AZAPO's reaction to the non - nomination of Judge Moseneke as Chief Justice
The Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) notes with a sense of disappointment the State President's nomination of Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as his choice for the position of Chief Justice.
AZAPO stated its preference of Justice Dikgang Moseneke as the ideal person to occupy the position of Chief Justice of South Africa. Justice Dikgang Moseneke is the most senior and suitably qualified candidate, who not only gained professional respect from his peers, but the country's confidence as a leading jurist. The majority of right thinking citizens have all endorsed Justice Moseneke's name for the highest position on the Constitutional Court (Concourt).
AZAPO would like the President to take the country into confidence on the reasons for overlooking Justice Moseneke and other senior Concourt judges that would have been best suited in the context of the country's transformation agenda. Justice Moseneke has now been overlooked twice for the position of Chief Justice. The question to ask is: what is it that Justice Moseneke still has to do in order to be appointed Chief Justice?
Having state the above, AZAPO has nothing against the person of Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. What AZAPO finds worrying is the fact that Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is not as experienced as Justice Dikgang Moseneke. In addition, the extended mandate of the position of Chief Justice that requires experience in financial management might be a toll order for the State President's preferred candidate.
AZAPO believes the State President's nominee still needs time to grow his constitutional law experience so as to inspire the public's confidence. Appointing him into the highest office of the Concourt at this stage is not helping him nor is it sending positive signals about succession planning in the highest court of the land.
President Zuma's failure to appoint Justice Moseneke might have unintended consequences, that is, of fostering a culture where merit seems to be shunned in favour of party political membership and loyalty. We see this culture manifesting in the awarding of tenders; in accessing employment and promotional opportunities within the public service. In all these instances service delivery is hampered. It is sad that the hegemony of the ruling ANC has undue and unwarranted influence on organs of society and the state in general.
The fact that President Zuma has gone against popular calls for Justice Moseneke for the position of Chief Justice is an indication of the times we live in. All this calls for the need for parliament to debate the process of appointing Judges. Such a debate will have to include public participation and professional bodies in the legal fraternity.
Statement issued by Gaontebale Nodoba, AZAPO National Spokesperson, August 17 2011
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