Debate: Farewell to retired Chief Justice Pius Langa and welcoming of Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, contribution by Mr NM Kganyago, UDM Member in the National Assembly (11 November 2009)

Mr Speaker and honourable Members,

The UDM bids farewell to Chief Justice Langa. During his tenure that judiciary went through very public and very disturbing tumult.

And whilst Chief Justice Langa may have expected that the duties of office would be a heavy burden, he certainly could not have suspected what storms would rage around the judiciary and the Constitutional Court.

Nevertheless, today we can look back upon those events and pay tribute to the outgoing Chief Justice’s steady hand and steadfast principles. If not for his quiet determination and subtle approach, we may well have stood here today lamenting the destruction of the judiciary. Thank you, sir, calmness under duress is not a function of skill or intelligence, but rather springs directly from character. We were fortunate that in these trying times the Bench was led by a man of character.

Still, damage was done to the credibility of the judiciary and certain aspects of past fiascos are yet to be resolved. These issues will now be inherited by incoming Chief Justice Ngcobo. The UDM welcomes the new Chief Justice; his credentials as a South African and jurist are impeccable.

We wish him well; we are confident that he is thoroughly aware of the difficult path that lies before the judiciary. It is now his responsibility to lead the judiciary down that path. He will require every ounce of the courage, leadership and wisdom that he has demonstrated earlier in his life.

I thank you.

  Back to 2009 Archive