Judges do not serve political parties - Moseneke reflects on his time at the Bench

20 May 2016 - 11:42 By Ernest Mabuza

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke‚ who is set to retire from the bench on Friday‚ has reflected on his time in the legal profession for a period of close to 40 years.Moseneke came under fire from the African National Congress Youth League for comments he made at his 60th birthday party in 2007 when he said: “I chose this job very carefully. I have another 10 to 12 years on the bench and I want to use my energy to help create an equal society”.“It’s not what the ANC wants or what the delegates want; it is about what is good for our people.”Asked in an interview by eNCA on Thursday on whether he regretted the comments‚ Moseneke said: “What I said is what I said repeatedly every single year that I was on the bench."You don’t serve any political party‚ ruling or not.”When asked whether being overlooked for the position of Chief Justice hurt him‚ Moseneke said he had served under three chief justices and had been overlooked three times.He said if someone had asked him if he wanted to become chief justice‚ he would have said yes.“It is neither here nor there.”The Constitutional Court will hold a special ceremonial session to mark his retirement on Friday.Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ other justices of the Constitutional Court‚ as well as representatives of the executive‚ parliament and the legal profession‚ will participate in this event.According to the Constitutional Court website‚ Moseneke started his professional career as an attorney’s clerk in Pretoria in 1976.In 1978 he was admitted and practised for five years as an attorney and partner at the law firm Maluleke‚ Seriti and Moseneke.In 1983 he was called to the Bar and practised as an advocate in Johannesburg and Pretoria.In 1993‚ he was elevated to the status of senior counsel.Moseneke also served on the technical committee that drafted the interim constitution of 1993.In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission‚ which conducted the first democratic elections in South Africa.In September 1994‚ while practising as a silk‚ Moseneke accepted an acting appointment to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court.Before his appointment as Justice of the Constitutional Court‚ in November 2001 Moseneke was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Pretoria.In November 2002‚ he was appointed as judge of the Constitutional Court before being appointed Deputy Chief Justice in June 2005.

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