Office needs resources, own budget - Mogoeng

2014-11-28 21:41
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (File: Sapa)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng (File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The office of the chief justice needs to be equipped to efficiently expedite justice, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Friday.

"This office became a national department in 2010, but still we do not have our own budget, and are severely constrained," Mogoeng told Parliament's justice portfolio committee.

"The department of women, children and people with disabilities was started in 2009, but it took it about a month to have their own office space and own budget.

"The office of the chief justice was established the following year in 2010. Unlike anyone else, we remain the only ones whom things are bought for."

He said his office lacked capacity.

The committee, led by chairperson Mathole Motshekga, was meeting the heads of the judiciary at the offices of the chief justice in Johannesburg.

Lack of office space, and inadequate computer equipment and library material to use for judgments were a concern.

"It would become embarrassing when we even lack files for documents, and when we ask what happened, we are told that the justice department did not purchase files," he said.

"If we can't get resources for what lies at the heart of the justice system, we have a huge problem."

Mogoeng said the office had to make do with what was available under difficult circumstances.

The fight for judicial freedom was realised when Judge Sandile Ngcobo was appointed chief justice in 2009.

"Justice Ngcobo is the man who sowed the seeds for the independence of the judiciary," Mogoeng said.

"But by the time he left the office, he was a frustrated man in relation to the progress made."

Out of a R19bn budget allocated to the department of justice, the office of the chief justice received R1.4bn.

"The amount barely covers the needs of the office to roll out an efficient justice system. We can't even manage the budget because we do not have our own budget as it is."

Committee member Christian Themba Tshabalala said the state of Mogoeng's office was embarrassing.

"It is embarrassing that the arm of justice suffers even when compared to Chapter 9 institutions. The chief justice's presentation and the extent of concerns make it necessary to hold more of these meetings," he said.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014
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