Secret Ballot Case - Here are the Big Winners

2017-05-15 22:57

The secret ballot court case on Monday brought to light some of the finest legal minds in the country. It was a visual display of intellect, strategies and tactics. The lawyers did not disappoint. All put their best, all were big winners. Reading the general comments it is clear that it was not about who is going to win the case, but a feast and enjoyment of the finest legal minds the country has produced.

All the lawyers in action during the case are big time players. We consider only the three lawyers who carried the case: Dali Mpofu, Ishmael Semenya and Marumo Moerane.

Dali Mpofu

Senior counsel Dali Mpofu was representing  the United Democratic Movement (UDM). Dali Mpofu naturally, if we use the soccer language is like a star player who has a poor first touch on the ball, and poor in launching attack. That is natural to him. But he is very strong and powerful when launching blistering tackles and blocks, cutting down attacks. When Ishmael Semenya was presenting his arguments I thought he had the case by the horns, but after his arguments Dali Mpofu came with hard tackles and cleared off Semenya's arguments.

Even Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng attested to Dali Mpofu's natural skills. He said to Mpofu: You seems to have more energy now than during the morning. That is Mpofu's skill. He is like a defensive player in a soccer game who sits deep in defense so that he can break up attacks. He is stronger in the tackles.

Ishmael Semenya

Senior counsel Ishmael Semenya was representing President Jacob Zuma. Semenya is the kind of lawyer that forces you to have an opinion about him. He goes direct with the ball. He is neither a natural defense or attacker, but a player playing between the defensive line and midfield line. He plays through narrow gaps. For example in this case he focused on one gap: Take the case back to Parliament, it is not for the court to handle this case. And he zeroed on that. Once he picks on a narrow gap, his body will break before his spirit does.

Marumo Moerane

Senior counsel Marumo Moerane was representing National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. Marumo Moerane he is like an attacking player, but he is that soccer striker that does not go direct, shooting straight at the goalkeeper. He prefers to score with a more subtle side-foot into the corner of the goal, or forcing the defenders to make mistakes and then slotting the ball in. Moerane's slowness in answering questions when asked by judges is deliberate and calculating. This skill he displayed brutally during the Hefer Commission.

The Constitutional Court under Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has assumed the role of a shepherd leader. How the Judges decides this case will be more about the give and take on the broader picture, like the way they have decided the social grant fiasco.

It is not news anymore that South Africa is in multiple crises. At the very heart of the crises is the crisis of national leadership. Chief Justie Mogoeng Mogoeng understands clearly the concept of the shepherd leader. The shepherd is the caring, protective watch person over perceived vulnerable flock. South Africans are today like a vulnerable flock. Monumental national decisions are taken without their interests but the interest of a few people or one family. The model of a shepherd leader is valuable where the flock is in danger of wolves.

You can see the questions that Chief Justice Mogoeng asks that he now understands his new role of being a shepherd leader in these time of multiple crises. For example, the most disarming question he asked during the case was: What if the removal of the president leads to something far more worse than the junk status?

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