Africa-Press – South-Africa. Retired Constitutional Court chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng believes it’s his destiny to become president of the country one day, but he isn’t sure when this will happen.
Mogoeng said the “prophecy” about his presidency wasn’t only believed by himself, but by various people who lived as far away as New York in the United States.
Mogoeng made a rare public appearance at a gala dinner hosted by the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors on Thursday.
While addressing the media following his speech, Mogoeng addressed the lingering question of whether he would ever run for president.
The retired judge had appeared in an online video a few months ago, seemingly being endorsed by an unregistered political party, the African Alliance Movement.
In the video, Mogoeng doesn’t speak despite being mentioned as a possible party member.
Mogoeng said on Thursday that he did not know when he would become president, but was not preparing to start lobbying yet.
He said many people were sending him messages saying they dreamt of him as president.
“So many prophecies, even today at the hotel where I was, one lady was crying tears saying, ‘Sir, I had a dream of you as president’. You don’t know how many messages I receive in one month, even from New York, saying we saw you being sworn in as president.”
The former chief justice has voiced many controversial views on politics and religion in the past.
While addressing political perceptions that he shared similar views to former president Jacob Zuma, because he had appointed him as chief justice, Mogoeng said this was wrong.
He added that people intent on creating an image that he had animosity towards President Cyril Ramaphosa were being mischievous.
Mogoeng said he was willing to meet with any president, but that he was not a puppet.
Mogoeng said it was unfair to tie his views to the president who appointed him.
He said if this same thinking were applied to every former chief justice, it would mean his predecessors were beholden to the president who appointed them.
“If being appointed by a president makes you beholden to that president, then it means all of us were beholden to whatever president that appointed us. Ismail Mahomed was beholden to president Nelson Mandela, Arthur Chaskalson was beholden to president Thabo Mbeki and Sandile Ngcobo to president Zuma. I believe mischief informs people’s attitudes, and that is why they want to make it look like I was the only one appointed by the president,” Mogoeng said.
“I have tried many times to explain that I have never been close to president Zuma.”
A dinner party in 2008, hosted by his friend, had created the image that he had a friendship with Zuma.
Mogoeng said the combination of the pictures taken that day, and the idea that he was not the most popular choice for the position, helped tarnish his appointment.
Mogoeng will have to give up his position as a judge if he plans to go into politics.
The rules governing the judiciary make it clear that he would have to hand his resignation to the minister of justice before he decides to dabble in the political arena.