Constitutional Hill

Interview with justice Mogoeng – live blog

I am attending the JSC interview with justice Mogoeng and will blog on proceedings. Refresh your browser for updates.

10:15 – Time for a break. I have another appointment so sadly won’t be able to blog on rest of interview.

10:10 – Mogoeng says he understand President might have considered other judges but chose him and somebody had to make themselves available so that work of the judiciary could go ahead. Denies that he has personal ambition.

10:05 – Ngoepe runs through all those who support the nomination. Probably trying to counter the submissions of COSATU and others who criticised the nomination.

10:55 – Smuts asks if civil society have the right and duty to raise questions about Mogoeng’s judicial approach. Mogoeng says gender groupings and others must be encouraged to be vigilant, but all he was questioning was that these institutions were not balanced in their criticism.

10:50 – Adv Smuts asks why Mogoeng followed a 1988 judgment of SCA in rape case when Constitution was adopted in 1994 and minimum sentencing legislation was adopted in 1997. Refers to SCA judgments of 2001 which rejected the Mogoeng argument that it might be a mitigating factor when the rapist knew the victim or was intimately involved with her. Was it sound to refer to 1988 case instead of 2001 judgment? Good question! Mogoeng says one does not always come across all the authorities that are relevant. So he admits that he was wrong (and in effect, that he did not know the judgments of the SCA), but says the fact that he ignored 2001 judgment does not show that he has a sexist mindset. Moseneke follows up and points out that anyone alive to the new values embodied by the Constitution and the legislation could not have made the judgement Mogoeng did and that the judgment was therefore not jurisprudentially sound. Moseneke asks why Mogoeng did not follow the authorities? Moseneke also points out that Mogoeng relied on facts of previous cases instead of the ration decidendi, seems to give Mogoeng a bit of a lecture on how to be a judge.

10:45 Minister Jeff Radebe once again mentioned the “attacks” on Mogoeng. Says there is nothing wrong for a prosecutor being appointed as an acting judge (something that judgments in other jurisdictions have found to be in contravention of the independence of the judiciary). As prosecutors are independent, they can act as judges. This ignores questions about whether such a prosecutor should hear criminal cases when he or she is invested in successful prosecution of accused persons.

10:38 – Prof Schlemmer asks whether JSC and whether it should not appoint better judges to start with, entering a political minefield as this line of questioning can easily be interpreted by some as suggesting that transformation leads to problems. Mogoeng says he would be reluctant to engage with the question.

10:35 – Prof Schlemmer notes that in Germany they want to pass legislation to hold the state liable if a judgment is not delivered within 5 months. Mogoeng says JSC must make sure that there are training opportunities for judges, suggesting that better training would stop delays of handing down of judgments (which can be up to seven years – as Ngcobo stated on another occasion). Suggests training will solve the problem, not disciplinary action against judges who fail to write judgments.

10:28 – Being asked about accountability of judges and the role of CJ in this. Sometimes there is an overemphasis on the independence of judiciary, one should strike a balance between this and accountability. Asked about CJ’s role in disciplining judges i.t.o. JSC Act. Mogoeng says that now that we have the structures in place, we must make sure that these structures get on with its task. Mogoeng says he would not go so far as saying that a judge should be removed if he or she does not deliver judgments in time. Depends on the facts of a particular case.

10:11 – Chohan asks about UCT’s DGRU submission which developed criteria for Chief Justice. One of the criteria is the ability of candidate to lead the Constitutional Court itself. She asks about the esteem he is held by his colleagues at the CC and Mogoeng states that he “has a sound relationship” with his colleagues, not answering whether he is held in esteem by them.

10:05 – Asked why law made by courts seem to differ than from law made by Parliament on rape as former suggests that one should make a distinction between rape of someone known to victim and someone who is not, correctly in my view, suggesting that our courts more generally do not always treat rape in a way that is acceptable or should be acceptable. Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan asks about minimum sentences, pointing out that Parliament has now made clear that knowledge of victim is not compelling reason not to give a minimum sentence. Not sure if she is criticising the nominee who has suggested that it should be a reason to treat rape differently depending on the relationship – despite the minimum sentencing laws. Is she suggesting that Mogoeng did not obey the law as passed by Parliament but rather followed the SCA judgments and hence did not respect the separation of powers? The sentencing laws were passed in 1997, before Mogoeng handed down some of his controversial judgments.

9:53 – Moseneke asks about Mogoeng’s views and that of his church about other religions and their right to exist. Mogoeng says his church is Christian in nature, guided by the holy bible. Other faiths have their own books. There will always be points of disagreement between faiths. Mogoeng suggests that his views might differ from that of his church and that he would be guided by the Constitution as one should not confuse your personal beliefs and the fundamental rights of everyone, thus suggesting that when he is a judge he will not follow the dictates of his church.

9:47 – Asked how he would manage to be CJ given the widespread opposition to his nomination. Mogoeng states that the criticism related to three judgments only (suggesting other rape judgments did not demonstrate gender insensitivity) but now he has had opportunity to show this is not as shocking as it may appear and people will accept that. He says he will reach out to those who criticised him because if ANC and NP could agree to act for best of country, so could others.

9:39 – Some Commissioners trying to stop further questioning of Mogoeng on issues raised before (rape judgments etc) and is supported by others like Deputy Minister Ramatlhodi.

9:34 – Asked about rape judgments and the “point of departure” of judge Mogoeng who suggested that but for the presence of another person the rapist would have had sex with the survivor. Mogoeng again blames the SCA for his views. Still says that because complainant knew the rapist the effect of the rape could not have been so serious.

9:26 – Asked about number of reported judgments, but Mogoeng says he cannot remember how many. Asked again about his Dey “dissent” in which he never gave any reasons. It is suggested that he did not apply his mind to the case at hand, which is something a judge should never do.

9:22 – Being asked about the right to health care and the NHI scheme now.  Mogoeng says that that people are fairly satisfied with health services as it has improved.

9:17 – Being asked about competition law now. Judge Dennis Davis might have loved to answer this question but Mogoeng declines to comment due to possibility that such a matter might come before the court.

9:05 – Sunday morning and back at the hearing. Discussion about the devastating COSATU submission which suggests that Mogoeng might not be fit to serve as a judge.

First impressions of the interview: Given the sustained criticism of the nominee by a wide range of civil society organisations, including ANC-aligned COSATU and Nadel, the nominee probably performed better than expected. Although his defensive and emotional defence of his record in his opening statement did not appear judicial and at times sounded more like the response of a politician than a Chief Justice, I would guess that it might have garnered some sympathy from many South Africans watching the interview on TV. Evidence of his quick temper — rebuking the Chair of the JSC for perceived sarcasm and often bristling under sustained questioning from the more critical members of the JSC – might well have diminished his stature with many lawyers and members of the judiciary, but probably also garnered some sympathy among those not well versed with the ways of the judiciary.

The nominee made some excellent points, and his statement that the government should change its briefing patterns in order to assist black and women practitioners to gain the necessary experience to prepare them for appointment to the bench is well taken. (I would argue that anyone interested in the independence and credibility of our judiciary — including attorneys working in big law firms — could also take this need for a change in briefing patterns to heart.)

