Judiciary must not overstep mark

Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The judiciary needs to guard against playing politics as an attempt to do so would lead judicial officers to overreach or act beyond their legal powers.

As society, we also need to ensure that our prejudices or misgivings don't cloud our judgement. The constitution is very clear on the doctrine of the separation of powers.

No court can tell the executive how to run state affairs, otherwise it would set a wrong precedent for vexatious litigants to take advantage of the lack of judicial separation.

This has nothing to do with President Jacob Zuma, but the principle of innocent until proven otherwise.

It's actually disorderly and unenforceable to suggest in a ruling that the president is conflicted and therefore his constitutional powers to appoint a commission of inquiry must be passed over to the deputy president, who also serves at the mercy of the president.

It's a contradiction in the sense that it gives the courts a leeway by technicality to create two centres of power.

It is also a recipe for state paralysis whenever a president is deemed to be conflicted.

Such determination resides with the legislature and not the courts. Therefore, let's allow the upper court to resolve this political quagmire without fear, favour or prejudice and in the public interest.

Morgan Phaahla

Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni