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'Judges moving into politics'

By Mpumelelo Mkhabela | Aug 18, 2011 | COMMENTS [ 60 ]

Gwede Mantashe blasts judges - Asserts Constitutional Court judges driven by selfish interests, court could be seen as opposition to ANC, judges threaten stability of government, opposition to new judge is racist

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has come out guns blazing, taking issue with the criticism levelled at President Jacob Zuma's decision to nominate Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng as Chief Justice.

In an exclusive interview with Sowetan editor Mpumelelo Mkhabela, Mantashe warned that the Constitutional Court was being used as an opposition to the ANC-led government.

Question: Mpumelelo Mkhabela: What's the single biggest justification the ANC sees in the appointment of Mogoeng Mogoeng as a chief justice?

Answer: Gwede Mantashe: Let's start from point of principle. Mogoeng has been a judge since 1997.

There are only two judges in the Constitutional Court - Edwin Cameron and Johan Fronemen - who have served longer than him.

This thing of Mogoeng being a junior does not hold water. It is not factual.

The second thing is that everyone who has criticised the decision of the president has not come up with any issues they have against him, except that he is young and inexperienced.

But there is an advantage that he is younger - he will serve longer and thus help to stabilise the institution.

MM: You seem to have serious concerns about the working of the judiciary. What's the problem?

GM: There are many things happening in the judiciary that will only be seen in 10 years time.

One of the things that is dangerous: the independence of judiciary and separation of powers must never be translated into hostility, where one of those arms becomes hostile to the other.

Unless this issue is addressed it's going to cause instability. It undermines the other arms of government .

MM: You mean instability in the judiciary?

GM: No, instability in government. You can't have a judiciary that seeks to arrest the functioning of government.

MM: Do you think judges are positioning themselves as an opposition?

GM: You will have to look at some of the judgments of the Constitutional Court.

MM: Are you referring to the Glenister-Scorpions judgment because the ANC had resolved to (disband the Scorpions and the Constitutional Court took a different view?)

GM: Yes, but that's not the only one. That judgment itself seeks to cast aspersions on the work of Parliament.

Yes, it seeks to make the Hawks independent - fine, we will implement that - but once you have that kind of judgment that ventures into political weighting of views, then it's a slippery road we have embarked on.

Even the judgment on the extension of the term of Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo's term looks very suspicious. You have a section in the law that has been there for over 10 years, and at a point of extending the term of a judge, then it (suddenly) becomes unconstitutional.

When you look at that judgment you ask yourself whether the judges who sat on that bench were not interested parties in the appointment of a new chief justice. Where does that line end, when you sit and be a judge in an area that benefits you?

MM: Judge Mogoeng was part of it.

GM: Yes, but I am talking in terms of principles - whether the judges who sat in the case were not (potential) beneficiaries of their own judgment.

Wouldn't it have served justice better to invite other judges to form the bench and have all (the current) judges recuse themselves?

MM: Do you want to establish that regime?

GM: It is there already, you can bring other judges when those judges are conflicted. It seems as if all of them sat in judgment to make sure that they take over quicker.

MM: Which other judgment worries you? Are you supporting the president's argument that it is wrong for judges to overturn legislation passed by Parliament?

GM: Every time there is legislation that passes through Parliament - for example the Protection of Information Bill - there is a threat that it will be taken to court and the court might position itself emotionally to reverse it. That's a problem.

MM: But the court has not said so.

GM: I am making a point (of principle). We have a bigger problem in the country. The worst thing that can happen is if Parliament gets flat-footed.

We are getting close to a situation where Parliament drafts legislation and refers it to the Constitutional Court before passing it.

MM: Is it not the right of the court to adjudicate on the constitutionality of laws?

GM: It's not a problem. It's about how that right is exercised. If the Constitutional Court positions itself to create a perception that it will overturn anything passed by Parliament, (that will) make nonsense of the democratically elected Parliament.

COMMENTS [ 60 ]

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Gwede Mantashe, you have not one brain cell.the Con Court is the only avenue left to stop your mafia party from doing what they want to with our constitution.so keep your vokken hands off it.One Bullit One Matashe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 19, 2011 6:1 | 0 replies

MXit child porn ‘horrific’
2011-08-14 10:00


Anna-Maria Lombard
The child pornography pictures confiscated by the Hawks were “horrific” a source said.

Visibly shaken when describing the content, he said he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It was a barrage of pictures of young girls aged between five and 10, some older. They were very, very explicitly shown,” he says.

“Some were dressed up in costumes and made to stand in specific positions. One posed with a sword and armour, naked.

“One was of a girl of about five, wearing a white dress and lying on a bed, looking terrified. Her genital area was exposed. That picture was labelled ‘The Wedding’. Horrendous,” he said.

The source, who asked that his name wasn’t mentioned, said all the pictures had labels and the suspect claimed he had taken the pictures himself.

“I shudder to believe it. There were pictures of at least 20 different girls.”

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said the court case would be a logistical nightmare because the suspect operated in at least three provinces.

The suspect was currently in custody in Durban, where investigators took him on Friday to search one of his properties.

The case is likely to be heard there (in Durban), he said.

Polela added that their investigation had not been concluded and that he could not rule out more arrests.

MXit, free online mobile instant messenger and social network, said it had taken a tough stance on cyber crime
by adopting some of the most stringent social networking security guidelines available.

