Mogoeng: Those in power haven’t learnt from Nkandla judgment

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that three years after the Nkandla judgment, the lessons around ethical governance have not yet been learnt.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the handing over of the list of members of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures on 15 May 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has told Eyewitness News that those currently in power have not learnt from the 2016 Nkandla judgment, saying that ethical leadership was not being taken as seriously as it should.

Mogoeng spoke to Eyewitness News in a wide-ranging interview on Thursday.

In 2016, the Constitutional Court found that former President Jacob Zuma violated his oath of office when he failed to comply with former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial actions on Nkandla.

Parliament was also found to have failed in its constitutional duties to hold Zuma to account.

The Chief Justice said three years later, the lessons around ethical governance have not yet been learnt.

“I’m not aware that the lessons have been learnt because you don’t just learn; there has got to be teaching, there has got to be a plan to inculcate that which has got to be learnt.”

He said there hasn’t been the required focus on implementing ethical leadership.

“That’s why people are comfortable and confident that they can get away with just about anything.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice added that nobody who’s integrity was questionable must be allowed to occupy any position of responsibility.

WATCH: Chief Justice Mogoeng on ethics, leadership and more


Mogoeng said he doesn’t know if the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was doing enough to tackle corruption cases.

The NPA has for years faced allegations of political interference, with claims this had led to some cases being shelved.

The prosecuting body was also criticised for only acting on the Special Investigating Unit report on corruption at facilities company Bosasa 10 years after corruption claims emerged.

Mogoeng was asked if he thought the NPA was doing enough to act on cases of corruption.

“I don’t know whether the NPA is doing enough to tackle matters of corruption. I know that there are few cases of corruption that have been sent before the court, whether that’s enough or not is not an answer I am able to provide,” Mogoeng said.

He said if the country wanted to get rid of corruption those involved had to be locked up.

“There has to be a lot of action to address challenges of corruption on a massive scale,” Mogoeng said.

He said the corrupt had become comfortable because they believed they could get away with anything.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)