Do not hide behind faceless masks, Mogoeng Mogoeng tells twitter accusers

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will ask police commissioner Khehla Sitole to investigate who is behind the twitter accounts spreading allegations that some judges got money from the CR17 campaign funds.

“Only a sworn enemy of our constitutional democracy, would make allegations so grave against the judiciary without the  evidence to back them up,” Mogoeng said.

Faceless twitter accounts posted claims that some judges, who have, among other things, delivered judgments against public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the EFF, received various amounts of money from the now controversial campaign fund — insinuating they could have been captured.

Mogoeng said those making  “gratuitous” allegations against the judges should stop hiding behind fictional identities and names.

He said that in the absence of concrete proof, he believed his colleagues, and that he had asked the secretary-general of his office to ask Sitole to use its capacity to uncover the “real forces” behind those spreading the allegations.  

They should make their identities and contact details available, he said. The chief justice said those making the allegations should be prepared to give evidence to support their allegations, and be willing to do so in a court of law or at a commission of inquiry.

While the criminal justice system was severely compromised by the spectre of state capture over the past 10 years, the judiciary has remained the last bastion against corruption. However, of late it has come under increasing pressure from, among others, those in support of Mkhwebane and those driving a fight-back campaign for the former president Jacob Zuma faction of the ANC.

Mkhwebane has had a number of he reports either set aside or put on review by the courts and has been ordered to pay up — in her personal capacity — for the Absa Bankorp matter, which looked into the apartheid-era loan from the Reserve Bank to Bankorp.

The high court in Pretoria has also ruled that she was personally liable for some of the costs in the case relating to her report on the Estina dairy farm project.

Mogoeng was flanked at the briefing by Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo and Free State judge president Cagney Musi. He said gratuitous allegations of corruption could only delegitimise and imperil SA’s constitutional democracy.  

Asked whether he believed it was an attack on the judiciary, Mogoeng said it would be if there was no evidence behind the allegations made. He said if it was proved that there was no evidence, the judiciary would explore the possibility of criminal charges, adding that he assumed his colleagues would also sue for defamation.

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