The company was working with police to apprehend those who abused its platform and offered officers social media training. MXit also cooperated with the police’s cyber-crimes unit.

Among others, the following security measures were in place:
» Chatrooms were moderated for up to 14 hours a day – especially in teen zones;

» A chatroom-blocking feature was available for parents with children of a sensitive age;

» In compliance with the Child Protection Act, MXit did not allow adults to engage with children or teens. All chatrooms were split into the age groups to ensure interaction was age appropriate; and

» The private chatroom feature was disabled to users aged between 13 and 17 years old.

This measure protected children from “going private” with strangers.


- City Press

Aug 18, 2011 2:4 | 0 replies

@ Italian-Body

You see chief nobody ever indicated he/she is above the constitution. The SA judiciary has a trend of interfering with politics, now why is this one wonders. Recall this reaction of judges has very little to do with the appointment of Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng as Chief Justice. There is a protected agenda on the pipelines
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You contradict yourself sir, the judiciary is there to protect the Constitution. If politicians go against the Constitution and the matter gets brought before the constitutional court, then the judges must act in accordance with the constitution and if it is against what the politicians want then so be it.

Also, why bring race into the argument? Whites are not asking for a white judge, they are happy with Moseneke who is black and Ex-PAC.

The reason why SA gets bad press overseas is not because of the newspapers, it is because of the corrupt politicians. It is not their fault that they report what is going on.

Aug 18, 2011 1:55 | 0 replies

Wow Manatshe, at least you adhere to your communistic principles. But to play the "race card" as well is becoming such an overworked ploy even the true racists are finding it amusing.
By the way Gwede, why are so many intelligent people complaining about Judge Mogoeng Mogoeng appointment? Not all of them can be wrong?
And why should the President appoint the Chief Justice? Isn't that a case of asking the mouse to guard the cheese?
I don't believe in spouting abuse at someone who expresses an opinion, as some of your commentators are inclined to do, but really Gwede, let's cut out the corruption, the continual harping on "racism", do away with nepotism, AA, BEE and the Equity Bill and all get on the same page and try and make our country worth living in for ALL, not just your former comrades.
By the way, have you noticed that communism is failing world wide???

Aug 18, 2011 1:55 | 0 replies

I'm very dissappointed in my leaders. Gwede sounds like a victim. The role of the Constitutional Court is to uphold the constitution. If state law advisers are competent they would ensure that laws are constituntional before being enacted. Its Gwede and the ANC who are embarking on a slippery road. The ANC has lost its way. What Zuma and Gwede say is dangerous. Let the Gov. govern and let the judiciary do their jobs. God helps us if my party continues on this path.

Aug 18, 2011 1:42 | 0 replies

@tank - I hope your tank is not running out of gas in terms of reasoning or ask Maharaj

"President Jacob Zuma is a misunderstood president, his spokesman Mac Maharaj told the BBC in an interview broadcast on Monday.

“He hasn't been through a formal education so his power is as a self-educated man. His cultural roots are different. And to understand him in the context of SA is a bit of a problem, Maharaj added.

Aug 18, 2011 1:37 | 0 replies

Nxa! Anti ANC Judiciary 3rd force pa pets....
With their attempts to oust president Jacob Zuma. Framed all sides with charges to divide the ANC.
But congrats to it they managed to achieve the camp's business("in the anc").

Aug 18, 2011 1:37 | 0 replies

@mmss200
According to people who know more than you and me, the president unfortunately didn't follow the correct procedures. This whole thing should have been discussed with the judiciary and opposition parties before the president made his grandiose announcement.

Aug 18, 2011 1:34 | 0 replies

Unfortunately the people of SA have no faith and respect in the president's judgement, and he only has himself to blame for that. He has surrounded himself with corrupt 'friends' and so far has set no precedent regarding the handling of corruption.
We need a president that we can trust.

Aug 18, 2011 1:30 | 0 replies

tank

Zuma first offered Ngcobo another term, something that is not done his 10 year term was over and Moseneke is left with about 2 years before he retires (i stand to be corrected on the years) so already that would have been something else and there is no provision for such in the constitution. Sandile Ngcobo then embarrasses himself by accepting another term when he could have decline giving the reason that there is no such provision and then after the opposition were up in arms he turns in down he was the one who brought the judiciary into disrepute when he knows the processes and he overlooked that. As for the appointment of Mogoeng, there is nothing wrong, he is afterall a NW Judge President which already qualifies him to do so, my reservations about him really are that he is a homophobic person, he is first a pastor then a judge and he never gives reasons for his rulings which always leaves you buffled and that can be attributed to lack of experience or carelessness depending who is looking at it. The State President has a perogative to choose whomever he wants to choose and I think in this case he excercised that right and I have no ish about that but a question as to why did he not do the same before deciding to give Ngcobo a second term?

Aug 18, 2011 1:5 | 0 replies

@gigolo

it is either ANC or nothing that is a problem right there. If the judicial laws are western based why then does ANC only want to change them when they feel compromised by them.
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They are hurting our democracy they supposed to be rebuked and corrected. The whole judicial cabinet is still influenced by apartheid judges can't u see. All that ANC is thriving to achieve is a free and fair justice system, not some judge whose got grudge's and wants to even the score. I mean how do you conclude that one is corrupt when not even given a chance to stand trial? Racist behavior at play.



Aug 18, 2011 1:4 | 0 replies