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Letter to De Rebus Appointment of Chief Justice

Our reference:  MR L.M. KOBRIN

Your reference:  

Date:  10th August 2009

The Editor
De Rebus
Pretoria                       PER E MAIL

Dear Sir

APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUSTICE

Over the past few years, there has been much publicity concerning the manner in which Members of the Judiciary perform their functions. The Law Society of South Africa has spoken out admirably and correctly against vicious and malicious attacks on the Judiciary, (many of which were, most unfortunately, politically motivated). The nomination by President Zuma of Justice Sandile Ngcobo as his choice for appointment as Chief Justice, has also evoked publicity.

Whilst President Zuma's choices appears to be of a Man who has an impressive record and has proved himself as an able Jurist, the wave of publicity surrounding this appointment, is that President Zuma overlooked Justice Dikgang Moseneke, the present Deputy Chief Justice because of his political affiliation, which is not in accordance with the views of the Ruling Party.

In the event that the choice of Justice Ngcobo as the preferred candidate is because of Political considerations, then we enter a most dangerous evolution in our new and young democracy. Our new democracy has brought with it a remarkable constitution and what is required in its implementation, is a Judiciary of able, competent, and fearless Jurists who will apply the Law independently of any considerations which are politically motivated.

The Constitutional Court is a forum where pronouncements on constitutional issues will have to be made which are critical of the Government and its Officers. Justice Ngcobo, has, in the progressive Judgments he has written for that Court, demonstrated that he is prepared to speak his mind based on his understanding of the issues before him, and the fact that he has dissented from the majority, is demonstrative of the fact that he will lead the Judiciary in a manner which will preserve its independence no matter how uncomfortable or unpalatable the outcome. It is hoped that under his stewardship, the independence of the Judiciary will be maintained. Litigants must always be made to feel that the disputes they bring to our Courts will be conducted fairly, impartially, competently and independently. In wishing Justice Ngcobo success in his new Office, I express the hope that his leadership will at all times instill confidence in the impartiality and independence of all members of the Judges who acquire membership of that exclusive club.

 Yours sincerely

 

LESLIE KOBRIN
BOVE ATTORNEYS
Mr Kobrin's direct e mail lesk@boveattorneys.co.za
Mr Kobrin's direct fax number 0865622104

 

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