There have been allegations of corruption against the judiciary but it is the task of the police to probe and shed light on the faces of those in the shadows, said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng while releasing the state of the judiciary on Thursday morning.
Mogoeng has released a Judiciary Annual Report with a look at how courts have performed over the past year. In tabling his address, he articulated how it was high time for the judiciary to be modernised to allow all to have access to it.
He pleaded to the public to oust judges that were rotten in the judiciary.
“If there are rotten apples in our midst, they must be cast out in order to save the rest.
“If anybody has evidence against judges, please bring them forward.”
Mogoeng pointed to the landmark ruling in the Constitutional Court that spanking children would now be a criminal offence. Asked if the ruling meant families should now bring their children to him for disciplining, Mogoeng expressed how it was important for those who sought clarity on the judgment to read the ruling.
A better understanding of the ruling was crucial, Mogoeng said.
Mogoeng urged for a campaign to be launched that would re-introduce a different approach on how sexual offences cases are handled by law enforcement. The cases require sensitivity, special training, and a totally different approach, he said.
That campaign must also include how to report on these cases and the victims must be sensitively assured.
“We know that there’s a lot of humiliation and discouragement that comes with reporting these cases.”
The campaign needs to highlight to the victims that “these are the steps we will take”.
He urges for special training of the investigating officers to deal with gender-based violence cases. He called for specially trained magistrates to ensure justice would be done in these cases.
Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture
Asked when the Zondo commission of inquiry would conclude, he said there were those who wanted the inquiry wrapped up but that proving a deadline would be pointless. He said the length of the inquiry should not matter as it was there to unseat corruption and so the end to the commission should not be a factor.
Performance of prosecutors
Mogoeng said the performance of prosecutors and the judiciary would also be taken into account to ensure adequate conviction rates.
In calling for the public to report corruption, Mogoeng stressed that the judiciary was not empowered to go into banks and request bank statements based on social media allegations against certain individuals.
He highlights that police need to investigate the allegations to locate the faces behind corruption.