Our Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng…

22 Sep

The name Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng now Chief Justice of South Africa, has been on the lips of many South Africans or interested parties. He has been part of our country’s judiciary system as a judge for a period of 14 years. Before being appointed as Chief Justice, he served in the North West High Court as a judge of the Labour Appeal Court and Judge President of the North West High Court followed by an appointing to the Constitutional Court in 2009- President Jacob Zuma

Most of you are well aware that his unexpected nomination to this Honourable position caused a huge stir in political circles and other networks. Many debated whether or not he personified justice at all and whether or not he is the most suitable candidate for the highest position in our judiciary system.

He was lambasted by many a folk and these criticisms positioned him and constructed his identity as an individual in an unsavoury light. This blog will now look at the manner in which he was constructed in light of his nomination and election of Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Mogoeng’s “limited” tack record as a judge has been scrutinized in great deal. In light of some of his judgements, people have constructed him as a conservatist and homophobe. He was also portrayed as unwilling and unable to explain his judgements in past trials he presided over,-Jaqcues Rousseau (2011). Stephen Grootes (2011) in his article Mogoeng responds to criticism claims that the Chief Justice made sexist rulings while serving in Mafikeng.  Chief Justice Mogoeng Moegeng’s response to these lambasts were “people only referred to the three cases that he presided over and went through other cases where he imposed stronger sentences for rape”. He also said that “unfairly criticised”-Stephen Grootes, 2011.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is also constructed as a religious man who stands by his believes. Jacques Rousseau (2011) in his article The JSC hearings on Mogoeng Mogoeng postulates that it might be problematic for the Chief Justice to separate his faith from his duties as a jurist. He goes on further to say “it is difficult to trust that a Chief Justice who believes that homosexuality is a sickness and that it can be cured.” In a Mail and Guardian editorial of August 19, Penned by Mac Maharaj, cited by Jacques Mogoeng stated that “…it is true that we cannot “treat [Mogoeng’s] beliefs and practices…as disqualifications, expect when a specific belief or practice conflicts with other provisions of the Bill of Rights.”.

It is clear from the length decision making process that careful consideration was taken in the appointing of this position. “The interview of Justice Mogoeng was no doubt the longest, most transparent and most robust ever undertaken by a candidate for Chief Justice or for any other public position in the history of this young democracy”-President Jacob Zuma. But this lambasted man now holds the highest most honourable position in  our judiciary system and we will have to wait and see what his term of office will be like.

 

References:

Grootes. S. (2011). Mogoeng responds to criticisms.

http://www.ewn.co.za/Story.aspx?Id=73315

 

President Jacob Zuma .(2011).President Zuma appoints Justice Mogoeng as Chief Justice of the Republic

http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/pebble.asp?relid=4821

 

Rousseau. J (2011) The JSC hearings on Mogoeng Mogoeng

http://synapses.co.za/jsc-mogoeng/

 

Picture courtesy of:

http://synapses.co.za/jsc-mogoeng/

 

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