to "not be lazy" and to investigate the facts.

He said his selection process had been exactly the same as that of his predecessors and that no evidence had been produced during the process regarding his appointment being political.

"How politics comes into my appointment amazes me."

When Mogoeng arrived at the university he was met by a man who lectured him when he was a student there. Professor David Mcquoid-Mason and Mogoeng exchanged embraces outside the university's Howard College building.

  • - 2012-10-03 23:47

    Nketso.kgwadi..... I have many, many black friends. I respect Nelson Mandela. He is a good man. A black man made a realistic and fair comment. I've commended him on his article. You are the one with the chip on your sholder.Bitterness comes from giving and not receiving. The bitterness comes from being oppressed. If you were opressed, I appoligise for the previous goverment. Now I am oppressed and am dealing with it.I refuse to lie down and stand a robot like most white boys do lately. All I want is for people to stop taking what belong to them and everything will fall into place. - 2012-10-04 01:44

      Sorry...Meant to say that people must STOP taking things that do not belong to them.

  • lionel.defrontignac - 2012-10-04 05:52

    He's quite right; I'm in the business, and I would hate for my client to be tried by a jury: - juries do not have to give reasons for their verdict. - the only way you can therefore appeal is if the trial judge misdirects them. - One just has to look at the horrifc stories from the USA where people have been executed after a jury trial, and years later, they have been proven innocent. A judge or magistrate has to give full reasons for her or his verdict, which can then be scrutinised on appeal. Our CJ has said education is one of the considerations, I would say that, even if the jury were all University Professors, I still would not want a jury trial. Leave law to the lawyers.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-04 06:22

    At least he speaks sense as far as the jury system is concerned.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-10-04 06:26

    Corrupt juries will be the order of the day. You right it would never work, most people are poor and willing to sell there conscience for a wad of cash.

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-10-04 06:45

    PHEW! having gone through a court case many years ago, wherein the persons were black, I shudder at the thought of the HOURS spent with translators. It was horrific. I understand a fair portion of Xhosa, and truly, what was presented, was not what the translator produced. The magistrate could not understand a word, and it went on and on.... anyway, that system is flawed, as pointed out by many here. Imagine trying to find people who speak all 11 languages? Imagine the 'grants', food, and accommodation that will be demanded? Imagine the backlog of court cases a gazillion times worse than right now? eish.....leave well alone, well spoken Chief Justice....a glimmer of santiy in a bleak world.

  • gerry.pelser - 2012-10-04 06:49

    The jury system: where 12 people to stupid to get out of jury duty decides which party has the better lawyer. Please god, no! The jury-system is flawed and out-dated - it should be abolished globally. Moegoe-eng moegoe-eng said something intelligent - yay!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-04 06:54

    Juries are a comic survival of peasant justice. But I now want his opinion on how Judges are appointed. Justice is not the concern of the State only.

      gordon.turner.37 - 2012-10-04 08:08

      This is proven by the fact when you really need a decision in law it ends up in front of a federal judge or Supreme Court. Even here the magistrates are not as clever as they could be and they often get things wrong.

  • Tshepo Gwamanda - 2012-10-04 07:24

    Max Reyneke from Ventersdorp!!! I'm black and employed!! does it mean to you afrikaners, I should not have been appointed simply because i'm black!? government has to pass a law AA for black people to get appointed!? wow!!! You are even a bigger fool than the dead AWB leader whats his face!!!!?

  • Tshepo Gwamanda - 2012-10-04 07:40

    no no no no!!!! please no jury system in SA!!! can you imagine, my fate resting in the hands of a bunch of uneducated ANC commies!!!!? shoooooo scary thought!!! lol lol lol!!!!

  • nketso.kgwadi - 2012-10-04 08:27

    @anikenvader so u just missed the part where he says bcos he is white he does not want 11 uneducated black juries bcos they r corrupt waist his life and being black doesn't mean my common goals r that of the ANC pls what you doing you just is painting everyone with the same brush abt nationnalisation nkandla.

  • Jon Low - 2013-10-12 06:19

    Mogoeng is correct. Judge and Assessors works best.

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