‘Mogoeng was the guardian of the Constitution’: Zondo pays tribute to former Chief Justice

‘Mogoeng was the guardian of the Constitution’: Zondo pays tribute to former Chief Justice

Raymond Zondo and Mogoeng Mogoeng pictured during a ConCourt proceeding in 2018.


Raymond Zondo and Mogoeng Mogoeng pictured during a ConCourt proceeding in 2018.

Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele

  • Mogoeng Mogoeng leaves behind a beautiful legacy after many doubted his capabilities, says acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
  • Zondo and his colleagues penned a farewell speech for Mogoeng.
  • Mogoeng’s term at the helm of the judiciary in the country ended on Monday.

Mogoeng Mogoeng had taken strides to vigorously protect the judiciary’s independence and prove itself as the guardian of the Constitution, acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Tuesday.

Zondo led his colleagues in the Constitutional Court as they bade farewell to Mogoeng, who hung up his robe on Monday.

Mogoeng spent 12 years in the apex court, 10 as the Chief Justice and two as a justice.

He was the fifth Chief Justice in democratic South Africa.

“Through his outstanding leadership, Mogoeng greatly enhanced the standing of the judiciary in our country,” Zondo said.

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“He served this country during some of the most challenging times and was able to lead the judiciary with courage, integrity and wisdom. Mogoeng began his term of office when many doubted whether he was the right person for the job.

“It did not take him long to prove that, indeed, he was up to the challenges of the job. In no time, he won over many of those who had expressed doubt about whether he would be able to do the job,” added Zondo.

Mogoeng often spoke strongly against corruption in both the public sector and the private sector. He emphasised the need for ethical leadership in both sectors. 

Zondo said Mogoeng provided the 2030 Vision for the judiciary as a contribution to the National Development Plan.

“The vision outlined the development plans for the judiciary, based on the principle of judicial independence, for the norms and standards, judicial case management, judicial education, court modernisation and access to justice. 

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“It further outlined the judiciary’s preferred court administration model as outlined in the judiciary’s Institutional Models report, which was presented to the executive authority for its consideration,” Zondo said.

Mogoeng was appointed as a judge of the North West High Court in June 1997. In April 2000, he was a judge of the Labour Appeal Court.

In October 2002, he was elevated to judge president of the North West High Court. 

Mogoeng was appointed as a justice of the Constitutional Court in 2009. 

He was elevated to the position of Chief Justice on 8 September 2011 and led both the Constitutional Court and the judiciary.


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