Constitutional Hill

On the appointment of a Chief Justice

Who will President Jacob Zuma appoint as South Africa’s new Chief Justice? Will he appoint a conservative man to try and limit the ability of the Constitutional Court to develop a transformational jurisprudence or will he appoint a progressive woman or man who will ensure that the highest court continues to pursue the transformative values, embodied in the Constitution, within the limits of the law and the separation of powers doctrine ? And what are the formal legal qualifications that any candidate for appointment should have? For example, can the President pick anyone off the street to serve as Chief Justice?

Well, it is worth quoting the applicable subsections of section 174 of the Constitution:

  1. Any appropriately qualified woman or man who is a fit and proper person may be appointed as a judicial officer. Any person to be appointed to the Constitutional Court must also be a South African citizen.
  2. The need for the judiciary to reflect broadly the racial and gender composition of South Africa must be considered when judicial officers are appointed.
  3. The President as head of the national executive, after consulting the Judicial Service Commission and the leader of parties represented in the National Assembly, appoints the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice and, after consulting the Judicial Service Commission, appoints the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

This means that the President can — as a matter of formal constitutional law —  appoint anyone with the appropriate legal qualifications and some practical experience or academic expertise in the field of human rights and constitutional law as Chief Justice – as long as that person is “a fit and proper person”. As long as the person has a legal qualification and some experience in the field, the appointment would probably pass constitutional muster.

However the President can only appoint a fit and proper person as Chief Justice. Arguably this will exclude the appointment of Menzi Simelane, whose “fit and proper” status is currently being challenged before our courts. However, this will not exclude the appointment of any number of other practicing lawyers, academics or judges serving on any court — whether the Constitutional Court or any other court in South Africa.

Although the President must consult the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the leaders of political parties represented in the National Assembly before he appoints anyone, there is no legal requirement for how such consultation should take place. Neither is there a legal requirement that the President should actually change (or even formally be seen to at least consider changing) his preference for the candidate of his choice because of overwhelming objections from the JSC and opposition parties.

However, the President would be ill advised to appoint a controversial person as Chief Justice who is perceived to be a slavish and obsequious kowtower to the government of the day and whose appointment is reasonably opposed by the JSC and all opposition parties. Although any President would understandably want to appoint a Chief Justice who broadly shares the values and vision of the governing party, such a President —  if he believes in constitutionalism and democracy and wants the constitutional democracy with its checks and balances to work properly  — will also want to make an appointment that will install public confidence in the judiciary.

The trick is to find the right balance by appointing a credible and respected lawyer (one who is not viewed as willing to take instructions from the government) as leader for our judiciary, while also ensuring that this appointee broadly shares the professed transformational agenda of the ANC government.

An appointment that would severely diminish the credibility of the Constitutional Court and of the democratic system would be disastrous for ordinary South Africans who might want to approach the Court to protect their rights and to advance their social and economic well-being in the face of a sometimes lethargic and unresponsive state suffering from “capacity constraints” and a culture of service to only this who are politically connected or who can pay.

It would also be disastrous for the governing party and its leaders. As the head of the government and the governing party, the President must surely understand that a legitimate and mostly trusted Constitutional Court is a very important prerequisite for the continued legitimacy of the state and, indeed, of the governing ANC. Given governance failures (or as we so euphemistically sometimes calls it, “challenges”) the government of the day and the governing party needs a credible court to serve as a safety valve where citizens can let off steam and where the government can be prodded to act in a way that would provide a better life for all – not just for the few.

If citizens – aggrieved at corruption, nepotism, service delivery failures, police brutality and social and economic rights violations – felt that they could not influence the policies of the governing party (except if they had money and political connections) and stopped believing that they had a chance to be heard and listened to at the Constitutional Court, the day when we have our own Tahrir Revolution here in South Africa will not be far away.

As I have written before, the obvious choice for Chief Justice — somebody who has shown in many judgments including the Van Heerden judgment dealing with affirmative action that he embraces the transformative vision of the Constitution — is the Deputy Chief Justice. Appointing him would signal to COSATU and to more progressive elements within the ANC that the President supports the transformative vision that our Constitutional Court has said is embodied in the Constitution.

