Ramphele fears Mogoeng's gender views

2011-09-11 17:15

Johannesburg - Leading academic and businesswoman Mamphela Ramphele says she is “very afraid” that violence against women and children will not be curbed on newly-appointed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s watch.

Mogoeng was formally appointed by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday. The period between his nomination and appointment was marred by criticism of his alleged gender bias in rulings on sexual violence.

“As a woman, a black woman, I am very afraid that the alarming prevalence of gender-based violence and sexual abuse of women and children will not be curbed under his leadership of the Constitutional Court.

“The idea that what women wear and the choices they make to opt out of relationships would not be respected is likely to erode the gains that women made as part of the freedom dividend to have their rights enshrined in our Constitution,” said Ramphele in response to Mogoeng’s appointment.

After his appointment was confirmed, Mogoeng vowed to “uphold and protect the Constitution and the human rights entrenched in it, and to administer justice for all persons alike without fear, favour or prejudice in accordance with the Constitution and the law”.

'Chosen people'

Ramphele also criticised Mogoeng’s comments during an interview of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), that he believed he was God’s choice for the job.

“He does not seem to be sensitive to the fact that ours is a secular state and that while entitled to his own beliefs, he should not impose them on citizens with a diversity of belief systems.

The idea of being a chosen one in post-apartheid South Africa that is still wrestling with the legacy of a system of governance by a minority that was driven by the notion of a ‘chosen people’ is problematic and shows a lack of sensitivity and judgment.”

But advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, who chairs Advocates for Transformation and voted for Mogoeng’s appointment at the JSC, defended the new chief justice, saying he was often subjected to “below the belt” comments.

Ntsebeza said the debate about Mogoeng’s appointment brought tensions in the legal fraternity into the open “in all their ugliness”.

“In a strange sense, in my view that may not be a totally bad thing because it jolts us into the reality that we are still a very divided society, and please let us not pretend otherwise.

“Now is the time for all of us to look for real solutions, because we now know the reality of the problems we have and we will not try and put a gloss over the complexities.”

According to Ntsebeza there is a “struggle out there for control of the judiciary and for the shaping of our jurisprudence, which in turn is aimed at shaping societal values”.

'Below the belt'

The “characterisation” of Mogoeng as a “traditionalist” is a manifestation of that ideological divide, he says.

“Criticism of his views, mostly disguised as opposition only to what is seen as his Christian fundamentalism, is not only relentless but often ‘below the belt’.

"His views on ‘ubuntu’, as he himself implied in the interview, are caricatured and treated ‘disrespectfully’, Mogoeng said, almost as if – I suspect he wanted to say – they are merely a childlike and childish romanticisation of a not so perfect past.”

According to Ntsebeza, certain people “want more than is permissible and legitimate libertarianism".

"They want licence to say and do anything to and about anyone - all in the name of defending the Constitution and its values of freedom of expression.”

“It is, indeed, the age of unreason – the age of gross licentiousness!” Ntsebeza said.

  • Grant - 2011-09-11 17:51

    The nomination of mogoe by zooma has been suspicious from the beginning, the total disregard by zooma of the opposing viewpoints is dictatorial and not democratic in nature. No doubt the true reasons behind zooma's insistence on this highly unsuitable person will soon become obvious.

      farmworker - 2011-09-11 19:36

      @Grant Get over yourself, he is just as good as they come. If you listened to him carefully during his interview you will understand the whole legal fraternity is so f@cKtup. I heard of another Judge who presided over 20 cases involving his son, just imagine. Anyone studied law can not be trusted at all

      Grant - 2011-09-11 20:35

      @farmworker. I fully agree that the legal system is in trouble. Answer me just this one though, why is it in trouble? I can quite believe that a judge presided over his own son, how did he get away with it? It is all because the wrong and inappropriate people (cadres) are being appointed. Appointing mogoe is not a step forward, but many more steps backward. As I said, the true motivation is still to come out - zooma may not be very bright but he is very, very devious.

  • vegetarian - 2011-09-11 18:10

    Ramphele, you are free to emigrate to the lands of your handlers. I will never forgive you for suggesting the closure of Universities where poor people study, instead of suggesting that the government allocate more resources and improve standards. I am glad that President Mbeki threw your recommendations out of the window. How I wish your papers together with your views find their way into the rubbish dump where they belong.

      Anonymus - 2011-09-11 18:21

      shutup you twat!

      http404 - 2011-09-11 18:24

      @Veg: So, in your mind, everyone that does not agree with the leaders of a country should leave? With that logic, why didn't all the blacks leave during Apartheid? Because they have the right to be here - and so does all other people born here. Learn what a democracy is.

      http404 - 2011-09-11 18:25

      ..and so do all other...* - for the grammar police.

      bridgetann.woods - 2011-09-11 18:49

      I find it hard to believe that Dr Ramphele would make the suggestion to close universities without good cause if at all. Perhaps you did not take the time to read and research the whole story. In all the talks that I have seen her present at, all her books, all dealing with her, all I see is that everything she stands for is pro-education and equal education for all-and she demands that we have a high standard of education, that we stop dropping our standards to please a select few.. how can you not agree with this?

      vegetarian - 2011-09-11 19:16

      @Bridgetann If your high regard of Ramphele has any basis why was the University of Cape Town in turmoil during her tenure as Vice Chancellor. Why were black students baying for her blood. It is because of her nasty elitist attitude. Of course if you are a snob like her then you are inevitable going to be impressed by her attitude. She did call for the closure of some historically black institutions and I am in possession of her silly report. What she should have done was to highlight the unsatisfactory state of affairs in these institutions and call for more resources to uplift the standards, as these are state institutions. Of course people like her are the most valuable tools at your disposal, so that you are able to arrest the momentum of transformation.

