Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoen. Picture:Itumeleng English

Durban - Trial by jury is not suitable for South Africa and would simply clog up the legal system, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in Durban on Wednesday.

Mogoeng said he believed that the wide discrepancies in education between various South Africans would be problematic.

The jury system of trials was abolished in South Africa in the 1960s.

“It would complicate the system. I'm against it because it's time consuming and it is not suited to our country.”

Mogoeng was speaking at the law school of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's socio-legal programme titled “In Conversation With”.

He said that after having witnessed the jury trial system in the United States, he believed that the country would “be better off without it”.

Asked about perceptions that his appointment last year was politically motivated, Mogoeng challenged anyone to bring proof of that.

He said he was concerned that there were some who “were lazily clasping at allegations” and challenged the media to “not be lazy” and to investigate the facts.

He said his selection process had been exactly the same as that of his predecessors and that no evidence had been produced during the process regarding his appointment being political.

“How politics comes into my appointment amazes me.”

When Mogoeng arrived at the university he was met by a man who lectured him when he was a student there. Professor David Mcquoid-Mason and Mogoeng exchanged embraces outside the university's Howard College building. - Sapa