Judges question Simelane appointment

2012-05-08 20:06
Johannesburg - Constitutional Court judges asked on Tuesday how Menzi Simelane was chosen as the best man for National Director of Public Prosecutions despite an adverse report on him.

"My question is, why would a person who is controversial, be the first and only person who is considered?" asked Judge Johan Froneman.

The court was hearing an application by the Democratic Alliance to confirm a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that Simelane's appointment was invalid.

Judge Johann van der Westhuizen wanted to know what President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe did to consider the "insinuations or findings which cast doubt over the candidate's independence and integrity".

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng asked whether Simelane's "relationship with the truth" would have an impact on his suitability for appointment.

Marumo Moerane, for the justice ministry, maintained the ministry's stance: "The president regarded Mr Simelane as a proper person who will fulfil the objectives of the Constitution, in spite of his foibles."

He conceded it might have been appropriate to consider more than one candidate, but that was the president's choice.

"The Constitution gives the president that power to decide, and it's a special power. If he in his wisdom decided to open this to a competitive process, to open to one or two or three [candidates] he could do that," said Moerane.

"But if he has his eye on one person, that he believes fits the bill, whether Jack or Jill or the DA disagrees with that, that is the power which the Constitution gives the president."

Fit and proper

The report of the Ginwala commission of inquiry into Simelane's predecessor Vusi Pikoli's fitness to hold office had raised concerns about Simelane's understanding of the relationship between the justice department, where he was a director general at the time of the Pikoli events, and the National Prosecuting Authority.

He became involved in a series of events surrounding Pikoli's attempts to arrest now jailed police commissioner Jackie Selebi for fraud and corruption.

Concerns about Simelane's conduct in the report were referred to the Public Service Commission, but the president and justice minister decided that they held no sway in the appointment decision.

"The president did not accept that that was the import of the Ginwala findings - that he (Simelane) lacked integrity, that he was untruthful," said Moerane.

David Unterhalter, for Simelane, said if the court found against the president, it should set aside the order of invalidity and give the president a chance to "do what is required".

Otherwise, any decisions Simelane had made would be open to litigation.

DA counsel Owen Rogers submitted that it was not enough for the president to show after the fact that, "fortuitously", the person selected was fit and proper.

If that was the case, the president could have put names on a wall and "thrown darts at them".

The person had to meet the criteria for the job, and the president had to go about the appointment in a rational way.

"The president didn't apply his mind to the matter properly...," he said.

Simelane is on paid leave while the matter is under consideration.

Judgment is customarily reserved.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  psc  |  vusi pikoli  |  menzi simelane  |  jacob zuma  |  jeff radebe
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel
 

LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!

 
 

I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.