Quote of the week

The unhappy fact that it is journalists, investigating organs of state and officialdom and the political class and their involvement in corrupt practices to loot the State’s resources, who, by so doing, attract the attention of powerful and influential persons who are capable of suborning the apparatus of the State to smell out their adversaries, cannot be ignored. The examples of abuse of the system have been addressed elsewhere in this judgment. Moreover, the respondents’ perspectives assume that the designated judge is not lied to and is diligent… In my view, in the absence of a rebuttal, this example illustrates a grave vulnerability in RJCA that such an apparent abuse could occur. The common cause examples of blatant lies being told to the designated judge further exacerbates the vulnerability of the system.

Sutherland J
Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others
19 June 2009

Surprise! Paul Ngobeni is a liar

I took part in a debate with Paul Ngobeni this morning on SAFM about whether Judge President John Hlophe should be appointed to the Constitutional Court. My dear friend Paul said in his opening remarks that I had written on this Blog that I “hate” Hlophe. I was rather taken aback by this as I have never written on this Blog (or anywhere else, for that matter) that I hate anyone. Ngobeni was, in fact, telling a scurrilous lie. What I actually said was EXACTLY the opposite, and I quote:

Really, it deeply angers me that those who are charged by the Constitution to uphold the Constitution and the law could steep so low. They should be ashamed of themselves. This does not make me a person who hates the Judge President (or his lawyers). It does make me a person who is very, very angry with the Judge President. It makes me a person who is beginning to wonder whether the Judge President has the requisite moral compass required to continue serving as a judge in our beautiful democracy – regardless any finding of the JSC in the CC case against him.

Mr Ngobeni has shown a propsensity to distort both facts and the law to suit his purpose and this morning was no exception. If I was Hlophe I would feel ashamed to be associated with such blatant dishonesty. As Judge Hlophe himself has been caught telling lies, I suppose it is par for the course though.

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