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Chief Justice news

What’s happening with the vacancy for our country’s top judge? After the disgraceful Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews we told you about previously, there has been some debate over whether the JSC overstepped the mark by recommending a candidate – Justice Mandisa Maya – as Chief Justice. President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed as much, saying on Wednesday it was his prerogative to choose a Chief Justice after consulting the JSC. The confusion this time arose because Ramaphosa sent four candidates to be interviewed, rather than just one as is usually the case.

Ramaphosa said he was considering the matter and would make a decision soon. Meanwhile, former Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng continues to make headlines for the wrong reasons. We told you he was ordered to apologise for comments he made about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a 2020 webinar. He FINALLY did so…sort of…when he issued a statement on 3 February in which he made it clear that he was only apologising because he was compelled to do so.  

And he’s still going strong with the controversial statements. A Monday night interview with him on eNCA’s Power to Truth with JJ Tabane got many talking. Mogeong was quizzed over his previous comments about Covid-19 vaccines and the devil. He said the debate around Covid-19 vaccines was being silenced in the media and complained of one-sided reportage on the issue. He further questioned why the media had not queried facts over Covid’s origins; vaccines; what had informed the establishment of the Disaster Management Act, and whether it aligned with the country’s Constitution.

Some of that is fair comment. But mostly, we just really want a Chief Justice we can respect, already! 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 17 February 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.