“So, should [the next Chief Justice be a woman], I have no particular objection to that. I just want to make sure that all those qualities are there.”
Retired Constitutional Court Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke told a panel of mostly academics and students on Thursday that he had “no problem” with a woman being appointed to lead South Africa’s apex court.
The term of current Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, ends late next year and civil society is expecting that his replacement displays the same integrity and fortitude Mogoeng has – and be able to keep the executive at arm’s length – while guiding his colleagues.
Mogoeng’s replacement is a talking point in legal, political and academic circles, but has not yet quite filtered down to grassroots level. Nevertheless, the prospect of the top court having its first female chief has been flouted.
“Merits must not be left behind [when choosing the new Chief Justice]. If there is a woman of that merit and stature – not only stature in the vague sense, but of those qualities, then so be it,” said Moseneke.
He was talking during a public Zoom discussion on his recently released book, All Rise.