EDITORIAL | Cyril’s options are clear for new top judge
Ramaphosa’s search for Mogoeng Mogoeng’s replacement as chief justice will be onerous but doable
On Monday, Mogoeng Mogoeng officially vacated the chief justice hot seat, leaving behind him a legacy of high-profile rulings interspersed with criticism and controversy.
Initially, then president Jacob Zuma’s choice of Mogoeng — overlooking the popularity of deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke — was alarming in many circles and raised questions about whether he would be a lapdog for the former president; someone who would be a crucial cog in what would later become known as the state capture machinery. Those concerns were quickly batted away as, among several other high profile judgments, he ruled against Zuma, the very man who appointed him, in the Nkandla case. Zuma had, the unanimous ruling read by Mogoeng said, failed in his duty to uphold and protect the constitution.
But now, as he leaves — and prepares for a series of spiritual talks in the weeks to come — the country’s focus will be on the person who President Cyril Ramaphosa chooses to replace him with. And, again, Zuma will be part of the conversation...