Viva, Chief Justice Mogoeng
Under extreme provocation from members of Cabinet, Parliament, ANC allies in the SA Communist Party and labour federation Cosatu, the South African judiciary has behaved in an exemplary and judicious fashion.
Despite a campaign of invective and threats, its members have not once risen to the bait of judge haters and have maintained the authority of the judicial system while facing down those who have not done the same under our system of constitutional government.
For this, South Africa’s chief justice deserves a vote of thanks and a badge of honour for this public service.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and his deputy, Dikgang Moseneke, held a meeting with the country’s heads of courts in July.
Here, they stated unequivocally that the threats, rumours and invective against the judiciary were ill-considered and designed to sow distrust in the guardians of our democracy.
They stated the precepts of constitutional governance simply and made it clear that they did not seek the legislative hand, nor did they desire to govern.
In a meeting with President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet this week, the country’s highest judges relayed the same consistent message.
Chief Justice Mogoeng has held the judicial line with calmness and authority.
He has done so respectfully and not kowtowed, nor has he disrespected the executive’s concerns about judicial overreach into the affairs of government.
Our judges are not paper tigers, nor are they a partisan bench. We are proud of this.
So pardon us for the lack of judicial decorum when we say: “Viva Mogoeng, viva!”