Concerned by the growing political crisis and how it presents the nation to the world, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has warned South Africa to get its act together to avoid being called a failed country.
Mogoeng who was speaking at the fourteenth Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge Memorial Lecture at the KwaZulu-Natal University’s Howard College last night, pointed out issues such as racism, political and economic crisis, which according to him gives the country a bad name.
The chief Justice said:
“South Africans, it’s now or never. Quicken your conscience to life… you will realize, like I have, that I have been sitting comfortably on a very uncomfortable situation; I have been idling by when my country demanded so much more from me.”
Mogoeng has in recent times addressed the country’s pressing issues calling on the people to come together to re-unify the country which has been torn apart.
He told the audience that South Africa has the potential to be the best country in the world, but that depends on what the country does going forward. Mogoeng said issues of land and economy has polarized the country and these issues needed to be addressed and redressed.
“That land issue … that economy issue lead (sic) us to fight each other as South Africans. We have to criticize the government where we need to‚ and the corporate where need to‚ but what is it that we‚ as individuals, are doing to make this country better?” he asked.
More to this, Chief Justice Mogoeng hit the nail on corrupt and opportunistic tenderpreneurs saying “we dare not betray” the sacrifices of the likes of Mxenge.
“Have we resigned ourselves to greed? The course of the struggle was never about a few individuals getting rich but about the noble ideals of those who sacrificed all for us to enjoy this freedom‚”
He said the situation called for a better understanding of each other and a commitment to acknowledge the injustices of the past as enshrined in the Constitution’s preamble.
However, the chief justice reiterated he was never afraid when he made his ruling against President Jacob Zuma as he was carrying out his Constitutional mandate.
“I was never afraid of anything and of course I knew that I was not seeking to do anything that I was not entitled to do, or pursuing a political agenda in what I was doing.
I was simply doing what President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of the nation, appointed me to do in terms of the Constitution. I am not afraid of anything.”
The chief justice then explained that when he made his ruling, he understood what it meant to carry out his mandate without “fear, favour or prejudice.”
In his words, “if there ever was a time to embrace ethical leadership, stop spinning, stop manipulating, stop relying on our supporters or sympathizers to do wrong knowing that our own doing will be covered up in some way, that time is now”.