As Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s term as a Constitutional Court Judge comes to an end at midnight tonight, people continue to differ about his legacy.
Anglican Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba has described Mogoeng as a fine, bold and courageous jurist.
Some analysts, legal experts and political parties continued to reflect on Mogoeng’s mixed legacy.
Archbishop Makgoba says Mogoeng’s rationality, when applying judgments, is one of the many legal qualities, the outgoing Chief Justice possesses.
“Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is a fine jurist. A bold and courageous jurist. The context under which he perfected his skill is, of course, in South African context, with its warts and all, and no doubt we cannot fault him in how he exercised his skill of discerning the issues at hand, applying the legal mind and ensuring rationality in most of his judgements.”
Makgoba says he and Mogoeng may differ on a religious position, but Mogoeng’s contribution to the country cannot go unnoticed.
“Of course, as a South African, I held and still continue to hold a different theological position to him. He’s a pastor. I am a theologian and there is no need to over-magnify the differences, but to celebrate him, to celebrate his contribution to the country, his sense of reverence to occasions when he was asked to preside over the gentle procession into parliament, the presidency of the Concourt and expressing his mind clearly and of course, with rationality.”
The Anglican Archbishop, reflecting on his working relationship with Mogoeng, has compared it with the one he had with the late former Chief Justice Pius Langa.
“I have worked with Chief Justice Pius Langa. I have enjoyed his slow temperament and of course, this is different from an exuberant Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. We all have different personalities and different giftings. I want to particularly thank him for his value-based lecture that he presided over on behalf of the Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Development Trust at the Walter Sisulu University – their inaugural lecture.”
Bidding Mogoeng farewell, Archbishop Makgoba has remembered some of the moments he shared with him, including when Mogoeng was part of a reconciliatory meeting on the Cradock Four, who were murdered during apartheid.
“I have shared occasions when we were reflecting on Calata and those who were killed in the Eastern Cape during the apartheid years and beautiful reconciliatory meeting where Verwoerd’s great grandson was in our midst. Whether you like him (Mogoeng), whether you don’t like him, wherever he was he forced people to think and to look beyond themselves. So, thank you so much on behalf of my family, (and) on behalf of the Anglican Church. Of course, we will not get somebody like you, as I said we differ. But we will miss your presence. Goodbye!”
Mogoeng’s last day as Chief Justice: