The office of the chief justice says chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has no role to play in ensuring the safety of members of the judiciary. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/SEBABATSO MOSAMO
The office of the chief justice says chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has no role to play in ensuring the safety of members of the judiciary. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/SEBABATSO MOSAMO

Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng did not beef up Western Cape division deputy judge president Patricia Goliath’s security because he is not personally responsible for assigning security to members of the judiciary, his office said.

This “clarification” from the office of the chief justice (OCJ) was made on Sunday evening  after media reports suggested Mogoeng was personally responsible for improving security for Goliath after an alleged plot to assassinate her. Western Cape judge president John Hlophe's attorney, Barnabas Xulu, issued a statement at the weekend in which he alleged Mogoeng had beefed up security for Goliath.

Hlophe himself was named in a report of investigations into an alleged plot to assassinate Goliath.

Xulu said Mogoeng's receipt of the report involving allegations that Hlophe had plotted to kill Goliath, followed by Mogoeng’s alleged decision to beef up her security, required a proper investigation.

In a statement on Sunday evening, the OCJ said it deemed it prudent to clarify certain issues relating to its role regarding judges’ security. It was the responsibility of OCJ officials, under the leadership of the secretary-general as the head of the OCJ to request police to conduct threat and risk assessments for the judiciary where necessary.

“Security provided to members of the judiciary facing a threat is an OCJ administrative function, which does not require any involvement by the chief justice.

“The chief justice does not commission any investigation into threats to members of the judiciary, and this matter was no exception,” the department said.

The OCJ said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretariat, whose responsibilities are limited to rendering administrative support to the JSC, received information telephonically on June 4 from a member of the Makhanda bar about an alleged plot to assassinate Goliath.

The department said the information was immediately relayed to the OCJ head of security.

“It is necessary to mention the secretariat did not at any given time send any investigators to investigate the alleged plot. Neither the secretariat nor the JSC has the mandate to investigate such allegations.”

The head of security, as per the OCJ standard protocol, requested Western Cape police to conduct a threat and risk assessment with a view to providing security to Goliath, if necessary. As an interim measure, while waiting for the outcome of the assessment, a contracted security service was provided to Goliath, the office said.

The outcome of the assessment was later verbally communicated to the OCJ's head of security and to Goliath

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