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Mogoeng doubtful of SA justice system's expertise to deal with GBV

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng spoke on 702's breakfast show on Monday on a range of issues including gender based violence.

FILE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: @OCJ_RSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said he was concerned by the fact that he did not believe the South African justice system had the expertise on all levels, to deal with cases of sexual abuse.

Responding to a question on the 702 Breakfast Show on Monday about whether he is of the view that South African courts are still not friendly places for victims of sexual abuse, Mogoeng said: "It has very little to do with the courts. It has everything to do with the entire criminal justice system. You need more capacity there. You need properly trained police, prosecutors, magistrates and judges so that they have the speciality, the expertise to deal with these kinds of cases. I'm not too sure we have that expertise, at all levels, and that's my concern."

He referred to crimes which contribute to the scourge of gender-based violence and the role of the judiciary to address them.

The chief justice said it was important that the root cause of crimes be treated by not only imposing harsher sentences.

Last week, Mogoeng spoke about an approach or an offer of R600 million which he turned down.

He mentioned that someone had offered to pay him the money to assist in modernising the court system.

On Monday, he explained the matter further: "I wasn't approached directly, there was a middle person that I respect highly that I believe was coming to me innocently, and that's what makes it a bit challenging for me to disclose the details. It was an American billionaire who made an offer through a particular structure.

"The offer as it was conveyed to me was that we've heard you say that you'd take R600 million to modernise the courts. We're willing to give you whatever amount we want. We won't be involved in whatever tender processes are to be embarked upon, you deal with the money as you please," said Mogoeng.

Mogoeng said he saw this as capture.

"Why don't they go to the state, to Treasury, and give money there. Why should I be approached directly? Why should it even be a secret approach? It should be out in the open. They know structures that they release the money to us. That is where they must go, but if they come straight to me, it becomes very suspicious," he said.

Mogoeng said he was optimistic about the country and where it was going.

''I'm very optimistic. I always tell people between 1990 and 1994, it didn't look like we were going to have a vote, it didn't look like a solution would be found but here we are. We are a resilient people. What we need to do I think is to focus on positive things that are out there. Let each and every one of us be preoccupied with finding solutions. Let those like-minded South Africans come together and keep on addressing the challenges that confront our nation. We're too negative, too pessimistic at times when we shouldn't be," he added.

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