However, his answers to criticism of his rape judgments were not convincing. He never explained why he thought that it might be a mitigating factor that a rapist is married to or intimately involved with the survivor or why he could say that it was a mitigating factor that the man who assaulted his partner by dragging her behind his car was “provoked” by the victim. Mere platitudes about support for women’s rights will not dispel concerns about the patriarchal views of the nominee regarding women.

His explanation for the non-writing of a judgment in which he disagreed with the judgment that it can never be per se defamatory to call somebody gay was also not convincing. Surely his colleagues would have asked him to provide reasons for his dissent and surely one only dissents when one has reason to? The contention that he did not have time to think about whether he agreed with this judgment and that even today he has not formed a clear view on this issue, is quite frankly, bizarre. It is difficult not to conclude that he decided that being gay is so awful that it would always be defamatory to call somebody gay but that he could not provide reasons to that effect because that would have contradicted the very provisions of the Constitution which he had sworn to uphold. In the end Justice Mogoeng indicated that he might well now have signed on to that judgment, suggesting that he was prepared to change his views — at least in public – if his views became too controversial and would hamper his ambitions – not a characteristic that one would want from a Constitutional Court judge or any judge for that matter.

The JSC’s performance was mixed. The ANC members often appeared to want to answer questions for the nominee and bent over backwards to show their support for him, while some of the more critical questioners probably did their cause more harm than good by asking questions in a tone that was overtly aggressive. Justice Moseneke was an active chairperson and asked some pointed questions of the nominee, providing hints that there might be some tension between him and the nominee. Sometimes the tension between them was palpable. Other questioners posed the difficult questions and allowed the nominee to respond to the sustained criticism against his record, but some questioners seem to suggest that it was close to treason to ask critical questions about a nominee, referring to the criticism as “vicious attacks” and as an “onslaught”, suggesting that they were uncomfortable with democracy, which allows for a sustained scrutiny of the decisions of a President.

The impression left was that the President had already appointed Mogoeng and that the consultation with the JSC was little more than a charade. Some JSC members seem to think that all they have to decide is whether the nominee has the requisite legal qualifications and is fit and proper – not whether he is a good choice or the best choice, suggesting that it saw the JSC as little more than a rubber stamp of the President’s decision except in cases where the President would want to appoint, say a Charter accountant with a serious criminal record as Chief Justice.

A last question: would the submission from COSATU, which suggested that perhaps Mogoeng should never have been appointed as a judge, make any difference to the proceedings? The answer is that it probably would not as the ANC members and Presidential appointees on the JSC have already decided to support the nomination.

17:09 – The meeting is adjourned until tomorrow at 9h00. Will continue then.

16:45 – Adv Smuts asks Mogoeng about the dinner Mogoeng had with Jacob Zuma where he met the President. Mogoeng states that this was the first and last time he spoke to President Zuma – except when he attended the heads of courts conference and at the judges conference. And the fourth time was when he went to the President’s house to be formally asked to become Chief Justice. Of course, this phrasing would give some ammunition to those who wish to challenge the process as it sounds as if the decision had been made to appoint Mogoeng before consultation took place and that the consultation is completely irrelevant. Maybe the nominee just misspoke on this score?

16:44 – Asked about whether he would prefer the greater good of society above the rights of the individual, but Mogoeng declines to comment.

16:36 – Mogoeng asked about why he was selected and not one of the more experienced candidates. When Moseneke was appointed Deputy Chief Justice, says Mogoeng, other judges on the CC were more senior but they were not appointed and no one complained. Mogoeng sounds bitter about the criticism raised about his “nomination” as he claims the tenor of the discussion about him changed after he was “nominated”: first he was mentioned as a possible candidate but when he was nominated people said he was not suitable, which makes no sense.

16:32 – Ngoepe raises the question of the CC hearing the case about the extension of the term of office of the Chief Justice. Mogoeng says he felt “very uncomfortable” sitting in that case (but not uncomfortable enough to recuse himself, it seems). Sounds as if Ngoepe is indirectly having a go at Moseneke.

16:24 – Ngoepe asks about the rape judgments. It appears as if he is coming to the nominees assistance, saying that a judge must list the mitigating factors when he sentences a rapist. The question of whether one should rely on the fact that the women “aroused” the rapist or provoked him as mitigating factors, is avoided.

16:15 – No matter what happens, I think it is a good thing that there is an open hearing after civil society was given the opportunity to express their views. Cosatu made a submission at the last minute which was surprisingly critical of the nominee stating that: “It is disturbing that even if NOT successful Justice Mogoeng will remain on the bench as an ordinary Constitutional Court judge. Whereas the reality is that questions as to his fitness and appropriateness to serve as a judge on ANY court, let alone the Constitutional Court, raises serious concerns as to the nature and the rigour of the original process that enabled him to ascend to the bench.” Those who claim that the nominee has been treated badly seems to miss the point (apart from the cartoon of Zapiro, which I believe was completely out of line).

15:55 – Tea break. So far the interview, after a slow start, has been quite revealing. Justice Mogoeng is being subjected to serious questioning and there has been flashes of anger and irritation coming from him. This puts the rather emotional and defensive opening statement in some perspective. The ANC aligned Commissioners seem to have made up their minds and are trying to protect the nominee. But am I the only person who cringes when white Commissioners question Mogoeng on his experience? It can easily come across as arrogant and runs the risk of sounding racially insensitive.

15:45 – Ngoepe now jumps in and says that it is also wrong for son or daughter to appear before judge. Of course, this is a very good point. But two wrongs obviously do not make a right.

15:34 – Minister Radebe refers to Constitution, which refers to minimum qualifications for appointment as a judge, suggesting that Mogoeng has the MINIMUM qualifications for the job, obviously not setting the bar very high. Now Radebe walking Mogoeng through the failure of the nominee to recuse himself when his wife prosecuted the case and providing the answers to justify this lapse, making it unnecessary for Mogoeng to make his own case. We all know where he stands on this nomination (just as we now know where Moseneke stands on the nominee). Moseneke asks whether there is a difference between a son and a wife when it comes to whether one should recuse oneself. Mogoeng says no: the perception would be the same. In others words, his defence is that others did the wrong thing so when I did the wrong thing I should not be judged for it. Moseneke now makes this very point!

15:30 – Mogoeng asked about how he was received by other judges of CC. They did not necessarily reach out to me.

15:20 – Moseneke jokes that “I am not at all close to the President, indeed, I am not”! This is turning into the Moseneke and Mogoeng show. The electricity between the two (in a negative sense) is palpable.

15:15 – Moseneke asks whether he would have written differently now, would he have said that the man (the rapist) was allowed to be aroused because women was scantily clad. Mogoeng says: “maybe, I would have changed my decision…..”

15:08 – Now asked about the child rape judgment where Mogoeng stated that the rapist had a “tender approach” towards the child. Mogoeng says he was not treating the injury of girl child in insensitive manner but one gets different degrees of violation in rape cases and one must make this distinction. Moseneke mentions the submissions of women’s groups which pointed out that the judgments included myths about rape not in line with gender sensitivity. Mogoeng again relies on SCA. He says SCA reasoning was the same as his. In other words, his defence is: the SCA made me do it.

15:04 – Mogoeng says when he gave the rape judges he was young and he looked at SCA judgments, and finds it problematic that people just focus on the fact that he had mentioned the relationship between the parties as a mitigating factor.

15:01 – Now being asked about whether Mogoeng sees difference between rape and marital rape. Mogoeng now states that he sees rape as rape. Asked whether being married to the victim is a mitigating factor. Mogoeng states he relied on SCA and says marital state is not the only or decisive factor in sentencing. He is trying to skirt the question because the judgement referred to by questioner clearly shows that Mogoeng does make a distinction between marital rape and other forms of rape. As Moseneke mentions all the shocking rape judgments, Mogoeng looks less than happy.

15:00 – Koos van der Merwe asks about Mogoeng’s temper and why he told Moseneke not to be sarcastic: “It is the first time in 15 years that an applicant has been so arrogant”. Mogoeng apologises to Moseneke for losing his temper. Well, this is not boring.

14:50 – Adv Smuts now asks him about appointment of acting judges from ranks of the prosecution service: is this not infringement of separation of powers. Mogoeng says he has only applied his mind superficially but “it is an option worth exploring”. Not an impressive answer as the candidate is skirting the issue. Mogoeng reminds me of Zuma: friendly, pliant and very vague and not really thoughtful enough to answer some of the difficult questions. Moseneke pushes the point, saying this is a very vital issue for the independence of the judiciary, so he is suggesting Mogoeng is not really a person who has sufficient concern for this independence.

14:45 – Now being asked why he has no publications and so few reported cases. Mogoeng says he has no passion for writing articles. He suggests that some judgments were not reported for reasons that are not clear.

14:40 – Moseneke now pursues this very question. Mogoeng seems to skirt the question as he seems to suggest that because he did not have time he did not give reasons and now he claims that he does not have a view on this now. Mogoeng is angry and calls Moseneke sarcastic because Moseneke presses him and does not allow him to skirt the issue. Mogoeng now claims that he would have not dissented! In other words, he is disavowing his previous views on this issue by pretending that he never had real views on the matter to start with. Wow! Not very consistent or principled. There is clearly some tension between Moseneke and Mogoeng.

14:36 – Now being asked about the Dey case and about not writing a dissent. Mogoeng says he should have provided reasons. Someone should ask him what these reasons would have been.

14:30 – Is being asked now about chairing JSC and whether it is doing its job. He talks about briefing patterns and why government often only briefs white counsel and the need to change this. This is a good point, but what a Chief Justice can do about this is not clear.

13:30 – Moseneke asks that if CJ is intellectual leader, then must convince us that you have that intellect. but now it is lunch first.

13:23 – Lex Mpati, President of SCA asks about the relationship between JP’s and the CJ as well as about President Zuma’s statement in which he told judiciary not to make policy. Mogoeng says that judiciary must be independent from other branches of government and lobby groups, but must know it’s role is not boundless. Problem arises when judges determine policy.

13:16 – Adv Madlanga asks about how CC colleagues feel about his appointment. Mogoeng says any CC judge might want to be CJ but no judge on CC would not cooperate because of disappointment about not being appointed. Good answer.

13:07 – Adv Fourie asks about court structure and the question about whether CC should become apex court as well as about office of Chief Justice. Mogoeng talks about JP’s, basically saying same thing as in previous interview. Talks about need for CC to have sifting mechanism to select only really important cases.

13:00 – Minister Radebe talks about a “vicious campaign” against Mogoeng and asks whether he would be able to carry his colleagues with him and provide examples of this. The ultimate sweetheart question. Mogoeng says he has confidence of colleagues as at judges conference he was asked to oversee implementation of decisions taken there. Moseneke says: one thing to run a conference another to be Chief Justice.

12:45 – Ms Boroto asks about access to the judiciary; how would you ensure access to justice for all? Justice Mogoeng says he invited traditional leaders, religious leaders and civil society to conferences to discuss these issues and he believes traditional courts could play a role here. (Gender activists will of course be rather nervous about this proposal as traditional courts are by their very nature patriarchal.) M states that such courts could be trained so that they actually adhere to the Constitutional imperatives of gender equality.

12:20 – Judge President Bernard Ngoepe now asking questions, calling the criticism against Mogoeng “an onslaught” and making a longwinded speech. Says that JSC members have an open mind about the issue.

11:46 – So, finally Mogoeng’s statement is coming to an end and he claims again that he is neither homophobic nor gender insensitive.

11:40 – On freedom of expression, he states that this right must be exercised with reference to dignity. His concerns have been vindicated by some of the cartoons about him. This suggest that the judge believes Zapiro cartoons about him are defamatory.

11:27 – Now dealing with why he prosecuted people on behalf of the Bophutatswana bantustan. He got a bursary from that government, despite organizing a protest on June 16 and being dismissed from school for it. Bursary required him to become a prosecutor.

11:24 – Justice Mogoeng seems to have an uncanny strategy – wear down critics by droning on for so long that no one would ask difficult questions.

11:14 – He refers to the appointment of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the USA when he was only 50 years old. Maybe not the best example as Roberts is a far right-wing judge and was appointed by the bumbling George W Bush. But I agree that his age is not a very convincing reason for not appointing Mogoeng as Chief Justice.

11:10 – Quotes from a male rape case which, perhaps inadvertently, underlines that he sees this kind of rape as more disgusting than the rape of a woman.

11:07 – On the Dey case he states that he refused to sign on to aspect of judgement which states it cannot be per se defamatory to call someone gay, Muslim or Christian. If this is to be believed he is saying that it would often be defamatory to call someone a Christian.

11:03 – On homophobia M states that he has constitutional right to freedom of religion and that his church is no different from other churches, based on the idea that man must marry a woman and not another man. In effect, he says that he endorses homophobia of his church but that this is no different from homophobia of other churches.

11:00 – M is reading his document of more than 40 pages in which he attempts to justify his various judgements on rape and other controversial judgements.

11:00 – M reads from judgement where he stated that it was “highly insensitive” of a man to punch and rape his eight month old girlfriend. I would not call it insensitive, I would call it brutal and callous.

10:50 – Now discusses the various controversial gender violence cases. Says accused who dragged his girlfriend behind his car was given a suspended sentence so that he could be put on terms. Minister Rbadebe talks about the viscous attacks on Mogoeng.

10:45 – M: It is unfair and disingenuous to use 3 cases out of 10 to argue that I am not sensitive to gender violence. He mentions cases where he imposed heavy sentences on the men who were convicted of rape.

10:40 – M makes opening statement. Talks about legal philosophy and commits himself to Constitution and it’s values.

10:28 – Decided that Justice Mogoeng will be interviewed first, and he takes his seat.

  • M Pearlestein

    ***Maybe not the best example as Roberts is a far right-wing judge ***

    Roberts is a brilliant academic and sensible judge. This comment particularly stands out for its simplicity and truth:

    “The Way to Stop Discrimination on the Basis of Race Is to Stop Discriminating on the Basis of Race.”

  • Henri

    So Ngoepe and Radebe are integral members of the ANC caucus on the JSC. The caucus will just bulldose through the Mogoeng appointment. Period.

  • Jaco Barnard-Naude

    Surely, Justice Mogoeng would have been asked by his colleagues to provide reasons for his dissent in Dey? Or is he implying that none of the justices in the Constitutional Court are committed to the culture of justification? This would be a serious implication.

  • Henri

    Richard Calland in “Anatomy of South Africa” [Zebra, 2006, at 240] quoted a person to have said about the Concourt:
    “It has gone from being one of the best courts in the world to one that is good at best and pedestrian at worst.”

    That of course covers the downtrend since the Mandela appointments – and then into the Mbeki era.

    The downward spiral is accelerating……..

    Under leadership of the JSC.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Attended part of the hearing this morning, but had to leave early, nauseated at the intensity of the RACISM directed at Mogoeng J, as well as the betrayal of their race by African JSC members who pose hostile questions.

  • Henri

    So Moseneke not part of the ANC caucus!!

    Of course there must be tension between Moseneke and Mogoeng. It works that way in nature – between an old lion and an upstart.

    Wonder what sweetheart questions the CJ waiting in the wings [Ntsebeza] is asking…….

  • ack

    “one gets different degrees of violation in rape cases and one must make this distinction”

    Accordingly to the above logic (and other comments about the relevance of “injuries” to severity of rape), a person who shows fewer injuries, suffers less? How would he describe the difference in violation he felt if he was raped after being fed a date-rape drug versus being held down by a group of people versus facing one person, being able to fight back and getting injured because the balance of power was more equal?

  • ack

    “getting injured” above should probably be replaced with “suffering more injuries”…

  • Nordlicht

    Henri -

    … the CJ waiting in the wings …”

    Oh, please, Henri. Not Ntsebeza.

  • anton kleinschmidt

    “But am I the only person who cringes when white Commissioners question Mogoeng on his experience? It can easily come across as arrogant and runs the risk of sounding racially insensitive.”

    Good heavens Pierre……surely experience is one of the most critical factors in deciding on suitability of any appointment, particularly that of Chief Justice. If nobody else is asking this type of question then it is a telling indictment on the entire interview process.

    By the way you might want to review 11.00. I suspect the word pregnant belongs in there somewhere

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ PdV

    “Am I the only person who cringes when white Commissioners question Mogoeng on his experience”

    No, Pierre, I too visibly cringed.

    This is what happens when white people do not heed the advice of Dr Vice. Because of colonialism and apartheid, whites simply have no standing to participate in public affairs – at least for a generation or two. I call on whites to accept that their role in South Africa is to work in the relatively few jobs for which insufficient Africans are currently qualified. Otherwise, they must go.

    Thanks.

    .

  • izeze

    Anton:

    “I suspect the word pregnant belongs in there somewhere”

    Good grief! Anyone ever hear of a pregnant eight-month-old girl? I mean, really!

  • anton kleinschmidt

    @ izeze…..read it again “his eight month old girlfriend”.

    I think he meant his 8 month pregnant girlfriend

  • John Roberts

    Like the Erlking in Goethe’s famous poem, the maleficence of the JSC’s demands can sometimes be imperceptible. The purpose of this letter is therefore to expose the unbalanced nature of the JSC’s maneuvers and let you draw your own conclusions about the JSC’s motives. I want to share this with you because the JSC’s refrains are leading to the deturpation of pristine forests, rivers, and coastlines—and the JSC knows it. I’ve always thought that the JSC should shift for itself, and hearing the rubbish that the JSC spews forth proves it beyond all doubt. While I don’t question the JSC’s motives, and I certainly understand the frustrations of its jackals, whenever I turn around I see it reviving the ruinous excess of a bygone era to bounce and blow amidst the ruinous excess of the present era. To deny such a truth would be to deny the evidence of our own senses.

    In point of fact, hate-filled malingerers must be treated with political justice, not with civil justice, as they are indisputably not real citizens, and everyone with half a brain understands that. Because my motivations for writing this letter are not of insult or hatred but of the deepest love for mankind and the truest concern for its future generations, it therefore stands to reason that if its lickspittles had even an ounce of integrity they would present another paradigm in opposition to the JSC’s misinformed reports. If the JSC thinks its values represent progress, it should rethink its definition of progress. When one looks at the increasing influence of Marxism in our culture one sees that the JSC’s signature is on everything. So how come its fingerprints are nowhere to be found? The JSC doesn’t want you to know the answer to that question; it wants to ensure you don’t navigate a safe path between the Scylla of the JSC’s picayunish, obtuse circulars and the Charybdis of colonialism. I and the JSC part company when it comes to the issue of Trotskyism. It feels that the ancient Egyptians used psychic powers to build the pyramids while I believe that if you think that its vices are the only true virtues, then think again.

    On the surface, it would seem merely that the JSC’s patsies always detect profound wisdom in what is most incomprehensible to them personally. But the truth is that the baneful nature of the JSC’s fulminations is not just a rumor. It is a fact to which I can testify. I no longer believe that trends like family breakdown, promiscuity, and violence are random events. Not only are they explicitly glorified and promoted by the JSC’s brazen, vapid homilies, but its contrivances are like a Hydra. They continually acquire new heads and new strength. The only way to stunt their growth is to go placidly amid the noise and haste. The only way to destroy the JSC’s Hydra entirely is to provide more people with the knowledge that it is out to oppress, segregate, and punish others. And when we play its game, we become accomplices.

    When I first encountered the JSC’s principles, all I could think of was, “The JSC has nephelococcygic delusions about being able to cause one-sided animadversions to be entered into historical fact.” Here’s a question for you: To what gods does the JSC pledge allegiance? The gods of McCarthyism and defeatism? The gods that seem most likely to command the JSC to lower scholastic standards? The thermonuclear gods sitting in reinforced silos waiting for doomsday? To answer that question, we need first to consider the JSC’s thought process, which generally takes the following form: (1) The cure for evil is more evil, so (2) truth is merely a social construct. Therefore, (3) it understands the difference between civilization and savagery and thus, (4) the peak of fashion is to muster enough force to grant yawping litterbugs the keys to the kingdom. As you can see, the JSC’s reasoning makes no sense, which leads me to believe that I find that some of its choices of words in its anecdotes would not have been mine. For example, I would have substituted “overweening” for “incontrovertibleness” and “contumacious” for “undiscriminatingness.”

    If the JSC wants to permit vicious savages to rise to positions of leadership and authority, fine. Just don’t make me lose heart while it’s at it. The JSC seems to be involved in a number of illegal or borderline-illegal activities. For it and its functionaries, tax evasion and financial chicanery are scarcely outside the norm. Even financial fraud and thievery seem to be okay. What’s next? Preaching fear and ignorance? I can say only that nothing unites people like a common enemy. That’s why I would encourage everybody to take some shots of their own at the JSC by reprimanding it for turning a deaf ear to need and suffering.

