ConCourt’s job to intervene – Zuma

2012-07-05 08:57

South Africa’s judges are doing an excellent job, and it is the Constitutional Court’s job to intervene when government policy clashes with constitutional principles, President Jacob Zuma said.

The constitution should be strictly adhered to, and not unnecessarily tampered with, Zuma said in an interview with Afrikaans daily Beeld.

Zuma’s support of timely Constitutional Court intervention to force the government to adhere to constitutional principles in times of policy conflict differed from his statements in Parliament last year.

At the time, he said that the executive authority (Cabinet) had the right to determine government policy, and that the courts’ powers could not be seen as superior to those of the country’s mandated leaders.

When Beeld asked Zuma how these opinions tied in with his current opinions, he said he supported the powers of the Constitutional Court.

He said that what made him unhappy was when people shackled the government’s ability to perform its duties by going to court.

An example of this was a court challenge of his appointment of someone, who had proved themselves as a director general, to another post, he said.

This was an apparent reference to the Democratic Alliance’s court case related to the appointment of advocate Menzi Simelane as the national director of public prosecutions. 

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