Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has called on anyone with evidence of corruption against the Judiciary to come forward with that information.
“It bears repetition that, if you love this country and all our people, if you have credible evidence of capture or corruption against the Judiciary, please share it with us and with the public and be prepared to testify to its veracity,” he said.
This follows allegations made on social media that not only have some judges received money from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 election campaign, but also that the Judiciary is corrupt.
The Chief Justice, alongside his colleagues Free State Deputy Judge President Cagney Musi and Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa Dunstan Mlambo, addressed the allegations at a media briefing on Friday.
He said gratuitous allegations of corruption can only delegitimise the Judiciary and endanger constitutional democracy.
“We are dead against corruption and capture. South Africans need and deserve a credible, independent and truly transparent Judiciary, to root out these injurious practices,” said the Chief Justice.
He said he will approach Police Commissioner General Kehla Sithole to investigate the source of the allegations.
“I have asked the Secretary General of the Office of the Chief Justice, Ms Memme Sejosengwe, to ask the National Commissioner of Police, General Kehla Sithole, to use all relevant capacities at his disposal to uncover the real forces behind the mask(s) making apparently gratuitous allegations of corruption or capture against the Judiciary,” he said.
“Mr Nathi Mncube showed me a tweet by someone who claims to have informed me of certain judges in the Free State High Court who have allegedly been captured by Mr Ace Magashule, and that I did nothing about it. We have never received that information,” he said.
The Chief Justice said he has been assured by all the provincial leaders of colleagues against whom these disturbing allegations have been made that the allegations are false.
“In the absence of concrete proof to the contrary, I believe my colleagues. Anybody with evidence to support these confidence-damaging allegations that any judge is corrupt or has been captured, must stop hiding behind fictional identities or names in media platforms,” he said.
Mogoeng said there are checks in place to ensure that the Judiciary is not susceptible to corruption.
“I have said many times before that virtually all measures necessary to insulate judges from corruptibility and secure our fierce independence have been put in place and are constitutionally entrenched, all the way into our retirement.”
The Chief Justice said it would take a thoroughly bad individual “completely bereft of legal profession and judicial ethics” to embrace corruption.
Mogoeng urged those with any evidence to make their identities known to the Judiciary and the South African public.
“Tell us which judge has been captured or corrupted and by whom; if money or benefit was given, how much, when and produce the verifiable documentary or electronic proof.
“And for the sake of the South African public that deserve a corruption-free Judiciary, be prepared to give evidence even in a court of law or commission of inquiry,” said the Chief Justice.