    The JSC has been telling people that representative government is an outmoded system that should be replaced by a system of overt insurrectionism. This story has been uncritically swallowed and regurgitated by many half-informed, gutless rumormongers who find pleasure in believing it. No, I can’t explain it either. However, I can say that several things the JSC has said have brought me to the boiling point. The statement of its that made the strongest impression on me, however, was something to the effect of how its prevarications are intelligent, commonsensical, and entirely consonant with the views of ordinary people. I would like to put forth the possibility that everything I’ve said so far is by way of introduction to the key point I want to make in this letter. My key point is that the JSC says that everything it says is completely and totally true. If that’s the limit of the JSC’s perception, acumen, and intelligence, then God help it.

    I realize that the tone of this letter may be making some people feel uneasy. However, even if you’re somewhat uncomfortable reading about the JSC’s subversive metanarratives please don’t blame me for them. I’m not the one reducing social and cultural awareness to a dictated set of guidelines to follow. I’m not the one destroying everything beautiful and good. And I’m not the one exercising both subtlety and thoroughness in managing both the news and the entertainment that gets presented to us. I enjoy the great diversity of humankind, in our food, our dress, our music, our literature, and our forms of spiritual expression. What I don’t enjoy are the JSC’s ignominious philosophies, which seek vengeance on those unrepentant souls who persist in challenging its allocutions.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. An obvious parallel from a slightly different context is that it has let its lofty-yet-brutal views cloud its sense of taste and reality. That’s self-evident, and even the JSC would probably agree with me on that. Even so, its viewpoints are not an abstract problem. They have very concrete, immediate, and unpleasant consequences. For instance, it seems unable to think of turns of speech that aren’t hackneyed. What really grates on my nerves, however, is that the JSC’s prose consists less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning than of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. The JSC, you are welcome to get off my back this time and stay off.

    If the JSC succeeds in its attempt to judge people based solely on hearsay, it’ll have to be over my dead body. I feel no shame in writing that the JSC is stepping over the line when it attempts to sidetrack us so we can’t build a better world, a cleaner world, a safer world, and a saner world,—way over the line. When I say that the JSC’s ballyhoos smack of statism, this does not, I repeat, does not mean that our country’s security, prestige, and financial interests are best served by war and the ever-present threat of war. This is a common fallacy held by hotheaded bribe-seekers.

    If the JSC’s insufferable modes of thought became more widespread, it would spell the ruination of this country. The JSC argues that people find its unrelenting, over-the-top hostility rather refreshing. To maintain this thesis, the JSC naturally has had to shovel away a mountain of evidence, which it does by the desperate expedient of claiming that it is a bearer and agent of the Creator’s purpose. The JSC fervently believes that we should all bear the brunt of its actions. This shows that it is not merely mistaken about one little fact among millions of facts but that as the adherents of Randian objectivism believe, the most nutty cheapjacks you’ll ever see have exerted care always to use high-sounding words like “macracanthrorhynchiasis” to hide the JSC’s plans to promote group-think attitudes over individual insights. Furthermore, as the adherents of empiricism observe, he who pays the piper calls the tune. With that in mind, I did a little research to find where the JSC gets its money. It turns out that it comes primarily from humorless scapegraces, short-sighted primates, and—you guessed it—gruesome loan sharks. This explains why the JSC is possessed by the devil. Even so, I have a soft spot for the worst kinds of footling, sadistic marauders there are: a bog not too far from here. I hope I haven’t bored you by writing an entire letter about the JSC. Still, this letter was the best way to explain to you that I am, to use a nice Scottish word, scunnered that the JSC would let us know exactly what our attitudes should be towards various types of people and behavior.

  • izeze

    Anton:

    “I think he meant his 8 month pregnant girlfriend”

    You do? I’ll take your word for it; though I’m almost sure he meant ‘his pregnant eight-month-old girlfriend’. You never know with Pierre …

    Lighten up, Anton. It’s Saturday night, and the howling gale has stopped blowing. What more could anyone want?

  • izeze

    John Roberts -

    Why don’t you come right out with it? We’re stuck with Moegoe Mogoeng.

    As a matter of interest, how long does it take for you to come up with such eye-wateringly long missives? Do you actually have a life?

  • John Roberts

    Izeze parrots whatever ideas are fashionable at the moment. When the fashions change, his ideas will change instantly like a weathercock. More concretely, he deeply believes that unilateralism provides an easy escape from a life of frustration, unhappiness, desperation, depression, and loneliness. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the truth is very simple: Izeze makes a living out of racism. I call this tactic of his “entrepreneurial racism”. Izeze and his bedfellows have decidedly raised entrepreneurial racism to a fine art by using it to ensure that there can never in the future be accord, unity, or a common, agreed-upon destiny among the citizens of this once-great nation.

    Izeze keeps saying that he can convince criminals to fill out an application form before committing a crime. This is exemplary of the nonsensical rhetoric and scaremongering that typifies the language of disorganized reavers and other belligerent naive-types. He is on some sort of thesaurus-fueled rampage. Every sentence Izeze writes is filled with needlessly long words like “counterestablishment” and “historicocabbalistical”. Either he is deliberately trying to confuse us or else he’s secretly scheming to threaten, degrade, poison, bulldoze, and kill this world of ours.

    Life isn’t fair. We’ve all known this since the beginning of time, so why is Izeze so compelled to complain about situations over which he has no control? This isn’t such an easy question to answer, but let me take a stab at it: If Izeze truly believes that everyone who scrambles aboard the Izeze bandwagon is guaranteed a smooth ride, then maybe he should enroll in Introduction to Reality 101. Documents written by his protégés typically include the line, “Izeze can override nature”, in large, 30-point type, as if the size of the font gives weight to the words. In reality, all that that fancy formatting really does is underscore the fact that those who have most injured and oppressed humanity, who have most deeply sinned against it, are, according to Izeze’s standards and conscience, good people. Apparently, bad people are those who have noticed that Izeze’s premise (that he has the linguistic prowess to produce a masterwork of meritorious literature) is his morality disguised as pretended neutrality. Izeze uses this disguised morality to support his obloquies, thereby making his argument self-refuting.

    If you want truth, you have to struggle for it. This letter represents my struggle, my attempt at avoiding the extremes of a pessimistic naturalism and an optimistic humanism by combining the truths of both. It is also my soapbox for informing the community at large that Izeze gets perfervid about revisionism. Be patient; I won’t ask you to take that on faith. Rather, I’ll provide irrefragable proof that we are observing the change in our society’s philosophy and values from freedom and justice to corruption, decay, cynicism, and injustice. All of these “values” are artistically incorporated in one person: Izeze. Let me close by remarking that if I have succeeded, as I hope and believe I have, in presenting such a combination of facts and arguments as has demonstrated the propriety of reinforcing the contentions of all reasonable people and confuting those of rude pickpockets, I shall regard it as evidence complete that these lines have been judiciously penned.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    izeze
    September 3, 2011 at 18:46 pm

    Hey Izeze,

    “As a matter of interest, how long does it take for you to come up with such eye-wateringly long missives? Do you actually have a life?”

    JR (or his look alike) spends an awful amount of time writing those veeeeeeeeeery long and impressive sounding thingies.

    You can read all about his life at http://www.pakin.org/complaint/

    Enjoy!

  • Brett Nortje

    Yes, and JZ is to blame for pitting them against each other!

    “This is turning into the Moseneke and Mogoeng show.”

