Mogoeng accused of contempt

Paul Hoffman says the Chief Justice has deliberately interfered in the workings of other courts.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Public Accountability (IPA) confirmed on Tuesday it has told the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng could be guilty of contempt of court and of trying to defeat the ends of justice.

It lodged a complaint against Mogoeng because of a speech he gave to the organisation Advocates for Transformation.

The IPA Director Paul Hoffman laid the complaint on Tuesday morning, saying certain comments Mogoeng had made meant he should be removed from his post.

He said Mogoeng gave his opinion on issues that will soon come before courts.

"The chief justice has deliberately descended into the arena when, in fact, as chief justice - even as a judge - he ought not to interfere with the workings of other courts."

During his speech, Mogoeng said it seemed some people were trying to discredit the JSC because of the appointments it was making.

Mogoeng also said last month transformation in the judiciary must be dealt with decisively.

Hoffman has been a long-running critic of Mogoeng and the JSC, saying it had behaved improperly by refusing to appoint advocate Jeremy Gauntlett as a judge.

This complaint comes amid a debate in legal circles about excellence, competence and transformation within the judiciary.