Cameron: NPA appears chaotic and dysfunctional

2014-06-18 19:41
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Durban - The National Prosecuting Authority appears to be "chaotic and dysfunctional" and it is not performing as it should, Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron said on Wednesday.

Cameron said while he was not fully aware of what was happening within the NPA, from the outside "things look chaotic".

He was giving a lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.

"There is a lack of confidence in it [the NPA]."

Responding to a question on the NPA, Cameron said such chaos would inhibit the NPA's ability to function at its best.

"We need a strong output-focused NPA."

Cameron said that while lawyers were expected to uphold the Constitution, the greatest guarantors of the Constitution were ordinary South Africans.

The fight against apartheid had led to a cadre of lawyers who were "schooled in using the law to further social justice".

Additionally, it had led to a labour movement that would use the law to fight for the rights of exploited workers.

"They [the workers] have come to expect something from the legal system. The law is not an elitist instrument only," he said.

He believed that most South Africans accepted the rights contained in the Constitution.

When the Constitutional Court had ruled against former president Thabo Mbeki on the state's refusal to distribute antiretroviral drugs, Mbeki's government had accepted the authority of the court to make the order.

"For that, history will give him credit," said Cameron.

He said that ruling, and Mbeki's subsequent acceptance of it, was one of the greatest tests faced by the Constitution.

The greatest threat to the country's constitutional democracy was corruption, inequality, and poverty.

"The Constitution is ours to win or lose," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    npa  |  durban
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