Mogoeng 'approved' as chief justice

2011-09-04 19:44

Cape Town - The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) will recommend to President Jacob Zuma that Mogoeng Mogoeng be the next chief justice, a commissioner told Sapa on Sunday.

The commissioner, speaking on condition of anonymity, said JSC members had voted in favour of Mogoeng who was interviewed throughout Saturday and Sunday on whether he was an appropriate choice for the job .

The JSC is still to comment.

Earlier on Sunday, one of President Jacob Zuma's representatives on the JSC told Mogoeng that he did not support him for the post.

"My candidate is the Deputy Chief Justice [Dikgang Moseneke]," Commissioner Dumisa Ntsebeza, who is also the chairperson of the Avusa group, told Mogoeng in Cape Town during his interview for the post.

"If it were my choice I would have gone for him."

Mogoeng replied that he was aware of Ntsebeza's view, but that this was the first time he had heard him "say it".

Ntsebeza told Mogoeng that if there was "a successful challenge" to his nomination as chief justice, he should continue to show the dignity he had shown since being nominated for the position by Zuma.


"If it were for me to say to you, that dignity that has been commented upon by everyone with which you met these attacks of you over the while, should continue," Ntsebeza said.

However, Commissioner Izak Smuts said the "petulance" Mogoeng showed when he "lost his temper" with Moseneke, who is chairing the interview, on Saturday had raised questions about his suitability for the post.

On Saturday while explaining his decisions not to provide reasons for dissenting in a case involving a ruling on homosexuality, Mogoeng snapped at Moseneke, telling him there was "no need for sarcasm".

He later apologised for the remark.

"If you listen, you might be able to answer," said Moseneke.

"You don't have to be sarcastic, sir," retorted Mogoeng.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Koos van der Merwe said in his 15 years as a commissioner on the JSC he had never seen a candidate behave that way.

"It points to me that you are not suitable to be the number one lawyer in the country. This is the first time in 15 years that an applicant is so arrogant that he has done what you have done now," Van der Merwe said.


On Sunday Mogoeng defended his loss of temper.

"There is not a single human being who never loses his or her temper," he said.

"I am not God, I am a human being. It does happen that you don't realise your mistake until someone draws your attention to it.

"As soon as I recognised my wrongdoing, I did what I believe any human being who does not pretend to have a heart of stone had to do.

"You must be very careful not to overplay the weaknesses we all have as human beings."

Mogoeng said he had accepted the nomination to be chief justice not because he loved positions, but because "there is work to be done".

"I had to step forward to be interviewed," he said.

  • marco - 2011-09-04 20:07

    South Africa needs its judiciary to underpin its social progress.In a country where abortion is legal,same-sex couples marry,a strong civil society and an independent judiciary lets hope this virtual unknown Mogoeng's nomination as chief justice don't undermine the country's reputation as the most liberal outpost in all of Africa.No society is static,least of all African societies. I wonder why Zuma has twice now overlooked Dikgang Moseneke,Sandile Ngcobo's long-serving deputy,for this position?Is it because he serves the people of South Africa rather than the ANC and the Zuma power clique?It seems Moseneke has the reputation for being fiercely independent and he is a former political prisoner as well.So why ditch him and nominate Mogoeng? Mogoeng is a lightweight compared with the other judges that make up the 11-person constitutional court.I guess South African democracy faces two connected fears:a social conservative backlash and a lapdog judiciary.Mogoeng is a bit of an idiot.As a prosecutor in the 1980s Bophuthatswana he was overzealous in advocating the now unconstitutional death penalty,in 2001 he ruled that a 2 year sentence imposed on a man who tied a woman to the bumper of his car and dragged her at high speed was "too harsh",in 2004 he reduced by half a man's sentence for raping his 8month pregnant wife because they were not strangers and in 2007 he suspended a two-year jail sentence against a man who had raped his wife saying he had been sexually aroused.

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-09-04 20:28

      Another arrogant figure head in charge of the country's wellbeing.... Plus he admits he doesn't understand "big words"... Although it comes as no surprise.... Zuma's idea of get rich-quick-governance has never been hidden, so any Chief Justice he nominates will surely fall within those parameters. We know Zuma is corrupt, we know Malema is corrupt, we know many things wrong with our country yet it is allowed by the majority of people. So it is essentially our fault.