The President may, however, wish to appease the patriarchs and the conservatives who are opposed to progressive values and who wish to limit the influence of the Constitutional Court to promote these values within the confines of what the separation of powers doctrine allows. Such a radical appointment might then be made by tapping a relatively new member of the Constitutional Court such as Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng who has emerged as the most conservative justice on the current court and who has signaled that he is not entirely on board with gay rights issues and has also — in the McBride case — displayed a deferential attitude towards the executive.

Or, the President might want to be bold and demonstrate to the women’s lobby that he is serious about the empowerment of women — despite his colourful private life and his seeming patriarchal lifestyle. He may then want to appoint somebody like Justice Bess Nkabinde who has shown during her tenure on the Constitutional Court that she is deeply committed to social justice and respect for the dignity of all people. She is also a mensch — somebody who is admirable in every way and shows fortitude and firmness of purpose without ever forgetting that ordinary people are affected by the law. Such an appointment would be ground-breaking as she would then become South Africa’s first woman Chief Justice.

Otherwise the President could cast the net wider and appoint one of the leaders of any other court in South Africa. Judge Lex Mpati of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) is a respected jurist and a firm believer in the independence of the judiciary. Justice Dunstan Mlambo, who is Judge President of the Labour Court is another possible candidate, a person of high integrity and ability.

By writing this I am not wishing to punt any particular person for the job — it is for the President to decide who he wishes to appoint. But I wish to make two points, which I believe are worth making.

First, who President Zuma appoints will say much about his political views and whether he is progressive or deeply conservative. If he appoints a slavish pro-government and anti-transformation candidate, then the progressives in the ANC will have even more to be worried about than they currently have. If he appoints a safe and steady person, it would reinforce the perception that the President is trying to be all things for all people (although a safe choice in this regard would not be unwise). He can also wow the chattering classes and the progressives in Cosatu and within the SACP and the ANC by appointing a more progressive judge like Moseneke or Nkabinde.

Second, there is no shortage of judicial talent to choose from. There are quite a few progressive, independent minded candidates who broadly share the transformation agenda of the government of the day who could be appointed as Chief Justice. Making an appointment should therefore not be too difficult. Hopefully, the President will be led by his purported progressive party to appoint somebody who will not try and turn the Court away from its transformation agenda and will not wish to give the government a broad scope to do as it pleased – even if it failed to serve ordinary citizens.

  • Chris (Not the right wing guy)

    I think from past experience we know that our President doesn’t listen to good advice, and that only appoints persons who can rightly be described as ANC cadre deployees.

    I will therefore not be too surprised if indeed he tries to appoint Menzi Simelane as the new Chief Justice.

  • Refiloe

    Perhaps the country would be well served by choosing a Chief Justice that has shown in the past that he deeply values the rights of the Constitution and is fighting for the equal treatment of of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or HIV-status. Would it not be a fantastic example to all other employers in SA for the head of the country to employ an openly HIV+ Justice?
    Byno means do I take away away from Justice Cameron by suggesting that his status is the only reason why he should be given the poaition

  • Some ouen

    …Justice Mogoeng[.] Mogoeng who… (full stop?)

    …make two points, which I believe is are worth making. (subject verb agreement)

    …progressive of or deeply conservative….

    Last para — the phrase “to choose from” is repeated and looks a little forced…

  • Some ouen

    …Justice Mogoeng[.] Mogoeng who… (full stop?)

    …make two points, which I believe [are] worth making. (subject verb agreement)

    …progressive [or] deeply conservative…. (typo)

    Last paragraph — the phrase “to choose from” is repeated and looks a little forced…

  • eagleowl

    Some ouen: why the nitpicking?

    Justice Mogoeng has the same first name as surname, so Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is correct.

    Pierre often appears to write in a hurry and makes little errors – so what! Unless the error is so great that the sense is lost – get over yourself. If he wanted a proofreader I’m sure he would employ one.

    And no, Pierre does not need me to defend him either; posts like yours are unnecessary and irritating.

  • etienne marais

    It seems likely that, after the CC so comprehensively and unanimously rejected the Presidential interpretation of the CJ’s extended term of office, an “outsider” will be brought in to “whip” that esteemed (but unruly) bench into line.

    Considering the ANC’s reaction to the CC judgement, it is likely that the President will certainly be looking for someone to “pursue reformative values”. Only, not the kind that Pierre optimistically envisages.

