Mogoeng and Zuma champion transformation of the judiciary

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South Africas Chief Justice has defended three of the countrys most controversial judges. Mogoeng Mogoeng hit out at what he describes as the vicious and personal criticism directed at the judges in the Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani trials.

PRETORIA – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says he’s championed the issue of transformation in the judiciary, but that much more still needs to be done. 

The Chief Justice was responding to a question about the pace of change at a media briefing at the Union Buildings on Thursday.

“I&39;ve articulated that issue outlining what could be done to accelerate that issue to the point of impeachment...and practical steps have been taken by the judiciary in that regard,” said Justice Mogoeng.

“The project of accelerating the previously disadvantaged women in particular through the South African judicial institute programme of aspirant judges is one of those measures,” he said.

Before Justice Mogoeng’s comment on transformation, a statement was delivered by President Jacob Zuma about the outcome of a long meeting between the national executive and senior members of the judiciary.

One of the issues that Zuma said the executive and the judiciary agreed upon was about the need to accelerate change in the courts.

“The transformation of the judiciary and the legal profession are at the heart of our constitutional enterprise and the parties have a responsibility to strive towards its achievement,” he said.

Zuma said that both arms of the state should not be seen to be antagonistic towards each other and should exercise caution when making public statements.

The meeting was requested by Justice Mogoeng after ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe accused the judiciary of perceived bias against the governing party in June.

The government had come under fire for allowing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to leave the country after the African Union summit, in direct violation of a court order.