It’s official - Sandile Ncobo will take over from Chief Justice Pius Langa as head of the Constitutional Court
- Branko Brkic
- 01 Oct 2009 07:48 (South Africa)
Looking back is becoming a hallmark of the Jacob Zuma way of looking forward – and nominating Judge Sandile Ncobo for the highest bench in the land yesterday was no exception, he did add a promise of his own: “This government will not infringe on judicial independence.”
All rather predictable, though tinged with irony given Zuma’s own history in courts. In response to questions, Zuma made it clearly he is treading more carefully on issues of consultation nowadays. Ncobo himself wasn’t much more forthcoming. When asked directly how he would try to heal the rifts in the judiciary, he hedged that he wasn’t going to speak off the cuff as he didn’t think that was appropriate for a judge. Zuma sprang a slight surprise praising Deputy Chief Justice Digkang Moseneke for consistency in upholding “the fight for freedom”.
But it was Chief Justice Pius Langa who banged the most optimistic gavel. “In the last few days of my watch the signs have been forthcoming that we are achieving a unity after turbulent times”. Clearly something’s actually happened in the last couple of weeks to enable him walk off into the sunset, confident in a safe future for his grandchildren.
Farewell, your honour, we’ll miss you.
By Stephen Grootes
(Grootes is EWN reporter, www.ewn.co.za)