The role of judicial leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic will be critical. We don’t have a single judiciary, or at least not yet – and the different parts of the South African justice system are responding differently.
In many African countries a special ceremony is held during January to mark the start of the official court year. No such tradition has yet developed in South Africa. But the 2020 legal year got off to a spectacular start all the same: the deputy judge president of the high court in one of SA's biggest provinces issued an affidavit making sensational claims against the judge president and his wife, who is also a judge in the same division.
Perhaps the biggest shock I have ever experienced while writing about judges and the law in South Africa, was the day I heard that the judge president of the Western Cape, John Hlophe, was in trouble with the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s apex legal forum.