As one of the three important institutions with executive powers, the judiciary is an important pillar of our democracy.
In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the authority of the judiciary is vested in courts whose dignity and integrity must be upheld at all times.
Thus any lapses that compromise the integrity of the courts and the administration of justice ought to be lamented. This because not only will they breach the tenets relating to judicial authority in the Constitution but will also detract from the integrity of the courts.
To that extent, we're perplexed by the disclosure yesterday by Judge Ezra Goldstein of the appalling conditions in sections of the Johannesburg high court.
The judge took a swipe at government on discovering that the air conditioner was out of order in the court in which the case of former Scorpion senior prosecutor Portia Kgantsi was to be heard. He also disclosed that there was a judge who could not access his office because the lift was not working; and that toilets in the building were in a terrible state. He blamed the Justice Department for the poor state of the building.
Ensuring the courts function without any hindrances is not optional but a constitutional imperative.
Therefore it is incumbent upon the department to enforce this responsibility.