Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA) Archives.

JOHANNESBURG - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Friday condemned offensive comments and attacks against South African judges, especially women.

"Even if it were to be proven that a particular judge was wrong in a particular judgment, all responsible South Africans would have to do is to criticise that judgment based on their points of disagreement with it. It ought not happen on any of us to mock judges, particularly female judges in this era where people seem to think that it is open for them to treat women as they please. Regardless of who the attacker is, we are against attacks on women and all our colleagues," he said.

This comes after EFF leader Julius Malema labelled judges "traumatised and old" during a Women's Day commemoration last month in the Northern Cape.

Malema told party supporters that "education must be free of charge so a girl child can be educated and become a confident judge tomorrow so that we get rid of incompetent judges who are threatened by politicians that appear before them".

He said his party would "take up arms" if judges tailored their rules according to who appeared before them in the courts. 

A day before Malema's remarks, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi slammed Judge Lettie Molopa-Sethosa, saying she struggled to read through her judgment and did not inspire confidence in the judicial system. 

Molopa-Sethosa delivered one of the many scathing judgments against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The EFF had joined the court case against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Asked whether he had spoken to Malema, Mogoeng said the leader of the red berets accounted to Parliament.

"I haven't engaged Mr Malema, he is deployed by another arm of the state, which is Parliament and I believe that it is for Parliament to investigate whatever needs to be investigated against Mr Malema. He is not answerable to me, but to Parliament and the people of South Africa. The speaker of the National Assembly [Thandi Modise] is a member of the Judicial Services Commission and I know her to be a person who is deeply committed to what the commission is about. 

"I take it that she will do whatever is necessary together with other members of Parliament to look into whatever needs to be looked into."

African News Agency (ANA)