The Honorable Mogeng Mogeng is the current Chief Justice of South Africa.
He was appointed by President Jacob Zuma and assumed office on the 8th of September 2011.
He took over the position from Sandile Ngcobo.
His current deputy is Dikgang Moseneke.
Prior to this, Mogoeng Mogoeng served as the Justice of the Constitutional Court. He was appointed as the Justice of the Constitutional Court by Jacob Zuma in October 2009.
Mogeng Mogeng’s career in the justice system of South Africa has spanned decades.
From October 2002 to October 2009, he served as the Judge President of the North West High Court. Before that, he functioned as a Judge for the North West High Court from June 1997 to October 2009.
He was appointed to be judge of the North West High Court by Nelson Mandela when he was President.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the North-West University in 2013.
Mogoeng Thomas Reetsang Mogoeng is currently fifty-five years.
He was born on the 14th of January, 1961 in Goo-Mokgatha near Zeerust in South Africa’s North West Province.
He is currently married to Mmaphefo Mogoeng and the couple has three children together.
Mogoeng is a proud alumnus of University of Zululand, University of Natal and University of South Africa.
He identifies as a Christian Pentecostal. He is also a preacher at the Pentecostal Winners Chapel.
His mother was a domestic worker while his father was a miner.
Mogeoeng Mogoeng always possessed a political mindset having become politically active as early as high school.
He was suspended for a brief period of time for organizing a memorial for the fallen victims of the Soweto rising.
Mogoeng Mogoeng graduated from the University of Zululand in 1983 with a B. Juris. He later received his Bachelor of Laws from University of Natal in 1985.
During his time at University of Natal, he became involved with the Azanian Students’ Movement.
He later went on to work as the High Court Prosecutor in Mahikeng for the government of Bophuthatswana from 1985.
Bophuthatswana was one of the Bantustans set up during apartheid.
However, during this time – before the fall of apartheid – working in a Bantustan was considered stigmatizing.
He later went on to get his Masters of Laws from the University of South Africa in 1989.
He left Bophuthatswana the next year and began practicing as an advocate.
Mogoeng Mogoeng worked with the Johannesburg Bar for a limited period of time before returning to Mahikeng for work.
He served in Mahikeng for six years. During this time, he became the chair of the Bophuthatswana chapter of Layers For Human Rights. He also worked as a part time lecturer at the North-West University, at the time it was called the University of Bophuthatswana.
Mogoeng Mogoeng’s judicial career has spanned an impressive amount time.
Though he felt he was inexperienced for the position, he accepted the appointment to North West High Court in 1997.
In 2000, he became a judge for the Labour Appeal Court before becoming North West High Court’s Judge President in 2002.
Mogoeng Mogoeng was appointed with Johan Froneman, Sisi Khampepe and Chris Jafta to South Africa’s Constitutional Court in October 2009 as part of President Zuma first wave of judicial appointments.
The Constitutional Court is currently the highest court in South Africa.
In 2011, less than two years after his appointment to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, Mogoeng Mogoeng was nominated for Chief Justice.
The chances of him actually securing the appointment were slim considering the controversy surrounding his appointment.
The press, bar councils, local civic organizations, international civic organizations, the Tripartite Alliance and legal academics all strongly criticized his nomination.
First of all, he was one of the youngest members of the Constitutional Court. Before that, he was an unknown that served in one of the smallest high courts divisions.
While his lack of experience was a major reason for the criticism, his past judicial judgments were also being called into question.
In the ‘State v Dube’ case, Mogoeng Mogoeng did not recuse himself as judge when he realized his wife would be the state prosecutor for the case.
Mogoeng’s surprising and accelerated political ascension during President Zuma’s administration was also considered a cause for concern.
His undue leniency against perpetuators of rape and violence against women including a child rapist was definitely a cause for alarm.
Furthermore, he was nominated alongside Dikgang Moseneke, who was expected to garner the appointment.
Dikgang Moseneke had served in the Constitutional Court for nine years, was Deputy Chief Just for Six years and had been passed over once before when Sandile Ngcobo was appointed as Chief Justice.
However, against all odds, President Zuma confirmed Mogoeng’s appointment on the 8th of September 2011.