South African President Jacob Zuma has nominated the most conservative Justice on the South African Constitutional Court to be Chief Justice. Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng unfortunately has a troubling record to lead a Court that is supposed to bring about transformation in the nation. He issued a decision as a lower court judge that substantially removed the jail punishment of a man, who had tied a woman up to the back of a truck and dragged her through the streets at high speed. According to a news report, the judge said the man was provoked by the woman. He is a member of a church that is strongly anti-gay in a country with a constitutional provision precluding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. There are other troubling signs as well including substantive criticism from several bar groups. Hopefully it is not too late to prevent his ascendancy. This is another sign of the tensions between President Zuma and the Court’s more transformative members.
Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law