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Zuma wants Constitutional Court powers reviewed

By Sapa and Sowetan Reporter | Feb 14, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 4 ]

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma wants to review the Constitutional Court's powers, according to a report

"We don't want to review the Constitutional Court, we want to review its powers," Zuma told The Star newspaper during an interview.

"It is after experiencing that some of the decisions are not decisions that every other judge in the Constitutional Court agrees with."

This was reportedly part of a democratic process to counterbalance the powers of the three arms of the state. According to the newspaper, the issue was raised by a deputy minister and ANC leaders at the party's national executive committee meeting two weeks ago and was discussed by Cabinet ministers.

Zuma told the newspaper it was a "general societal issue" that was being raised.

He questioned the logic of having split judgments and said judges were being influenced by the media.

"How could you say that (the) judgment is absolutely correct when the judges themselves have different views about it?" Zuma asked.

He said if decisions by Parliament could be challenged, there was nothing wrong with questioning the judiciary.

Democratic Alliance MP Dene Smuts called on Zuma to clarify his remarks.

"President Zuma will find that he is on the path to a full-blown confrontation with the Constitutional Court if his remarks really mean what they seem to mean, because the court itself decides the constitutionality of constitutional amendments," Smuts said in a statement yesterday.

"It is apparent from the president's remarks that irritation with some of the court's judgments lies at the root of the desire for review."

Last year, Cabinet announced that a research institution would be appointed to "review" the decisions of the Constitutional Court to determine how, if at all, they had contributed to "transformation".

Zuma then questioned the decisions taken by the Constitutional Court, saying "as an elected branch of government, (they) should be allowed to do what they want to do".

COMMENTS [ 4 ]

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This is hardly surprising coming from Zuma and his team. They have no understanding of how the law and the judiciary work. Anyone who understands the justice system will know that different cours and judges all over the world may well arrive at different conclusions and there is nothing sinister about this. But the justice system has checks and balances. The problem in South Africa is that there are many judges who allow themselves to be influenced by ANC politicians for pecuniary gain. There are judges who beliieve that if they vote in a particular manner, they will curry favour with the ANC and thus end up Chief Justice or Judge President. This is why Dikgang Moseneke is not Chief Justice. Zuma and his team are also making these noises because they expect the Constitutional Court to rule against him concerning charges of fraud and corruption against him and if it is a split decision tehy will want to ignore the court's ruling. That is easy to sell to a naive public with some people believing that the ANC is always right. This reminds of the reason alleged by someone as to why Mbeki probably did not want Jacob Zuma to become president of the ANC and the country (he stood against him in Polokwane). "These people will have no respect for the country's democratic institutions". This is exactly what is happening. If it were not for the fact that this is tampering with the democratic heritage of our children and future generations, this would have been a small thing. We have always wondered why many countries in Africa and Asia quickly turn into basket cases; when there is a leadership that does not care about the country's democratic institutions. The current leadership of the ANC and South Africa is no different.

Feb 14, 2012 8:57 | 0 replies

In years to come we are going to have to answer to our children and tell them why we allowed this to happen.

When Zuma has become president for life like Mugabe and his cronies are all billionaires and the country has been financially raped by them, we will have to children that we had the opportunity to do something about it but we allowed it to happen.

The Zuma grouping within the ANC is clearly moving to consolidate their power at the expense of our Constitution. Once the Constitution has been compromised and all of the judges are on the ANC payroll, then it will be a party for all for the corrupt, political hyenas like Zuma and the members of his security cluster who unfortunately all happen to be from KZN.

Feb 14, 2012 11:11 | 0 replies

Just who is the legal advisor for the President mara he? Une qualification noma i experience? hayi akaxoshwe lowo muntu.

Feb 14, 2012 6:46 | 0 replies

Coverup, the people are not stupid,this Zuma guy is tying very hard to hide sum thing. E tlo nova le ge o ka e fihla. We watching you. The judges decision is final and you will never change that.

Feb 15, 2012 10:54 | 0 replies