    Also, the President will probably rely heavily on the unfailing advice of his Minister of Justice. The blind being led by the blindfolded…or should that be the other way around.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    eagleowl
    July 30, 2011 at 0:46 am

    Hey EO,

    “Some ouen: why the nitpicking?”

    That’s what nits do.

    There are a few about!

  • Some ouen

    @Eagleowl

    I’m a recent fan of this blog. Pierre corrected some errors I pointed out yesterday. Sure my comments are not at the meat and potatoes of the argument but if incorporated they do potentially improve the long term impact of the blog. Sorry about the misfire on Mogoeng.

    And yesterday’s comments were deleted promptly so I don’t expect that today’s ones will be there irritating you for long. Please ignore them.

  • kenneth

    we need John Hlope, the most educated judge…..

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Pierre

    “[Zuma could] wow the chattering classes . . . by appointing a more progressive judge like Moseneke or Nkabinde.”

    There are cynics out there who would say that Pierre is blithely administering the “kiss of death” to anyone he favouraly mentions. I do not know if that is true. Yet I am confident that the President is not all that anxious to “wow” the chattering classes.

    Race and ethnicity cannot be the decisive factors. Yet. when Africans, and the Kingdom of KwaZulu in particular, are still sorely underepresented on our benches, it would be foolish for the President to overlook the jurist who name Kenneth so egregiously misspells.

    Thanks.

  • http://deleted Gwebecimele

    Is it no fair to say that judges tend to take a cue from govt of the day. In our history I do not know of any CJ who made meaningful changes to our Justice system. The majority of citizens are continuing to recieve injustice and tardiness from our justice system. These courts are priced way above the means of an ordinary citizen and are open to manipulation by those who have resources.

    If I was Zuma I would really suprise my critics and limit my choices between Moseneke and Hlophe depending on the game plan. Appoint Moseneke just to prove that he can be paralysed in a system that I can control or Hlophe and give him enough space to introduce meaninful positive changes/enhancements.

  • Paul Hjul

    If Zuma suffers from intelligence and from accute hypocrisy (and we know he has one of the two but for fear of most bizarre assualt charges or being showered with a defamation suit I’d best not say which) he would seek to avoid actually nominating a person but rather present a very mixed bag of candidates to opposition party leaders, the JSC and a cherry picked civil society consultative forum chaired by the leaving Chief Justice. He can ask the Minister to draw up a list of no more than say 10 candidates (and dictate parts of the list) which would include the candidates completely unnacceptable to the “chattering classes” but pushed by a certain power block Hlope, Menzi et al (Jimmy doesn’t have legal qualifications does he); several JPs and JAs and a P and DP (again Hlope features); the DCJ and a few CC judges; an out of the blue or so (maybe the Public Protector or her predecessor); Tony Leon (for sh1 and giggles) and so on.
    COSATU will dominate the civil society forum and the chattering classes will trim the edges in the same process. In effect you will have the least objectionable candidate rise BUT a certain interest group (who mix the worst concept of democratic with the worst breed of lawyer as their focus venture and cover it up in warm and fuzzy language) will still push their politicians.

    My guess is it will fall to the JP of the largest division.

    Sorry about the use abbreviations and current offices rather than names but superstitition dictates that by mentioning names candidates are jinxed. Sorry Tony.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Pierre, I still say the best way for you and the DA and the chattering classes to destroy whatever small chance the Hlophe JP may have is to come out in full-throated support of him. Your greatest strength lies in your “negative capability.”*

    *Grovelling apologies for Keats-abuse.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 30, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Hey Dworky,

    What say you that we re-energise F-O-H???

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    “For example, can the President pick anyone off the street to serve as Chief Justice?”

    Rumour has it that our Future President has enrolled for legal studies at UNISA.

    MO – what do you say to President-in-waiting Malema for CJ within the decade?

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    I will work with you on reanimating Friends of Hlophe.

    But re Braamfontein, the JP still has a great work to do here in Cape Town, which remains the division most in need of TRANSFORMATION. That being so, I would not want him to be promoted to CJ just yet. Give it time.

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 30, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Dworky,

    “I will work with you on reanimating Friends of Hlophe.”

