Retired Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron says if any judge has ever taken money as alleged, he would be utterly amazed.
He added that it was not justifiable for people to accuse judges of being captured.
“If any judge has ever taken money, I would be utterly amazed and I would say to you that I can confidently predict that those allegations are baseless and misleading,” he said during an interview with News24.
Recently, several allegations were levelled against judges as some politicians launched personal attacks on them.
A “list” was previously circulated on social media and it was alleged that some judges had benefited from funds from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency.
But Cameron confidently told News24 that judges were not bought.
He said there were about 240 superior court judges in South Africa’s courts, adding that there “might have been one or two apples out of the 240 but overwhelmingly, I can truthfully say that judges are not bought. I would say it is a falsehood. I would say the judges are not politically swayed. I would say that’s a falsehood”.
“The measure of commitment to Constitutional process and to the value of the Constitution and to truthfulness amongst judges in the High Court and judges in the appeal court is almost universal,” he said.
He also said it was “unfair and degrading” to attack women judges. Instead, people should attack judgments based on the reasons given on a certain matter or the logic of the judgments.
“But don’t attack a judge for being a woman or for having poor language skills. I think that is very degrading.”
Cameron also admitted that there were good reasons for people to feel impatient and dissatisfied with the courts.
“We’ve got to get our judgments out quickly. We’ve got to be more responsive to people. I think especially in the magistrate’s court, people feel there are too many postponements [and] justice is delayed.”
On September 13, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called on those who have evidence of captured or corrupt judges to provide concrete proof and to stop hiding behind fictional identities.
He said his office had asked national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole to use relevant capacities at his disposal to “uncover the real forces behind the masks who are making apparently gratuitous allegations of corruption or capture against the judiciary”.