Heads of courts propose that SA use Kenya’s model of institutional independence

February 28th, 2022

In the foreword of the Judiciary Annual Report 2020/21, Acting Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, stated that the Heads of Court and the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, among others, discussed the independence of the judiciary, a single judiciary, and accountability by the judiciary and others. He pointed out that with regards to the independence of the judiciary, the Heads of Courts told the Portfolio Committee that they had informed the Executive that the Judiciary’s proposed model of institutional independence was similar to the Kenyan model.

Acting Chief Justice Zondo said that the judiciary also pointed out that, although initially there had been encouraging engagements with the leadership of the Executive, there had been no movement on the part of the Executive since the judiciary submitted its proposed model of institutional independence. The judiciary has been in the spotlight for several years now, with claims that some judges have been captured. However, these claims have not been proven to be true, nor substantial evidence supporting these claims have been brought forward. In 2019, retired Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, called on the South African Police Service to investigate claims that were made through social media that the judiciary is captured.

At a media briefing held at the Office of the Chief Justice in September of 2019. Retired Chief Justice Mogoeng called out a ‘faceless’ twitter account who made the claims, that the person behind that account should, come forward with proof of the claims that indeed the judiciary is captured.

The Constitution of South Africa (SA)

Section 165 of the Constitution provides that the judicial authority of SA is vested in the courts, which are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law, which they must apply impartially and without fear, favour, or prejudice. All persons and organs of state are barred from interfering with the functioning of the court and organs of state, through legislative and other courts to ensure the independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility, and effectiveness of the courts. An order or decision issued by a court binds all persons to whom and organs of state to which it applies.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

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