    See if you can find a way of communicating with Dullah Omar!

    Re “I would not want him to be promoted to CJ” is it because?

    a) Objections from FUL, CASAC, CALS, LWaVCC (i.e. Loos with a view Coordinating Committee), SPCA;
    b) Juju is looking for monkeys and apes;
    c) White people stole all the land; and/or
    d) Mac Maharaj pretended to be the village clown on 3rd degree when in reality is is a very capable orator.

  • Anonymouse

    Prof de Vos – Four things
    1.) Does ‘appropriately qualified’ in s 174(1) equal ‘legally qualified’? I don’t think so. If so, it should have read ‘any woman or a man with a legal qualification …’
    2.) Mogoeng Mogoeng would be a bad choice – I think he was included only because he has been a Zuma fan all along.
    3.) Can Moseneke be appointed as Chief justice? When does his term as a Constitutional Court Judge run out? If soon, it wouldn’t make any sense to appoint him, would it?
    4.) What about Edwin Cameron? (Wonder how he and Mogoeng Mogoeng gets along in any case.)

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, I thought I had made it clear that Hlophe JP still has important TRANSFORMATIVE work to do here in the Cape. That is the only reason I do not support his elevation to the CJ at this point in time.

    Thanks.

  • Paul Hjul

    Hlope has plenty of transformative work to do in the Cape: one of the transformers at Koeberg needs to be replaced.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    July 30, 2011 at 15:17 pm

    Hey Dworky,

    “Maggs, I thought I had made it clear”.

    Not really – let’s try again.

    Is it because?

    a) as PH (July 30, 2011 at 16:08 pm) points out – Alex Erwin has a few loose screws;
    b) WC is governed by a White madam and two tea maids;
    c) my father was a garden boy, now I drive a fancy BMW;
    d) Moseneke had received a KWV award when the choice among friends has to be Johnny Walker (Blue at least) and sushi;
    e) Just cos MO is paranoid it does not mean that Juju is not “like a mosquito in a tent”.

  • sirjay jonson

    “The trick is to find the right balance”.
    Audaces fortuna iuvat or fortes fortuna iuvat.
    Consilio et animis.

  • JAM

    A small personal and intellectual challenge, Prof: your writing conveys the impression that you almost worship “progressive”-ness as an absolute, as an ideal that cannot be challenged , questioned or even debated.

    The question of what is true and right, and whether these can be yaken as absolutes, is a delicate and difficult one.

    If anyone invests the status of absoluteness in anything (a person, or an idea, or a set of values) that cannot sustain the “responsibility”, then problems are bound to occur. And if there is unwavering adherence or “trust” in something tha cannot sustain the status of being absolutely true, or absolutely reliable, then I suggest that there will be cracks in intellectual rigour, and that there will be flaws in both reasoning, and in some conclusions reached.

    If I may say as respectfully as I can, beware the sacred cows…

  • sirjay jonson

    Sacred cows still shit, and someone has to fork it out, hopefully as nourishing manure promoting future growth, and that takes effort and commitment.

    Its easy to know what is right and wrong. Does it benefit others, the community, the society, does it uplift folk, promote opportunities for those in need, does it ease suffering, ease struggle, does it promote beneficial honest government in place for the people, or is government there for themselves, those who call the shots?

    Easy, so easy actually, right and wrong, does it benefit life and society or diminish it? Does it create greater harmony or more discord? Wisdom knows!!! it takes intelligence, foresight, intuition, and most importantly compassionate concern for other than oneself for a society to grow and benefit its people.

    exitus acta probat.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    “Who will President Jacob Zuma appoint as South Africa’s new Chief Justice?”

    Here’s some suggestions.

    Bheki Khumalo for CJ and Tlali x 2 for DCJ!

    That cages were rattled appears from the reaction of at least two state departments. Mineral resources spokesperson Bheki Khumalo went on radio to say raiding the department was “unconstitutional” and “against the very grain of good governance”. The Hawks should simply have requested the information, he said.

    And department of justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali was quoted as saying the raid on the state attorney’s office was “unprecedented”, also claiming that the information could have been obtained without a warrant.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2011-07-29-ict-raids-rattle-top-politicos

    The war has escalated beyond the PP to the Executive.

    In one corner the General and the Hawks looking strong – in the other the President and the Deputy President somewhat tamed.

    Interesting times ahead!

  • abidam

    Although we still have a few god people trying to uphold the Constitution, the so called leaders have little respect.

    There is a drive to “educate’ the educated; Zuma’s spokesman defending Zuma’s extending the appointment of the CJ on E News; “they don’t understand the constitution”

    ‘To make matters worse, the executive effectively argued that, seeing that Parliament knew what it it was doing, it should be allowed to give away those powers, and the Constitutional Court should keep its nose out of the whole thing’

    http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/article/2011-07-29-analysis-constitutional-court-slaps-zuma-a-little-and-parliament-a-lot-on-ngcobo

    Malema lambasting the “illiterate and uneducated” journalists while spewing hate speech to get any (white) person sent to jail.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2011/07/31/anc-youth-league-s-childish-mischief
    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/07/29/juju-rants-at-illiterate-and-uneducated-media

  • Class_Of_2005-Istanbul

    Prof de Vos and the intelligent folk alike.

    The other day I heard a bloke, Calland I think, saying that the president can appoint “anyone appropriately qualified” to the position of Chief Justice.
    Is that so?

    Is there not a rank system whereby the next bloke in line gets the job (Moseneke in this case)?

    If indeed the president can appoint “anyone”, could we see a magistrate, for instance, getting the job?

    Please answer.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Anonymouse
    July 30, 2011 at 14:45 pm

    Hey Dr Mouse,

    “Can Moseneke be appointed as Chief justice?”

    NO!!!

    Of course not.

    Only CJ Ngcobo can do those six things.

    The CC judges are just nasty racists :

    The Constitutional Court judges have suggested that they can do without outgoing Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, adding that he is just another judge.

    The judges said both the judicial reform process and court could function under new leadership and that he could act as a consultant for the government if he wanted to.

    http://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/work-will-continue-in-ngcobo-s-absence-1.1109002

    Two things in particular strike me about Ngcobo’s odd behaviour :

    – that he is party to trying to keep Moseneke out and
    – his U-turn is worse than that of the oke who drank too much tea. At least that just collapsed a wall which was easily repaired.

  • sirjay jonson

    Lets be honest here. Expect the worst.

  • Gerald

    Sirjay, are you hinting at Hlophe?

  • Gerald

    However difficult it is to remain optimisitic in the current climate, I still expect the President to “wow” us by appointing Justice Bess (simply the best) Nkabinde.

  • izeze

    @ sirjay: “Expect the worst.”

    Myself, I would prefer Sibongile (“Sisi”) Kamphephe. I am, however, not holding my breath

    Sperare optimum; pessimum expectare. Semper in stercore sumus. Sed altitudo modo variat.

  • sirjay jonson

    Gerald: who can say, perhaps the raj can lead him to some possible common good sense… but I doubt it. Can he, the raj, actually believe in what he is spinning for JZ? Can he actually sleep at night with the belief that what he is doing is truly to the benefit of the people, all the SA people? How can these struggle icons who so long fought for freedom accept the status quo, and not only accept it but sustain it in its present form.

    This question I ask: what (for years now) has our government decided and acted upon that hasn’t been virtually disastrous?

    Those who believe in astrology would say SA is in retrograde, retrograde being described as where everything goes contrary to oneself or one’s country’s benefit.

    Ad absurdum

  • sirjay jonson

    I can’t imagine that JZ would be so self defeating as to promote Hlophe, considering the inevitable fight that the legal, civil society and our dear Prof would implement, but then again, who can say what foolishness personified, will produce?

    Asinus asinum fricat.

  • Anonymouse

    Prof de Vos – Further to my post above.

    It would also appear as if a foreigner can be appointed as Judge and, therefore, as CJ, since no requirement of RSA citizenship appears in s 174(1). Am I right?

    Secondly, I think Sirjay might have a point that we could expect the worst. You know, Zuma has made so many blunders in the past on this issue (he has already decided to appoint Ncgobo above Moseneke, withou first consulting with the JSC and the other parties, which he later did as an afterthought), and the JSC would so much llike to get rid of the Hlophe burden, that it looks as if Hlophe might even be considered an appropriate appointment as CJ. Zuma only has to ‘consult’ with the JSC and other parties in the Nat Assembly, he is not required to follow their advice. Am I right?