      Robnob - 2011-09-04 20:35

      Let the man have the job, they have finally found an ANC comrade that doesn't have a rape, corruption or murder charge behind his back. People like this are few and far between in the ANC ranks. (if there are any at all)

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-09-04 23:08

      Robnob... If you are correct i would be happier than if i was correct. But my head tells me the ANC is not stupid. You need a "clean" figure at the top to "clear" the "suspected"... Otherwise no one would buy it. This, together with the passing of the info bill, has shown a new more forceful and direct hand of the autocratic ANC

      TacksGP - 2011-09-05 10:59

      i see the beginning of bad times to come!!!

  • PinkAndProud - 2011-09-04 20:16

    Another Zooomer 783 puppet is bad for SA and a primitive, arrogant, tribal one is even worse.

  • farmworker - 2011-09-04 20:43

    Justice prevailed. Finally it seems there is hope after all; I see the bright light at the end of the tunnel.

      BigMoose - 2011-09-04 21:12

      Yes, it's the gravy train.

  • alexander taylor - 2011-09-04 20:57

    Well if there was a bookie taking bets on the result , l would have put my life savings on it ..... Zuma-coruption-Anc-coruption-result-coruption not a hard deduction

  • Eland Eland - 2011-09-04 21:18

    The great AGENDA of +/-90% whites, is to brush any aspiring non-white with" ; Corrupt, stealing, Rapist, Stupid, Arrogant, Backwards, Uncivilized, Not suitable, Etc, while they and their ‘own’ reserve to be: Respectable, exemplary, trustworthy, intelligent, good tempered, a total opposite by their standards. Helen Zille and Cape Town, just for an example, come immediately into mind. These same whites stole everything they claim to own in Africa, yet they do not want to acknowledge this, as they want every one to believe that they and only they are entitled to own free over our four fathers land, look what the West is doing over Arab land, just for oil, total greed! If the issue of Heaven and Hell, as explained in the Holy Bible, is really true, “white’ person, do you really think you are in line with Jesus’ real purpose on earth – can you really and honestly see yourself in heaven, is this a difficult question for you?

      Kradenko - 2011-09-04 21:57

      Show me one positive thing that has happened in this country since 1994? Who is running it and where is the money going?

      Eland Eland - 2011-09-04 22:13

      Kradenko, if you are talking to me, can you stop on your tracks, read my massage - and respond without as requested, desist shooting from your old hip as you are accustomed – this might be your last chance to repent!

      tailormade - 2011-09-05 09:55

      Eland, with all due respect: you ask another commentator to respond directly to your comment.....but your comment has got nothing to do with the article. Ever heard of people living in glass houses?

      Kradenko - 2011-09-05 12:40

      Repent for what?

      Sleepazoid - 2011-09-05 13:37

      My reply to you eland. -

  • SolomonMagalefa - 2011-09-04 21:59

    I think it's a brilliant choice. A young uncontaminated free thinker is just what we need in the judiciary right now. Whatever the motives of President Zuma with this nomination, the transparent JSC process unquestionably demonstrated that Judge Mogoeng is the right man for the job!

      Heidi - 2011-09-04 22:45

      And you must be braindead.

      leonard - 2011-09-05 00:08

      I can`t believe that I am actually going to answer solomon but here goes.The motives are very clear in Zapiro`s cartoon in todays Sunday Times.If you do not understand the cartoon,please come back on line and ask for help.With regards your other inane comments,see Heidi`s remark.

  • arthur.amgen - 2011-09-05 11:09

    The fools are those on the JSC who voted for this inexperienced, iliterate, Zuma stooge. Another AA appointee. Can,t even write out judgements. Does not know what rape is. Has superstitious believes that god wants him as SA top judge. What next! Welcome to South Africa where the incompetent, average and mediocre are rewarded with positions because of there skin colour.

      Monica - 2011-09-05 12:08

      Whether Judge Mogoeng is the best pertson for the job is in some doubt, but to call him inexperienced, illiterate and incompetent is an absolute disgrace, especially coming from someone who doesn't know the difference between there and their. These forums seem to have descended into a free for all where insult and invective are just thrown around. Have we really sunk so low?

  • chunkyme - 2011-09-05 11:30

    Heaven help women with this guy in charge who backs rapist and thinks they need a chance in life!!!!!!! What hidden skeletons has he got in his closet!

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