Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni has slammed former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng over comments he made criticising President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying the former head of the courts wanted to rule from the grave.
In a rebuke of Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign funds, Mogoeng said the public deserved to know who helped fund Ramaphosa’s ascension to the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC) and ultimately, the country.
He was speaking at the inaugural SAfm public lecture at the SABC in Auckland Park, where he referenced his dissenting judgment in the July 2021 matter of the Public Protector vs President.
Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, Ntshavheni defended the president and slammed Mogoeng.
“On the comments of the former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, they are unfortunate because he had a minority judgment on that, and it is unfortunate that he wants to rule from the grave and express a view from the grave,” she said.
Mogoeng stepped down as the head of the court in May 2021 after informing Ramaphosa and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola that he was taking long leave five months before his tenure ended.
His long-time friend, Judge Raymond Zondo, succeeded him about a year later.
Mogoeng said on Wednesday night that the court-sealed CR17 bank statements, which saw Ramaphosa rise to power, should be open to the public.
The Constitutional Court at the time set aside the findings of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane that Ramaphosa had acted unlawfully relating to donations made to his CR17 campaign.
The ConCourt found Mkhwebane made errors in fact and law in making the findings that the president had acted unlawfully and that she acted outside the scope of her powers by investigating the funding of the CR17 campaign.
Mogoeng, who penned a dissenting judgment in the same matter, said the president relied on a technicality, but had ultimately lied in that he said he had limited knowledge about who the funders of the CR17 campaign were.
“Not once does he explain why he and his team chose not to tell the truth, but to rather mislead the public protector as he did. Instead, he says that the emails are in any event irrelevant to the public protector's findings, but that cannot be correct, for not only are the emails relevant, but they also expose the falsehood of the version that the president and the CR17 campaign managers chose to present to the public protector,” said Mogoeng.
A minority judgment is seen as a dissenting voice with no legal standing.