On Monday Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng officially completed his 10-year term as Chief Justice of South Africa. Last week we published an article calling for fervent prayer regarding his succession. In this article Pearl Kupe writes about the process of selecting the new chief justice and how you can have a say — at least until 5pm tomorrow (Friday October 15)
The role and function of the Chief Justice
Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng completed his term as Chief Justice on Monday October 11. He was the fourth Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa since independence in 1994.
The Chief Justice of South Africa is the most senior judge of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the land and therefore has the final say with regards to the development of legislation.
The Chief Justice also functions as the head of the judiciary of South Africa and is the final authority with regard to the functioning and management of all courts.
The Chief Justice is also the chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The JSC is the body that recommends the appointment of judges, with the Chief Justice chairing the interviews of candidates. The Chief Justice is also responsible for compiling the Judicial Code of Conduct. This is essentially a code which sets the required standard for judges.
We can see from the above, that the position of Chief Justice is not only a critical one, but is also one requiring a person of integrity and honesty. The selection of the right individual is key for the proper functioning of the constitutional democracy of South Africa.
Selection of the new Chief Justice is currently under way
The selection of the new Chief Justice has already started. The process began on the September 16 with President Cyril Ramaphosa calling on the citizens of South Africa to nominate suitably qualified candidates for this position. The procedure being followed by the Presidency is meant to ensure public participation and transparency and is line with progressive democratic principles.
The submission process for the nomination of candidates for the position of Chief Justice closed at midnight on October 1
Eight candidates have since been shortlisted and the biographies of the candidates have been placed on the website www.thepresidency.gov.za for inspection by the public. One of the eight, Dr Wallace Amos Mgoqi, withdrew himself, citing his age
The seven remaining shortlisted candidates are in alphabetical order:
- Judge President John Hlophe
- Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga
- Justice Mandisa Maya
- Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane
- Judge President Dunstan Mlambo
- Adv. Alan Nelson, SC
- Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
It is imperative that the public take part in deciding who their next Chief Justice is. Active citizens must play a role in deciding who their leaders are. We cannot complain about our leaders if we do not take play an active role in their selection. Selection must not only be based on having the necessary legal qualifications and skill but must also be based on character, values and ethical behaviour. All South Africans are invited to submit in writing any objections they may have regarding the nominees for the Chief Justice position.
Please log onto the following link to make input regarding the next Chief Justice. https://pmg.org.za/call-for-comment/1104/
#KeNako South Africa #AReYeng #TakingResponsibility
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