Chief Justice Mogoeng deeply worried
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says the lockdown and state of national disaster implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus cannot function above the Constitution.
The courts have a final say on the validity or otherwise on measures taken during a state of emergency. Our constitutional rights are crucial and there can never be a situation [where] any folks aren’t subject to constitutional review,” he said.
Chief Justice Mogoeng said this was why he didn’t accept as true with the view that courts should are pack up during the first phase of the nationwide lockdown because people should have the choice to challenge any violation of their rights during this era .
I encourage every citizen who believes that their rights have been digested and directed to our court– that are constitutionally ordained to seem into the constitutionality of acts or conduct of anyone – can review the matter and choose whether or not citizens are wronged or citizens are acting under an incorrect understanding of what the position is,” he said.
Earlier in the week , President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter that each citizen has the proper to challenge government’s regulations in court.
Chief Justice Mogoeng said Covid-19 and therefore the related lockdown have made a nasty situation worse within the judiciary, with cases piling up.”I am deeply worried,” Chief Justice Mogoeng said, reflecting on the impact Covid-19 has had not only on the judiciary, but on the whole country.
Had South Africa’s courts were modernized much earlier, he said, virtual court proceedings wouldn’t be a far off concept that was being resisted from some quarters.
“The first challenge, speaking for the judiciary, is that we’ve not been ready to finalize cases as expeditiously as we might want to, as expeditiously because the public is entitled to possess us do. The effect of Covid-19 has been to form things worse for the judiciary and for the broader public, “Chief Justice Mogoeng said.