ConCourt untouchable, black lawyers say

2012-02-16 20:59

Johannesburg - The executive and the legislature do not have the power to amend or review the Constitutional Court's powers, the Black Lawyers' Association (BLA) said on Thursday.

"The only way... is to divorce the current constitutional democracy and remarry parliamentary sovereignty," BLA president Pritzman Mabunda said in a statement.

If this route was followed, it may be subjected to constitutional scrutiny by the Constitutional Court, which was the subject matter.

On Monday, President Jacob Zuma reportedly said he wanted to review the court's powers.

The issue was reportedly raised by a deputy minister and ANC leaders at the party's national executive committee meeting two weeks ago and was discussed by Cabinet ministers.

The presidency later said Zuma's comments had to be viewed in the context of a decision Cabinet took last year.

It said this decision was about doing an assessment on the impact of Constitutional Court judgments on the transformation of South Africa's society since it had gained democracy.

Mabunda said according to section 74 (1) of the Constitution, which dealt with bills which amended the Constitution, section one of the Constitution may be amended by the National Assembly.

Seventy-five percent of its members and six provinces from the National Council of Provinces had to support the vote.

"[This is] a tedious exercise which may still be found to be constitutionally wanting if challenged," he said.

Section 167 (4) stated that only the Constitutional Court could decide on the constitutionality of any amendment to the Constitution.

- SAPA

Read more on:    bla  |  jacob zuma  |  judiciary
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