Chief Justice warns political parties on taking cases to court

South Africa's Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng gestures as he makes a ruling at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, South Africa ,June 22,2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Cape Town  – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in Cape Town on Wednesday that political parties should not use the courts as a final recourse for their internal ‘family matters’.

The Chief Justice was speaking at the Cape Town Press Club. He said: ”If we push our court to the point where it literally becomes a raw political player, we are exposing it to criticism that could have been avoided.”

Over the past months, the ANC in the Northern Cape, North West, KwaZulu- Natal and the Western Cape have all recently headed to the courts over battles of internal election disputes.”

“We owe it to this nation. We owe it to this democracy… to make sure that we are very careful about the responsibilities we impose on our courts,” Judge Mogoeng said.

The Chief Justice also called on citizens of South Africa to speak out when there are ‘unwarranted attacks on the judiciary”.

“We owe it to sustain and protect our institutions. The court is not the enemy of democracy, it is an integral part of democracy.” Mogoeng added.

Chief Judge Mogoeng also said that there were ‘very few circumstances of judicial overreach’ in South Africa and also said that the country’s courts had what was necessary to “sustain our Constitutional democracy under extremely difficult and challenging circumstances”.

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