  • etienne marais

    Mogoeng: “I have no doubt about my own intellectual depth.”

    Indeed. And neither do we, Your Honour.

  • malome tom

    pierre i too was at the hearing, and i felt that moseneke in his enthusiasm to perhaps cultivate a contrast between himself and the nominee went too far at times. in fact i believe that he should have recused himself given how proceedings unravelled. that was not the place for him to actively campaign. i don’t like the mogoeng nomination, but i cringed at the ad hominem line of attack which seeks to elevate moseneke to something akin to a saviour. moseneke truly believes the heightened hype that surrounds him

  • Gwebecimele

    I must say the Mogeong of the last few weeks created by media and the one at the interview seem to be two different people.

  • etienne marais
  • http://Www.Jansens.info Jacques Jansen

    Pierre.

    I fear that the future of your career will henceforth be inevitably linked to that of Justice Mogoeng, him as the most powerful but evidently unpopular JP of the CC and you as his most vocal of academic critics, even more especially so because of his position that those, albeit most relevant, precedents which are not “available” at the time of his judicial reasoning, simply do not inform his judgment at the time of their absence from the fruits of his research.

    Our jurisprudenial reality is about to loose some flavour.

    Jacques

  • Andrew Buttress

    Moegoeng Moegoeng appears to me to be a conservative yet practical man, well spoken and not afraid to stand up for himself. He is not perfect but nobody is. I thought he has handled his accusers brilliantly.

    Pieree – please become a judge. I’m sure its as easy as it looks :)

    Moegoeng does not howver appear to be that popular overall. Let’s see what happens…

    AB

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Gwebecimele
    September 4, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Hey Gwebs,

    “I must say the Mogeong of the last few weeks created by media and the one at the interview seem to be two different people.”

    Much of the rather boring attempt to trip Mogoeng over himself was really silly.

    It did however strike me that he contended that he has two different sets of principals/morals – one derived from the Constitution in respect of being a judge and another by which he conducts his life. It seemed implied in some of his responses that he accepted that those may well contradict each other. If so – I would find it difficult to accept that he is suitable as CJ.

    Whatever the outcome, His Excellency, President Zuma, has achieved much of what was achieved post 1994 – the legal fraternity has been split. Like Humpty Dumpty, it will probably not be put together again.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    oops.

    achieved = undone.

  • Dilomo

    The president has made a call and all we can do is to wait on the other end, conduct a QC on the products that come out of the the new machine (new chief justice)and then make realistic comments.

  • Mayaya

    I hope the President will be wise enough to have a number of possible candidates interviewed and only make his choice after consultation.

    One would hope that SCA and CC judges go through something like this every time they are appointed. That way, all those who aspire for SCA and CC will always ensure that thier work is impeccable.

    It seems a CC judge is a good as his worst judgments. It is a standard that should perhaps apply across all, if the media is not to come across as vindictive.

    If the JSC are to recommend against, I hope Justice Mogoeng would be tipped and he withdraws his candidancy for his dignity. After all if appointed without JSC recommendation, how will he work with the JSC, which is a Chairperson?

  • izeze

    John Roberts
    September 3, 2011 at 20:02 pm

    Hey John,

    Congratulations! You have me down to a tee. Except that I would have hyphenated “counterestablishment” and “historicocabbalistical”.

    Thanks for the laff!

  • Howard Klaaste

    Mogoeng is our new CJ and the Secrecy Bill will be found to be constitutionally sound.

  • Mike Ambassador

    The moment I heard “God” gave him a sign to become CJ I went cold inside this is not going to end well. As Howard said the Info Bill is set in stone and as safe as houses. Good Luck SA we gonna need it.

  • Pingback: A Tale of two Constitutional Traditions: South Africa and Kenya « T & S…

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Let the ascension of Mogoeng CJ be a sign to the liberals who thought they had captured the Constitution that the fundamental conservatism of our people will inevitably be reflected in the CC’s interpretation of our founding text. South Africa is not a European Social Democracy, and those who would make it so should move to Copenhagen!

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    September 4, 2011 at 19:45 pm

    Hey Dworky,

    “South Africa is not a European Social Democracy, and those who would make it so should move to Copenhagen!”

    As you know, President Zuma was surprised to discover that “the Constitutional Court is not god” (as he expected it to be).

    So he did the next best thing – he deployed god’s representative on earth to head it up!

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/09/04/mogoeng-god-wants-me-to-be-chief-justice

  • Peter John

    JSC votes in favour….

  • Pekkil

    Perhaps this will be a good wake-up call: our Constitution is a work of men, and needs defending. Assuming that the executive will automatically be curtailed by the constitution has been shown, in these last few days, to be a fragile defence. The reality, it seems to me, is that the views of MoMo are probably widely held, and they are not ultimately synchronous with the values as in our constitution. They will clash, and either South Africans care enough about their constitution to defend it, or it will, over time, become as useful as the constitution of Bhophutatswana – at the time, widely recognised as one of the most progressive on the planet, and most useful as a wall decoration.

    Nex battle stop: who joins the constitional court? Let’s see if we can have a press, and a legal fraternity, who understands vigilance where it matters most. When it comes to the Kibuki theatre stage, as over these past few days, it’s clearly too late. The JSC carries the can for accepting MoMo onto its benches, clearly, it would appear, without sufficient homework being done.

    Of course, everyone can shake their head and go back to work. In that case, i would predict that, in a decade or so, our country will be ruled by the traditional, and rural values of MoMo, and our constitution will be wallpaper. And Zuma will be smiling on a successfully completed project.

  • Mweneni

    @ Gwebemichele “I must say the Mogeong of the last few weeks created by media and the one at the interview seem to be two different people”.

    This is a classic case of media campaign.. Have no idea what the media stood to gain but all main media houses formed quiet a solid united front against Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng. “(Which brings me to one unrelated question I had all along: Is the media controlled by one person or a group of people with common interest? How can different newspapers manage to find harmony in their reporting with such striking consistency?) enews analysis was clearly biased..Dr Ngobeni was on point with his assertion that the issue of rape, especially marital or acquaintance rape, is not well settled the world over..He quoted some English case and cited American law to demonstrate that in mitigation of sentence these kinds of rape should be kind of treated differently from the violent rape by a total stranger..They promptly discarded him and retained that White lady who was talking more of the language they wanna hear…..

    True, the man has relatively less experience at the CC and he wrote some shady judgments ( didn’t he write a single good judgment?)..But those weaknesses, as it transpired, are rather temporary and outweighed by his strengths..The man has clearly intelligent and has demonstrated a genuine concern for the ordinary person….He also has balls of steel, which could be easily mistaken for arrogance ..(I especially admire his balls). This implies that he has the ability to make unpopular decisions like Makwanyane.

    @ PdV

    “Am I the only person who cringes when white Commissioners question Mogoeng on his experience”

    Those White Commissioners would have payed anything they own to have Ncobo’s term extended…Most of the questions and comments were out of order and outright provocative. Why exactly do they regard him as a threat? Because all these “No experience” rhetoric is a cover for some deeper lying concerns.. Do they see him as too sympathetic to Malema and and his nationalization scheme? Or was he recently spotted in Tutu’s company?

