Judges 'not ordered' to go to conference

2012-03-16 22:07

Johannesburg - An e-mail reportedly ordering top judges to attend a leadership conference by a United States evangelist was not compulsory, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's office said on Friday.

"... At a meeting of the heads of courts in Johannesburg today [Friday]... the heads of courts present unanimously stated that they had not felt compelled to attend the conference," spokesperson Lulama Luti said in a statement.

She said they also distanced themselves from media allegations that they had been ordered to attend the John Maxwell leadership conference.

Rather, the judges concerned felt the course was offered as "an opportunity to enhance and strengthen their leadership capacity".

This was within an established tradition of offering leadership training and in-keeping with a resolution passed by the Access to Justice Conference last year, said Luti.

On Thursday, the Mail & Guardian Online reported that in an e-mail sent, on behalf of Mogoeng, to heads of court, the judges president and their deputies were "requested to be available" for an evangelical leadership conference in Kempton Park.

Mogoeng told the Business Day that he did not compel any judge to attend the course. He said the reports were doing a "disservice to our country" by taking things "out of context and to sensationalise".

According to the Mail & Guardian Online a legal academic, who did not want to be named, said the language used in the e-mail "was judicial language for 'you must go'".

The legal fraternity was reportedly astonished and outraged by the chief justice's order.

Luti told the newspaper that none of the justices invited had attended the conference.

  • Mark - 2012-03-16 22:14

    Zuma's stooge behaving inappropriately.

      Saamprater - 2012-03-17 11:33

      @Rustic, Leonard;Should've been mandatory. John C Maxwell is the leadership guru in the world, and his conferences doesn't include any form of evangelism (although I think it should) It can't harm the "bench" to have some moral deepening.

  • infijar.ken - 2012-03-17 00:43

    @champ.bopape, much as I would like to, I agree with naff all!

  • Holden - 2012-03-17 01:04

    Mbeki's stooge, Pius Langa, had everyone attend a course run by Mormon cult leader Steven Covey.

  • braamc - 2012-03-17 06:12

    Moegoe moegoe

  • Loeto Mocwane - 2012-03-17 06:16

    The media actually treats judges like children who cannot make their own decision on whether to attend or not. If I was a judge I would be riled by this.

  • Welile Nokuthula Ndlovu - 2012-03-17 06:51

    Media sensationalisation, like for real , and i wonder who leaked that e-mail to the papers. Journo's now who read into the contents of that e-mail would get different interpretations as for them its always about finding what sells though false. I respect Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng i still feel he deserved that position looking at the current position at concourt with vacancies not filled. so what if Zuma chose him? now every little thing he does or says he will be discredited, people must grow up he filled the position the concourt is functioning well so what now, enough already.

  • Erich - 2012-03-17 08:04

    This email should never have been sent - full stop!

  • Alfred - 2012-03-17 09:30

    The Mail and Guardian has the highest journalistic standards in the country, the fact is that an e-mail pushing a particular religion was sent by the judge. The fact that it was under the disingenuous guise of a 'leadership' conference' is so typical of the stealth tactics used by evangelists.The judge used the authority given to him by the state, to push his own religious beliefs on other judges, and that is disgusting if not illegal. Its an abuse of power to use a state appointed position of authority to proselytize your religion. South Africa is not a theocracy. This is precisely why we need vocal atheists.

      Saamprater - 2012-03-17 11:37

      If you care to attend one of Maxwells seminars or care to read one of his biiks on leadership you would've noticed that not one or the other religion is promoted in his mnaterial. But allas Alfred, we are too keen to jump on the anti-Christian-bashing-Christian bus to to the basic of research before we get onto an open forum. Luckily most readers would see through your and your pall's tirade and treat is with the contempt it deserves.

  • Saamprater - 2012-03-17 11:32

    Should've been mandatory. John C Maxwell is the leadership guru in the world, and his conferences doesn't include any form of evangelism (although I think it should) It can't harm the "bench" to have some moral deepening.

  • MikeFraser - 2012-03-17 21:54

    This is such a childish and malicious attempt to taint everything Chief Justice Mogoeng does with controversy. Anybody who cares to know will admit that John Maxwell is the leading author and teacher on Leadership. He has written more books than anyone on Leadership, and he facilitates seminars and workshops on the topic around the world. And he is in high demand. Why must the fact that he also happens to be a "Christian" Pastor be an obstacle for people to appreciate John Maxwell's very sound and very necessary teachings on Leadership. These arguments are so superficial they stink.

  • nsinovich - 2012-03-18 07:59

    The Info Bill is out of order for government to control media, but the media are not accountable for their lies, omissions, interpretations and various manipulations, which anyone should/could be, like private citizens, media must be treated the same. There is no such thing as journalistic integrity, as they appear more inclined to the dissemination of false information than any private citizen who mostly merely wants the facts and mostly relays those same facts as they were. An independant judicial tribunal is a good idea, but who chooses it, looks like an insurmountable problem.

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