South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has been elected the President of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA).
The CCJA is an independent institution established by constitutional judiciaries in Africa, to ensure that the judiciary arms in member states support and deepen democracy by upholding constitutionalism and the rule of law.
The renowned judge was towered over to the prestigious position on Wednesday after the end of the body’s four-day congress hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Meeting under the theme: “Strengthening the independence of the judiciary and respect for the rule of law”, CCJA found Mogoeng worthy to lead them, having served as the vice president under Gabon’s Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo.
The congress was attended by dignitaries from 35 African countries and called for the unity among warring African nations, using constitutional democracy.
In his acceptance speech, Mogoeng expressed delight for the honour and also thanked organizers of the event for making it successful.
He, further, buttressed that the importance of constitutional democracy can never be undermined because South Africa would not have come this far if not for constitutional democracy.
Mogoeng drove home his assertions by citing three ugly incidences that got resolved with constitutional democracy just before SA transited to democracy.
First was the disruption of a negotiation meeting by a truck driver, followed by the altercation between former President De Klerk and Nelson Mandela and lastly, the assassination of Chris Hani by a white, right-winger.
The Chief justice said many had thought that negotiation would have been unsuccessful considering these incidences. But they were able to be resolved through constitutional democracy, Mogoeng said.
He remarked that corruption is the key enemy to poverty alleviation, adding that the judiciary must live beyond corruption in order to fight corrupt people in the country.
Mogoeng expressed hope that one day, Africa could be a stronghold for the rule of law around the world.
He added: “If only we can be united in the vision that has long been waited for: the vision of demonstrating to all that African people have what it takes to take their continent to the greatest heights that it was once known for.”
In 2016, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, alongside his retired deputy Dikgang Moseneke emerged runner-up to 2016 South African Person of the Year.
Both judges have continued to enjoy massive supports and praises from across the Africa and beyond for their roles in the country’s judiciary.
The most groundbreaking case of all their cases was the Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla, which found President Zuma guilty of breaching and defiling the constitutional he swore under oath to protect.
The resounding judgment jolted South Africans to the reality that – if there’s one institution still functioning as it should, upholding the values to which our Constitution aspires, and setting the example, it is the judiciary – and Moseneke and Mogoeng are the symbols and breathing embodiment of South Africa’s judicial system.
And till date, most people admit that the Nkandla ruling is proof that the rule of law prevails in this country and Mogoeng was one of the men that made it happen.
Meanwhile, president Jacob Zuma has congratulated Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on his election.
In a statement, Zuma described the development as a great honour for South Africa, adding that the new leadership role happened on the eve of Freedom Day and just a few days before the beginning of Africa Month.