ConCourt to rule on magistrates' dispute

2013-05-22 17:34
The Constitutional Court (Picture: Sapa)

The Constitutional Court (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will hand down judgment on Thursday, in a matter involving a dispute about the salary increases of regional magistrates and regional court presidents.

On 19 February, the Constitutional Court heard an application for confirmation and variation of an order of constitutional invalidity, and a conditional application for leave to appeal a decision of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, brought by the Association of Regional Magistrates of SA (Armsa).

The application followed President Jacob Zuma's decision in 2010 to increase the remuneration of regional magistrates, and regional court presidents by 5%.

The move was based on the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers' recommendation for a 7% increase.


Armsa applied to the high court to review and set aside the president's decision.

It contended that it was a reduction in remuneration, was procedurally unfair, and took a one-size-fits-all approach.

Armsa sought to have the matter remitted to the president for reconsideration, subject to an invitation for representations from regional magistrates and regional court presidents.

The high court granted part of the relief sought by Armsa.

It held that the president's decision was not an administrative action, but could be reviewed under the principle of legality.

The high court upheld only one ground, in relation to the one-size-fits-all approach.


Armsa then applied to the Constitutional Court for confirmation and variation of the high court order.

It also applied for leave to appeal part of the high court's order.

It argued that the matter raised a clear constitutional issue, that there were reasonable prospects of success, and it that it was in the interest of justice to grant leave to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court.

The remuneration commission opposed the application and sought leave to appeal the entire judgment and the order of the high court.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  judiciary

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