No other nominations for chief justice

2011-08-20 20:49

Cape Town - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will not call for further nominations for the position of chief justice other than President Jacob Zuma's nomination, Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng.

There had been "lengthy deliberations" and a "secret ballad" and the majority of the commission had decided that they would not call for further nominations, JSC spokesperson CP Fourie said in Cape Town on Saturday.

"The JSC deliberated on whether it would call for further nominations other than that made by the President, and resolved by a majority that it is neither permissible nor desirable to do so.

"The JSC will convene a meeting to which it will invite the nominee of the President to submit to an interview for the purpose of determining the suitability of that candidate to be appointed as chief justice," he said.

"The proposed date for the public interview is Saturday September 3 in Cape Town."

The JSC was meeting in Cape Town this weekend to discuss procedure in the consultation process over Zuma's nomination of Judge Mogoeng.

Fourie said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe was present at the commission. "[He] contributed in the debate."

Fourie said the debate about nominations was conducted in a "professional manner".


The JSC would now send an invitation to Mogoeng for an interview.

Once the JSC's invitation has been sent to Mogoeng, he must complete a prescribed questionnaire which will be submitted with his CV to the commission, Fourie said.

The JSC will also invite various law bodies to make written submissions on the Mogoeng's suitability for the position of chief justice.

Those law bodies included: the General Council of the Bar of SA, the Law Society of SA, the Magistrates Association of SA, and the department of justice and constitutional development, among others.

Fourie said the JSC would look at Mogoeng's written responses, the responses he gives at the interview and submissions from the various law bodies.

The JSC would then advise Zuma, in writing, whether Mogoeng is a suitable person to be appointed to the position of chief justice.

Zuma nominated Mogoeng on Tuesday to replace former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, whose term of office expired on Sunday.


In terms of the Constitution, Zuma has to appoint the chief justice after consultation with the JSC and leaders of parties represented in the National Assembly.

The Democratic Alliance spokesperson, Dene Smuts, said the party would only comment on Mogoeng's nomination when DA leader Helen Zille gave Zuma her reply on Mogoeng's suitability for the position and after the JSC has had an opportunity to interview the nominee.

The DA also called for a public interview with Mogoeng after Zuma announced him as his nominee for chief justice.

Other opposition parties have strongly opposed Mogoeng's nomination on the grounds that he lacks the necessary experience, especially on constitutional issues.

The ANC and its allies, on the other hand, have thrown their weight firmly behind Zuma's choice.

This weekend's meeting would be chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, as set out in the JSC Act.

  • dagwood4455 - 2011-08-20 21:07

    I thought the JSC is a legitimate organisation, but do they have any balls?

  • Grant - 2011-08-20 21:15

    There had been "lengthy deliberations" and a "secret ballad" Huh! I've heard of singing for your supper but this is just daft! I trust that the DA call for a public interview is heeded.

  • valleyman - 2011-08-20 22:02

    Hang on a sec. So the great JZ nominates some inexperienced judge from the great metropolis of Mafikeng, and that's that? Naturally the JSC folds and snivels as it is wont to do. I sincerely hope this gets binned by the Concourt before this character has a chance to subvert that too. What next, JZ declares himself the last Emperor of Mzansi and we are expected to meekly bow at the knee?

  • debrakayestylist - 2011-08-20 22:12

    Come Like "Moeletsi Mbeki FOR President " on facebook and help us steer this country in a constructive direction!

      farmworker - 2011-08-21 17:58

      He is a Card Carrying member of the ANC after all, but I don't like him still.

  • Phaedioux - 2011-08-20 22:14

    "There had been "lengthy deliberations" and a "secret ballad" and the majority of the commission had decided that they would not call for further nominations". Did this 'ballad' get sung by a tenor or a bass? - probably depends on the size of the 'cajones'!

  • Sean - 2011-08-20 22:23

    Well we all know a white nomination would NEVER be considered anyway

  • Mixyez - 2011-08-20 22:34

    It seems like there are too many political favours owing, and now they are being called in. I wonder what this guy did for JZ in the past??????

      kpd108 - 2011-08-20 22:45

      Couldn't agree with you more!!! Another bloke getting payment for past favours to JZ!!!

      OuBoerseun - 2011-08-20 23:13

      Hey maybe it is "Pay Day" for some legal work relating to the corruption charges that mysteriously disappeared and this is the payback. A fat salary and no real reason to "whack" because he will be the boss. The concept of management by the majority of BEE appointees is "Hau I am paid to watch people whack"

  • Ben - 2011-08-20 22:44

    Did this journalist not do a spellcheck on the article? It's atrocious. In any event, the JSC does not have to power to interfere, as far as I understand the constitution.

  • braamc - 2011-08-20 23:45

    Judiciary system in this country, like everything else - disaster

  • Vince York - 2011-08-21 01:09

    Cro-Magnon Tribal Democracy? Will any citizen ever trust the judgement of a deployed lackey?

  • OLIBO - 2011-08-22 23:11

    I think the current process of appointing the CJ should be amended so that the JSC should nominate a candidate/s for consideration by the President. Can you imagine a situation whereby the JSC rejects the President's nominated candidate? Currently the President does not need to agree with the JSC or leaders of the political parties, as long as he consult them - meaning - telling them what he wants to do. Even in the so called exemplary democracies the presidents prefer judges who share the same values and beliefs. Bush with his conservative judges and Obama's prerence for more liberal candidates. What is happening in SA is not unique.

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