    On the Hlophe issue again – even if the JSC might finally recommend impeachment (which I doubt), then surely Parliament will not vote with a two third majority that he be dismissed.

    The more I think of it – s 174 has been badly drafted and it does not contain checks and balances that are good enough to stop meddling into judicial affairs by either the Executive or Parliament.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Anonymouse
    August 1, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Hey Dr Mouse,

    “he has already decided to appoint Ncgobo above Moseneke”

    Moseneke, if I recall correctly, willingly jumped over others – what goes around comes around, it is said.

    Be that as it may, Moseneke was regarded as ‘untouchable’ because he dared to speak of the ANC in less than sensible terms.

    The converse implies that whoever accepts the post (Ngcobo included) is regarded as unwilling/unable to speak truth to power.

    It’s not easy to have full confidence in and fully respect someone like that – and history will judge whoever it is rather harshly.

    Let’s see if Zuma does the right thing for our country or if there is someone else out there who is willing to say “Yes Sir, No Sir” to the politicians.

  • zoo keeper

    B Ngoepe will be the next CJ.

    After his statements supporting a beaming Zuma on the question of the courts not determining government policy there should be very little doubt.

    R1.00 says this will be the case.

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    zoo keeper
    August 1, 2011 at 11:06 am

    ZooKy,

    “R1.00 says this will be the case.”

    I say Moseneke.

    You’re on!

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Anonymouse
    August 1, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Hey Dr Mouse,

    “even if the JSC might finally recommend impeachment”.

    The JSC?

    These guys?

    http://zapiro.webvanta.com/cartoon/425573-110731st

  • Paul Hjul

    the CJ must be a South African citizen as he/she must also be on the Constitutional Court.
    As for the preparedness to not speak truth to power proposition – it is simply hokum. The ANC (although not the parasites in it) wants judges who speak truth to power, they however believe that the ANC is the repository of infallible truth. Membership of the ANC (or at least historic affiliation) is a pre-requisite for ANC approval as CJ but agreeing with the dominant power blocks within it are not a recommendation in itself. The DCJs offence is not that he is independently minded but that he is a heretic, if Zuma were to appoint him it would be a form of purging his heresy (so don’t take it off the table).
    What is worrying is that the ANC does not take issue with its factions attacking judges including judges from an ANC background. The yuff league is the worst but it is a practice that is unchecked.

  • zoo keeper

    Never Maggs

    Moseneke is too independent.

    In order to get to the top you need to be a loyal cadre of the movement.

    Those are the rules until Jesus comes again

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    zoo keeper
    August 1, 2011 at 14:25 pm

    Hey ZooKy,

    “Moseneke is too independent.”

    I don’t believe that anyone (judges included) are ‘independent’ – given our recent history, everyone leans in some direction according to their life’s experiences.

    I’ll take some leeway on that wager.

    Given that Yacoob has not more than two years to go on the CC – he’s a possibility that will create the space for Zuma to fiddle around. And he’s the longest serving justice so there-s a good basis for that.

    So either Moseneke (if Zuma is really brave and wants to clear up his poor leadership) or Yacoob (if Zuma want to buy some time and be seen to doing the sensible thing).

  • Brett Nortje

    Moseneke is a struggle lawyer with BCM roots. Too bad, so sad.

    My money’s on the ANC brainstrust figuring Yacoob will not be able to see what is going on under his nose…

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Brett Nortje
    August 1, 2011 at 18:02 pm

    Hey Goofy,

    “My money’s on the ANC brainstrust figuring Yacoob will not be able to see what is going on under his nose…”

    LOL you twit!

    As they say Justice is blind.

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs, you’re making this blog unreadable again…

  • Gwebecimele

    Well done for Prez Zuma for ignoring the noise and exercise your right. Act on the other decisions on your desk.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/08/16/zuma-nominates-mogoeng-for-chief-justice

  • Maggs Naidu – maggsnaidu@hotmail.com

    Gwebecimele
    August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Hayibo!

    Well done Pres Zuma on taking our finest institution down the dreary road of political interference.

    There was a time when holders of this high office could be look at as South Africa’s finest.

    Now – eish!

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