Video by Timothy Bernard
Johannesburg - Chief Justice-elect Raymond Zondo has urged all those who claim the judiciary is captured to bring forward evidence that supports their allegations.
He told the media during a briefing on Thursday afternoon that allegations about the judiciary being captured were very serious, and should not be made lightly.
“It is not in the interest of anyone who loves this country to have a view that the judiciary has been captured,” he said.
Zondo urged anyone who had evidence of any judge or any member of the judiciary being “captured” to come forward and present it to the Judicial Conduct Committee.
“You will recall that in the past allegations have been made that there were certain judges who received money in order to decide cases in a certain way."
Former chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called for anyone who had evidence to come forward.
"Up to now, I am not aware of anybody who has come forward with that evidence. It is wrong to make allegations when there is no evidence,” he said.
Justice Zondo said that while he respected other people’s views, allegations of misconduct by judges must be backed up with evidence. He called a briefing on Thursday to answer a number of questions posed by the media. He said he could not accept any requests for one-on-one interviews as he was still busy completing his state capture report.
When questioned if he shared similar sentiments to his predecessor that there were clear attempts to capture the judiciary, Zondo said that one saw certain actions “from time to time”.
Video: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)
“From time to time one does see certain actions that appear to be attempts to capture the judiciary, but as far as I am concerned, those attempts have not succeeded. I will do everything I can to make sure they don’t succeed. It is up to all of us to make sure those attempts are not successful,” Justice Zondo said.
He called on the public to “be slow” in coming to all sorts of conclusions when judges hand down judgments. He added that just because someone did not agree with a judgment, it did not mean the judge had been captured, even if the judgment was questionable.
Justice Zondo maintained that judges should also never aim to make judgments for popularity.
“Judges must be prepared to make decisions that are unpopular. We can't make decisions so that analysts can praise us. We will seek to do what the Constitution expects us to do,” Zondo said.