Johannesburg – The office of outgoing Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Thursday explained his decision to take long leave five months before his term at the helm of the country’s judiciary ends.
Mogoeng’s office announced on Friday he was taking long leave from May 1 after informing President Cyril Ramaphosa and Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
According to Nathi Mncube, the spokesperson for the judiciary, regulations promulgated in terms of the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act 2001 provide for judges to take leave of three and a half months for every period of four years’ actual service.
”This leave is referred to as long leave within the judiciary.
“The chief justice’s four-year cycle to take his long leave commenced on July 1, 2018 but he was unable to take it due to his judicial and extrajudicial commitments,” Mncube said.
He said that because judges’ leave is not cumulative Mogoeng would have forfeited it as it has happened on previous occasions and it was normal practice for members of the judiciary to take their leave whenever it was due as was the case for the country’s top judge, who had taken it.
Justice Sisi Khampepe has been appointed to act in Mogoeng’s position as Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was chairing the commission of inquiry into state capture.
This is not the first time Mogoeng has taken a long leave.
In November 2013, he took long leave for the last term of that year and the first term of 2014.
Former President Jacob Zuma appointed Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to act in Chief Justice Mogoeng’s position.
At the time, Zuma appointed late Justice Thembile Skweyiya as acting Deputy Chief Justice as well as acting Justices Nonkosi Mhlantla and Nambitha Dambuza.