Opposition parties stand firmly behind Mogoeng Mogoeng

2015-07-10 13:59
Hoofregter Mogoeng Mogoeng en pres. Jacob Zuma. | Foto: Siphiwe Sibeko

Hoofregter Mogoeng Mogoeng en pres. Jacob Zuma. | Foto: Siphiwe Sibeko

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Opposition parties this week came out in strong support of the chief justice, who drew a line in the sand amid increasing criticism of the judiciary from the government and the ANC. 

But not everyone believes that the meeting that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng requested with President Jacob Zuma would deliver much. 

Democratic Alliance member of Parliament, Advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, said yesterday that Zuma and his government had “collectively inflicted the most brutal assaults on our justice system to achieve their own self-interested ends”. 

The DA welcomed Mogoeng’s position against what the party labelled “improper political interference”. 

In a statement yesterday, Zuma reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the independence of the judiciary. 

Breytenbach dismissed his commitment as farcical. 

“The current wave of public criticism by the president and his executive in fact constitutes an escalating attempt to intimidate the judiciary to betray its constitutional duty and instead do the bidding of the executive.” 

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa also welcomed the judiciary’s stance to protect its independence. 

“The judges have reason to be concerned. It is now the ANC government’s habit, when courts rule against them, to play the race card or call them counter-revolutionary. Look what they did with the Public Protector, who was branded a CIA spy at one stage. Now they are targeting the bench but it is them who should be in the dock.” 

Holomisa said he didn’t understand how people could think anything would change with the proposed meeting. 

“The president is already too compromised. The onslaught on the judiciary from within the governing party is part of his agenda.” 

Inkatha Freedom Party MP, Professor Themba Msimang, said such a meeting was necessary so the president and his other members of the executive committee could explain their criticism and make a firm undertaking to respect the independence of the judiciary. 

“We cannot tolerate a situation where we ourselves undermine our own judges, who are internationally respected.” 

The Congress of the People said in a statement that the country was making a U-turn when it came to the rule of law. 

“It will soon be difficult to tell the difference between today’s ministers and ministers who served under PW Botha.” 

African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart said the president should undertake that he and his government would respect court orders.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  bantu holomisa  |  parliament  |  judiciary

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