Zuma appoints Mogoeng as Chief Justice

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has appointed Mogoeng Mogoeng as the country's new Chief Justice, he announced on Thursday. 

The nomination of Mogoeng - who takes over from Sandile Ngcobo - has received criticism from opposition parties and some in the legal fraternity, who said Mogoeng lacked the necessary experience to lead the highest court in the land.

Zuma said Mogoeng's interview with the Judicial Services Commission, which was live on television, may even have scared off many candidates for public office, who feel this may be the next route to follow. 

He thanked Mogoeng for the dignified manner in which he responded to commentary and criticism and the way he "maintained dignified silence."

He said the judiciary should not be part of the mud-slinging that takes place.

"Let me reiterate our firm belief in the separation of powers. We hold our judiciary in very high regard," Zuma told the special media briefing. 

He thanked the political parties for their contributions, which were by no means unanimous.

Welcoming his appointment, Mogoeng thanked Zuma for the "trust and confidence" he put in him on behalf of nation by appointing him Chief Justice.

"[I] have to hit the ground running in order to fulfil our collective mandate; an injury by one is an injury by all," he said 

Mogoeng has been a judge since 1997 and is far senior in terms of judicial experience than most judges who are in the Constitutional Court currently, with the exception of Justice Johan Froneman, who was appointed as a judge in 1994, and Justice Edwin Cameron, who was appointed as a judge in 1995. 

He was appointed a judge of the North West High Court in June 1997 as Judge of the Labour Appeal Court in April 2000 and in October 2002, he became the Judge President of the North West High Court. He was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2009. 

Justice Mogoeng is the only judge in the Constitutional Court who has been a leader of a Court. - BuaNews

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