There were three likely outcomes to the complaint laid against Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
This according to Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza. He said a JSC committee would consider three options after looking at the merits of the complaint lodged by the Institute for Accountability and its director, Paul Hoffman.
Ntsebeza, speaking on SAfm, said the first possibility was that the committee would decide the complaint does not warrant an investigation.
Secondly, the committee could decide the complaint was serious enough for Mogoeng to be impeached. Then it would recommend that the complaint must be considered by the JSC, and the JSC would then recommend the appointment of a judicial conduct tribunal.
In this scenario, “an in-depth investigation will follow”, said Ntsebeza.
The third possibility was that the committee might conclude that the complaint was serious, but did not warrant an impeachment.
The committee would then look at the merits and “deal with the judge about whom there is a complaint with a view to counselling”, said Ntsebeza.
Five judges sit on the committee that will initially consider the complaint.
Hoffman’s complaint centres around an address by Mogoeng to Advocates for Transformation.
“The most serious aspects [of the complaint] include allegations of contempt of court and attempting to defeat the ends of justice which it is alleged amount to gross misconduct justifying impeachment,” the Institute for Accountability said.
In his speech, Mogoeng questioned critics who complained when a white male candidate was not recommended for appointment to the bench, while those who were appointed were described as “executive toys”.
“These developments seem to suggest that war has been declared against transformation. People are clutching at straws to discredit the JSC. They seem to want the JSC they can dictate to,” Mogoeng said.
“The apparent discomfort with the progress we are making in transforming the judiciary… must be dealt with decisively.
“And for the record, many white males have been recommended for appointment by the JSC over the years. It is for them and those who know them better to say whether they are ‘executive toys’.”
JSC secretary Sello Chiloane on Tuesday said Mogoeng was part of the judicial conduct committee that would deal with the complaint.
“The chief justice is one of those judges on the committee, and because the matter involves him, they will have to consider how to deal with it. They will handle it in terms of their own processes.”
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