  • Mweneni

    Damn it.. hate this

    Gwebemichele = Gwebecimele

    next I will use the good old copy n paste

  • Brett Nortje

    Mweneni says:
    September 5, 2011 at 2:18 am

    So, enumerate the things the media published about the Judge which were not true?

  • Brett Nortje

    http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=152498

    XOLELA MANGCU: Power will trump authority under Mogoeng

    THE most telling moment of the Judicial Service Commission hearings on Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng’s nomination as chief justice came with Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke’s reprimand of his future boss: “You might be able to answer, if you listened!”

    Published: 2011/09/05 07:40:05 AM

    THE most telling moment of the Judicial Service Commission hearings on Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng’s nomination as chief justice came with Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke’s reprimand of his future boss: “You might be able to answer, if you listened!” The reprimand was prompted by Mogoeng’s prevarication on why he dissented, without giving reasons, from the other judges’ conclusion that calling someone gay was not defamatory. Mogoeng responded that there was no reason for Moseneke to be sarcastic, for which he soon had to apologise.

    To be sure, Moseneke came across as a principal dressing down a truant pupil. But he had succeeded in establishing in the public’s mind who the real authority figure is here. Moseneke stood as a symbol of authority and Mogoeng as a beneficiary of power. The question is which, then, will be the real leader of the Constitutional Court: authority or power? By nominating Mogoeng, President Jacob Zuma may well have taken our judiciary down a path where power trumps authority.

    And this is where Mogoeng’s reliance on the US process as an example is unfortunate. Nominations to the US Supreme Court are the most ideologically driven of any in the world, linked to which political party is in office. And therein lies the answer to Moseneke’s question: “Why do you think the president appointed you?” Politics and power are the decisive factors, not law and authority. I too would like to invoke the Americans: “Lord have mercy”, for this priest in jurist garb will turn out to be the most dangerous threat to our constitutional jurisprudence.

    Another telling factor is the number of times Moseneke got his future boss to recant on his decision to dissent from the other judges in the Le Roux v Dey case.

    Later, Moseneke poked a hole in Mogoeng’s argument that he was following a precedent set by higher courts in suggesting that rape by someone known to one was not the same as rape by a stranger. Moseneke pointed out that the constitutional regime had already changed when Mogoeng relied on those past decisions, and the future chief justice had simply not read the law.

    Equally important was Mogoeng’s response to Moseneke’s question about whether he would reason differently: “Maybe, maybe not, I’m not sure.” The “maybe” gave the impression he could be prevailed upon to change his mind, which is in itself not a bad thing. But it also gives the impression he relies heavily on what his superiors have said. The “maybe not” left the impression he would hold on to his controversial views even as chief justice. The “I’m not sure” is worrying given that the law is so clear on the matter.

    My heart sank when, in Mogoeng’s defence, Judge President Bernard Ngoepe said that the criterion for the job was not excellence but suitability. Since most applicants are generally suitable for the jobs they seek, what criterion should employers use for choosing one candidate over the other, if not excellence? The sad part about the hearing is that the more Mogoeng asserted his intellectual authority, the less believable he became. Our future chief justice will most likely remain on that back foot for the whole of his tenure. Even some of those supporting his nomination spoke in a condescending manner. Some argued that we should reward “potential”. How does Mogoeng hope to earn the respect of international jurists and expand his own universe if he has no passion for writing?

    I find it deeply troubling when we black folk bring issues such as a “poor and rural” background into these deliberations. This country is filled with examples of individuals from similar, and even worse, backgrounds, who have scaled the heights of our professional and intellectual landscape. A poor and rural background should not be thrown around to solicit sympathy for mediocrity. I am not saying Mogoeng is not an articulate, intelligent man. I am questioning whether he is the best man for the job given the experienced judges in our courts. Once you throw excellence out the window you have nothing to go by — other than closeness to the president, which is sadly the all-too- familiar postcolonial story.

    Some say Moseneke’s grilling of the man betrays a bitterness for not getting the job. But Moseneke does not need to be chief justice to be remembered as the stellar figure he has been in our public life. With his pedigree, Moseneke probably understands that holding a position of intellectual and social authority is often more honourable than the dangers to society that come with power.

    • Mangcu is convener of the Platform for Public Deliberation.

  • Wedende

    Maybe the best thing to come out of this sorry saga will be this:

    The CJ will be conscious always of the doubts many have about his abilities. This may spur him to work hard and develop a passion for scholarship. The tragedy though is this, the SA judiciary has accepted that mediocity is good enough. By this, they have compromised what would otherwise have been a progressive march to better delivery of justice.

  • Chris (not the right wing guy!)

    Wedende says:
    September 5, 2011 at 9:22 am

    The SA judiciary has not accepted that mediocrity is good enough. Mediocrity was forced upon them.

  • Mweneni

    @ Brett

    The media did not lie per se but they were very hysterical… They beat their war drums so hard that everyone was left confused in the whirlwind of inflated criticisms. All that caused a degree of undue influence in the minds of ordinary people, such as me for instance, who were not thoroughly acquainted with Judge Mogoeng’s work.

    @ Wedende (September 5, 2011 at 9:22 am )

    My point exactly…If you are progressive person, whether justified or not, criticism is one hell of a source for intellectual and emotional growth. He could turn all these criticisms into a real asset because if those were his significant weaknesses, he will surely work on them, no matter how hard headed he may be…I am not a Zuma supporter, ANC member or suffering from blind loyalty but, hey, let’s give the dude a chance to prove himself wrong….again. He could surprise you and turns out to be just perfect. In a nutshell, he’s a gamble but one with more odds in his favor.

    In any case, I am sure there are provisions to remove him during his tenure if things go really awry.

  • Wedende

    @Chris (Not the Right Wind Guy)

    If the votes are anything to go buy, the representative of Judges President voted for him. The President of the SCA voted for him. Of course the DCJ did not. If the two aforesaid had withheld their support, it would be 9 v 14. That would still be decent. To think that a sitting judge actually supports this appointment! The organisation supporting 70% of SA’s magistrates supported him (this according to Ngoepe JP!!)!

  • Brett Nortje

    Mweneni says:
    September 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Lets be honest – this is a perfect example of a ‘black like me’ war of position for most of the participants.

    Consider what it did to Judge Moseneke. Pitted him in combat to show that he was the better man for the job, to seek public vindication that way.
    The ‘merit’ appointment but not politically suitable.

    Consider what it did to Judge Mogoeng, who has led a pretty exemplary inspirational life, whose shortcomings have been exposed to his country.
    The ‘politically suitable’ appointment – but not on merit.

    It leaves me sick to my stomach, that this is our country.

    Consider what it does to you personally. It is cause for you to argue “that everyone was left confused” by the facts.

    Is this where you would set the bar for a surgeon holding your family member’s life in his hands?

    “but, hey, let’s give the dude a chance to prove himself wrong….”

    Well done, Cosatu. One might disagree with them but as often happens they come out of a skirmish with their honour and integrity intact.

  • Gwebecimele

    Was it worth it to challenge the extension of Ngcobo especially that we allowed appointments using that piece of legislation before and the sky did not fall ??