      PinkAndProud - 2011-09-11 22:46

      VrotCabbage ~ STFU! You are obviously in need of some protein. Go and have a beeeg juicy steak so you can possibly think clearly you piece of slime!

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:44

      Vegetarian. Get real! This is a rather misguided remark. You choose to misinterpret Ramphele's stance on universities, and on this issue in particular she is talking absolute sense. Hopefully, as one of the internationally recognised intellectuals of worth in the reconstructing of our country, our leaders will take note to some extent. Not that Zuma's usual arrogant refusal to reverse a truly counter-productive decision is a surprise. He is a man dictated to by his misplaced sense of pride, and by little else.

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:48

      WIth respect, veggie, a bunch of students who battle to pass entrance exams are hardly people who command much respect. The fact that UCT was, according to you, "in turmoil" is because a bunch of over-demanding under-achievers did not get what they wanted. Hardly grounds for dismissing the remarks of a great intellect. Shame, so were denied a bursary?

  • Wendy Craig - 2011-09-11 18:20

    My hope for our country returns when people of the calibre of Mamphele Ramphele raise their voices to question the dubious 'leadership' of the ANC. We need the growing chorus of those growing disenchanted to get louder and demand to be heard and listened to.

  • MSHAZIE - 2011-09-11 18:49


      OZNOB - 2011-09-11 19:22

      it would appear that ramphele has less of a problem than both you and old rotten veg who have blinkered and biggotted views that are both vain and insane. the dear lady was able to convey her views and fears very concisely without offending anyone , you my dear sir have achieved very effectively just the opposite.

      burtfred - 2011-09-11 19:47

      Stop shouting, Mompara.

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:49

      Actually, she is an intellectual of note. And she doesn't need to shout to get attention. Do you need to go back to school?

  • Cire - 2011-09-11 18:56

    If Sis Ramphele is really concerned about the future of women and children in this country she should be very worried about the economic views of the ANCYL - they are far, far more dangerous to all living creatures that anything Mogoeng can do!

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:50

      Irrelevant. Try to be to the point.

  • Casper - 2011-09-11 19:05

    One swallow doesn't make a summer

  • - 2011-09-11 19:26

    Ms Ramphele I strongly disagree with you in regarding Chief Justice Mogoeng's believe system. The question was asked directly to him if he believe that he is God's choice and he just gave an honest and truthful answer. I reapect the fact that we have a secular state but that does not mean I cannot raise my view because I hold public office. Rev. George Smith

      BryanJhb - 2011-09-11 19:49

      If Moegoeng sincerely believed that his appointment was in line with God's will then it would have been appropriate for him to have kept that between himself and God and not to have come public with it. By not doing so, he comes across as extremely pious. Also, bear in mind 2 Corinthians 11: 14 which says that "even Satan himself is able to take the form of an angel of light".

      Netherlander - 2011-09-11 22:38

      ANY ONE that proffesses to +"SPEAK TO GOD"... or "GOD SPEAKS THEM" HAS TO BE BLOODY LOONIE TOONS!!! Serious... How do we know it WAS GOD?????????? How do we know it WAS NOT THE VOICES IN HIS HEAD???? FFS...get a life!

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:51

      Rev.. Your opinion is biased. We live in a SECULAR state.

  • Bess - 2011-09-11 20:05

    Frankly, if the new Chief Justice, and his sycophant Ntsebeza, cannot take the heat of Rational, Fact-based criticism, they should stay out of the judicial kitchen. - 2011-09-11 20:15

      I do not agree if you did listen to the interview, Koos van der Merwe asked the CJ nominated at the time 'Do you believe that you are God's choice and the honorable judge answer truthfully and honest. We cannot apply bible verses to justified our view points. The apartheid regime was practising the same to justified racism

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:52

      The fact that he honestly meant his silly answer doesn't improve the quality of the answer. Honest stupidity is still stupidity.

  • sipholess - 2011-09-11 22:02

    This is SA, nobody can curb that, my dear !!!!!!!

  • Sleepazoid - 2011-09-12 02:22

    I just love the photo of him. Reminds me of something else. These Photo journalists sometimes pick real beauts I suspect on purpose. Remember the one of Dr. Tshabalala Misimang the one who advocated lemon juice for something or other - Looked just like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle.

  • Verdade - 2011-09-12 04:30

    Me thinks....madame, businesswoman might be scared for other reasons too. Pity she never uses her "leading academic" qualities for assist the leaders without academic qualities.

      daaivark - 2011-09-12 07:52

      And these reasons would be what?

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