JSC hears of unhealthy relationship at North West High Court

2017-04-05 22:21
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. (Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS)

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. (Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS)

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Johannesburg – Tensions ran high in the Office of the Chief Justice on Wednesday night, as North West High Court Judge President Monica Leeuw expressed unhappiness about a colleague being interviewed for the job of her deputy.

Her relationship with Judge Annah Kgoele, who was being interviewed by the Judicial Service Commission, was not healthy, she said.

Leeuw, who sits on the panel of commissioners, painted an unpleasant picture of her junior, saying the two of them had "ons and offs".

Kgoele however appeared calm during her interview and said she was puzzled by Leeuw’s claims. Her relationship with her superior was healthy, she said.

JSC member Sifiso Msomi asked Kgoele how she would work under someone who perceived her as a problem child.

“The complaints are not that I am not a fit judge. So it means I work professionally, I do my job,” Kgoele replied.

She said judges needed to be professional. As deputy judge president she would continue supporting Leeuw, who would remain her senior.

“The way her letter is structured, the way she addresses you, the way you respond to her, the way she puts questions to you makes it seem like you are under cross-examination. Are you sure there is a healthy relationship between you two?” Mogoeng asked.

Kgoele maintained she had always thought she had a good relationship with Leeuw.

“But you may find that sometimes in a work situation, you don’t always agree,” she said.

She had worked alongside Leeuw for more than eight years. Kgoele said Leeuw’s comments were unfortunate as she held no grudge against her.

Earlier, the panel interviewed Judge Rodney Hendricks for the same post. He said he had experience and had made some contributions working with Leeuw to ensure the effective running of the North West court.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  judiciary

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