    Well now we know that JSC members, Judges and others are capable of back stabbing, undermining and bloc voting. It was clear that one group came to promote and support Mogoeng whilst the other was determined to expose and embarass him. Is that the duty of the JSC?? How I wish this organise support can be used to advance the interests of the poor where Judges, Ministers and top andvocates line up against big business and sometimes international forces that are busy raping our country.

    I remarked elsewhere about the bravery(even ignore the law) that we usually observe from our leaders when their interests are at stake. When it is convinient laws and reports are ignored and the heavy weights are put on the batting line up to ensure victory.

    The all familiar unfair treatment of Mogoeng must also pick its fair share of the blame on giving the other group reason to mobilise support. I have mentioned earlier that I do not support his nomination nor do I support Moseneke. However, I do not think the sky will fall if he gets the position, he is the least of our problems. His critics have just managed to contaminate the process even for future appointments by turning it into political , interest based, buddy buddy show.

    The snr Judges in the panel demonstrated the “old good independence” and convinced us that they are human and can be lobbied after all.

    Can’t wait for the next interviews for the opening on the CC and hope Mogoeng will steer a similar vicious and thoruogh processr.

    Is our democracy stronger that what it was last Friday??

    Who is the winner?? You guessed right its one person.

  • Brett Nortje

    Lets remind everyone quickly what kind of Minister of Justice we have:

    http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=134888

    Dismay at Radebe’s ‘staggering’ crime boast
    Minister hails 86,6% success rate, but that is only 1% of
    incidents
    WYNDHAM HARTLEY
    Published: 2011/02/21 06:34:18 AM

    CAPE TOWN – Despite police recording more than 45000 “trio
    crimes” in 2009-10, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe yesterday
    revealed that only 276 such cases had been finalised.

    However, his claim of a “staggering” conviction rate of 86,6% was
    derided by the opposition as representing less than 1% of
    incidents of that category of crime.

    Trio crimes – armed robberies at homes and businesses and
    carjackings – are those that frighten South Africans the most as
    they are often accompanied by violence and sometimes murder.
    The small number of finalised cases and the claims of a very high
    conviction rate will raise doubts about the government’s claim
    that the police and the justice system are getting the upperhand
    in the fight against crime.

    The 2009-10 annual report of the South African Police Service
    revealed there were 18786 robberies at residential premises and
    5458 arrests, 13902 carjackings and 2352 arrests and 14534
    robberies at business premises with 3342 arrests.

    Mr Radebe, briefing the media on the justice, crime prevention
    and security cluster of government departments, said: “We have
    set a target to increase the trio crime detection rate from 13,5%
    to 34% by 2014. A 24% increase in the finalisation of trio crime
    cases was achieved in 2010. Of the 276 trio crime cases that were
    finalised, 239 resulted in convictions, translating into a
    staggering 86,6% conviction rate.”

    Asked how such a high rate could be claimed when 239 convictions
    were obtained from tens of thousands of reported cases, Police
    Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the statistics showed “inroads are
    being made” through working tougher and smarter.

    Newly appointed chief government spokesman Jimmy Manyi said that
    86,6% was obtained by measuring the convictions against the cases
    finalised.

    Democratic Alliance police spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard was
    enraged by the comments, saying, “How dare they hold a briefing
    to announce such a spectacular failure?

    “It is a national embarrassment that they cannot even
    successfully prosecute those cases that they cherry pick. The 239
    cases prosecuted makes up less than 1% of the total number of
    trio crimes. They should hang their heads in shame.”

    Mr Radebe also faced aggressive questioning about the reported
    remarks of National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi
    Simelane that honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani was guilty
    of murdering his wife Anni, as reported in the weekend press. He
    was asked what would be done if Mr Simelane’s statements, coupled
    with those of police commissioner Bheki Cele that “a monkey” had
    come to SA to kill his wife, resulted in the British authorities
    refusing to extradite Mr Dewani.

    Mr Radebe said SA was a constitutional democracy with an
    independent judiciary. He repeated an earlier assurance that Mr
    Dewani would receive a fair trial. He said statements outside
    court, whether from Gen Cele, Mr Simelane or Mr Dewani’s spin
    doctor Max Clifford, were “irrelevant”. “Let’s wait until
    extradition proceedings have been completed.”

    He insisted the reason SA had filed for extradition was because
    it was believed Mr Dewani had a case to answer. He said he was
    confident the extradition proceedings in Britain would be
    favourable to SA’s application.

    Comments from Mr Cele and Mr Simelane were “neither here nor
    there” because the National Prosecuting Authority still had to
    prove its case in court

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Gwebecimele
    September 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hey Gwebs,

    “Is that the duty of the JSC??”

    The JSC is a darn disgrace!

  • jeffman

    If Moegoeng is the best we have, we are in serious trouble. He was a most unimpressive interviewee, coming across as a flyweight intellectually, with a chip on his shoulder the size of table mountain. The frightening thing is he seems to not realise he is a pawn in Zuma’s game.If politics was a soccer match , Zuma owns the captain of the opposing team, Menzi Simelane. Now he wants to own the referee as well!

  • Brett Nortje

    jeffman says:
    September 5, 2011 at 13:01 pm

    The analogy with soccer is an apt one.

    Our black compatriots are not upholding their end of the modus vivendi if they insist on merit and competency only in the appointment of Bafana coaches.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Brett, I am enormously disappointed that you have not thrown your full weight behind the nomination of the only judge post 1994 who has not been ashamed to come out and say that he is a committed conservative CHRISTIAN, and remind the secular white liberals who think they own the Constitution that the overwhelming majority of our people likewise love Jesus!

    Thanks.

  • Brett Nortje

    I might very well have supported Judge Mogoeng if he stood by what he said and gave reasons for his judgements.

    A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring or a polluted well.

  • Michael

    We reap the rewards of an illiterate electorate (and if you doubt this cast your eye over the school leaver results) electing a massively uneducated president. How foolish to expect wisdom where none exists. The rise of so ordinary a legal man to lofty heights futher underpins the power of BEE to catapult mediocrity into lofty positions where failure is the only sure outcome. If business were to follow governments eager BEE obsession it too would be in the unholy mess that now becomes our legal system. “Cry the Beloved Country” – indeed!

  • Law student.

    Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is a justice of the Constitutional Court, he has no criminal record and he meets that requirements for a chief justice so give him a chance and stop bugging him. During Apartheid whites made decision and other white people did not question them so do the same and shut up because Mogoeng Mogoeg is the Chief justice and that will not change. If you expecting a white chief justice forget it because that will never happen.

  • teen observer

    yes, mogoeng does meet the requirements to be Chief Justice, but why do we have to settle that? his appointment seems like a way for solidify the power of the government when it comes to south african law. the jsc was created in order to ensure objectivity and fairness in the appointment of the judiciary. this sounds good in principle,but in reality, it seems the jsc has no real say,and all power lies with our president.
    all im saying is, there surely was a more suitable candidate. Not that it really matters now anyway…..
    but hey,im just a 17 year old aspiring to work in a justice system where excellence Is rewarded.

  • teen observer

    settle For that, i meant

  • Elton

    History,experience and intellectual capacity doesn’t support him to be chief justice