FILE Photo: A GCIS released photo dated 8 September 2011 of the newly appointed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as the head of the Constitutional Court.
JOHANNESBURG - The country&39;s top judge told a gala dinner on Friday night that his office needs complete control of the judicial system.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said it’s the only solution to administrative problems at lower courts.
Case backlogs at the courts cannot be blamed on the judicial system alone.
Mogoeng said staff shortages, shoddy police investigations and incompetent support staff are contributing to the delays, adding that there are too many centres of power within the judicial system.
"We use interpreters in our courts, and these days I&39;ve been complaining consistently since I took office, their level of efficiency is shocking. If only the judiciary can take over the language service, because we know what makes a good interpreter," said Mogoeng.
The chief justice said he wants a direct line between his office and all courts, saying this will speed up service delivery.
"So when I talk of the judicial independence I’m not seeking power, power for what? What do I want to do with it? Never associate me with power... I prefer to be seen as a person who has been given certain responsibilities and who has the possibility of giving a more meaningful contribution, it is about service," he said.
Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister, John Jeffery, urged magistrates to take up their grievances with their superiors instead of threatening to go on strike when there’s a dispute.
Meanwhile, in a significant move aimed at re-affirming the independence and important role of judiciaries in Africa, Mogoeng will host the first ever meeting of the Executive Bureau of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) in South Africa from January 28 to 29.