Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has strongly emphasised that the role of members of the judiciary is not one that seeks public approval as this could amount to the corruption of justice.

He was presenting the annual report on Judicial Functions for the 2017/18 financial year, at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.

This is an historic event, as it’s the first time the Judiciary is taking the lead in accounting for its work. Chief Justice Mogoeng says members of the judiciary are not self-employed but have the obligation to be accountable to the public.

“Judicial officers must never seek to be celebrities. They must never be populist in their approach to the issues because if they attempted to be, what is going to happen is injustice masquerading as justice. People will just be checking what is in the media, what do the analysis say, what is the popular view on social media and then position themselves to decide in the manner that will enjoy public approval, regardless of what the constitution and the law demands of them. And that would be corrupting justice,” says Mogoeng.

Mogoeng has warned members of the judiciary not to seek approval from dominant public voices – but to be true to their mandate.

“What will happen is those who come from the village like me, who don’t Tweet, who are not on Facebook, who do not have connections to those who commend the means of communication will always lose cases before the courts because judges and magistrates would be turning their backs to the fundamentals of administering justice and seeking to receive an applaud from the dominant public voices out there. We dare not betray our mandate for the sake of some pseudo political correctness,” says Mogoeng.

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