Quality justice for all commits Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng in North West
18 Nov 2011Restructured traditional courts in rural communities and introduction of community courts in townships should improve access to quality justice for all, more specially for the poor, previously marginalised communities and not just for the elite, rich and powerful in society, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said at a gala dinner held in his honour at the Mmabatho Convention Centre in the North West Province on Thursday evening.
The auspicious and historic occasion held in honour of Chief Justice (CJ) of the Constitutional Court, CJ Mogoeng Mogoeng and Justice President (JP) of the North West High Court, JP Monnica Leeuw was hosted by North West Premier, Mme Thandi Modise and the North West Provincial Government to celebrate the elevation of the two judges to the highest judicial offices in the country and province.
Premier Modise in her congratulatory keynote address said that the appointment of the two judges is a milestone for the province, and that the province takes pride in them knowing that the constitution of the country is safe in their hands and that the future of the citizens of the country, both the haves and the have-nots rest upon their shoulders.
In emphasing her support for respect for judicial independence, Premier Modise said that the concept of judicial independence is the need for judges to be free from improper influence, which includes political or special interests or popular public sentiment. It protects the access of all citizens to fair and impartial courts.
“Only with an independent judiciary will we have the rule of law and only with an accountable judiciary will we have the respect and support of the South Africans, so that the courts may maintain the independence to uphold the rule of law. None of these three components rule of law, accountability or judicial independence, survives without the other two,” stressed the Premier.
In his reply CJ Mogoeng Mogoeng thanked Premier Modise, women organisations, Madam Justice Monicca Leeuw, members of the attorney’s profession and members of the Bar and the broader citizenry of the North West province for providing him with substantial degree of solace in the face of sustained attacks and hostility from many different angles during the extraordinary period leading to his Judicial Services Commission interview.
The CJ said that he was equally indebted to the church congregation of the Body of Christ through the length and breadth of the province and country, which held his spirit high in prayer.
Mogoeng Mogoeng highlighted amongst others that the introduction of judicial case management to deal with delay of cases, restructuring of small claims courts to improve their functionality and accessibility, reintroduction of aspirant magistrates programme, creation of office space for judicial officers as priorities towards transformation of the justice system.
He emphasised that justice should be delivered speedily without compromising its quality and that when people like him are given responsibility; they should pour their all into executing that mandate.
JP Monicca Leeuw who is the first black woman to be appointed to this position in the country in her reply said that she is faced with the challenge of being expected to chart the way for more women to be appointed to the judiciary and said that she will not succeed in achieving this without the support of her colleagues, and their joint effort and willingness to give women the opportunity to act either as Judges or magistrates in their courts.
She said that there is need to have more women who aspire to become Magistrates and Judges to be enrolled for Judicial Training Course for Aspirant Women Judges training at the South African Justice Education Institute. This she said would empower female legal practioners to receive intensive training on law and judgement writing, as well as create an opportunity for them to preside in the High Court as Acting Judges.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
Tel: 018 391 0140
Cell: 083 629 1987
Fax: 018 381 0328
Issued by: North West Public Safety
18 Nov 2011
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