News24

Simelane ruling 'victory for Constitution'

2012-10-05 20:12

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court ruling that found the appointment of Menzi Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions invalid was welcomed on Friday afternoon.

Centre for Constitutional Rights director Johan Kruger said the ruling was a victory for the South African Constitution.

"The court's judgment reaffirmed our constitutional values, rights and principles, the superiority of the Constitution and the importance of abiding by the provisions of the Constitution," he said in a statement.

"This judgment by the Constitutional Court - the ultimate guardian of the Constitution - was a victory for the Constitution and a reaffirmation that no one, including the president, may act outside of the provisions of the Constitution."

The Constitutional Court made the ruling on Friday morning.

In reading the unanimous judgment, Judge Zak Yacoob said the court reached a number of legal conclusions, including that the NDPP's appointment was not a matter to be determined by the subjective opinion of the president.

"It was rather a jurisdictional prerequisite to be determined objectively," he said.

On 8 May, the court heard an application by the Democratic Alliance to confirm a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that the decision to employ Simelane was invalid.

President Jacob Zuma appointed Simelane as NDPP in November 2009.

Kruger said Zuma should explain his appointment because the Constitution required the government to be accountable, responsive and open.

The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) welcomed the ruling and said it confirmed the constitutional principles that the office of NDPP had to be non-political and non-partisan.

"The Constitution requires the president to objectively ascertain whether the appointee is a fit and proper person with due regard to their conscientious and integrity..." it said.

Casac said that when Zuma appointed a new NDPP, he needed to consider whether the new appointee would be able to ensure that the credibility and neutrality of the National Prosecuting Authority was restored.

"The president has a legal duty to consider whether his chosen appointee will be able to ensure the NPA take decisions to institute criminal prosecution 'honestly, fairly and without fear, favour or prejudice'," it said.

The Inkatha Freedom Party said the fact that Zuma and his legal advisers had been prepared to go to court and had lost was proof that the African National Congress was a "failed government".

"This is yet another example of how government's incompetence is costing the taxpayers huge amounts in wasted legal costs," chief whip Koos van der Merwe said in a statement.

"The fact that the Constitutional Court gave judgment against the president of the country, is proof that our judiciary judge matters without fear or favour and true only to the Constitution and to their consciences."

On Friday afternoon, the presidency said it was studying the judgment.

"The presidency respects and will abide by the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in our democracy," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

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 director general, and the NPA.

Ginwala, in her 2008 report, found his testimony contradictory and without basis in fact or law.

Yacoob said Simelane was evaluated in terms of the Ginwala inquiry and his evidence.

"[We] conclude that the evidence was contradictory and, on its face, indicative of Mr Simelane's honesty. It raises serious questions about Mr Simelane's conscientiousness, integrity, and credibility."

Comments
  • john.bhekimuzi - 2012-10-05 20:18

    Democratic Alliance is the party for honesty, health care services, education services, hard line against criminals, job creation, anti-racism, anti-corruption, I am an active member of Democratic Alliance in the Johannesburg area where I recruit poor black voters to vote for a better life a life unde Democratic Alliance, we have secured alot of black support and millions of blacks has lost hope in ANC and heading towards DA, where ever DA has been elected they have shown to take care of the poor and creating jobs for average south africans, millions of blacks has discovered that ANC is a bunch of corrupt men who dont care about the poor or the country, DA party went from nothing to get 25% of south african votes!!! that means the large majority of DA voters are blacks! in the last election the party won over 1 million new voters! Hellen Zille for president! next election we will destroy the ANC even more! VICTORY FOR DA! VICTORY FOR THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA! DOWN WITH ANC!

      john.bhekimuzi - 2012-10-05 20:24

      and news24 will you again remove my comment? just like you did last time?

      sam.ntshangase - 2012-10-05 21:25

      Bhekumuzi amambuka ayekhona kudala thina esazalwa amakhosi alwa izimpi asishiya ne anc sobelukhu silivikelile lelizwe asizenyezi ngento yakithi kuneyabamhlophe

      john.bhekimuzi - 2012-10-05 21:28

      Leonardb1 its so bizar why will they do it? do they support ANC?

      monika.rohlwink - 2012-10-05 22:25

      @John: I support you all the way - ALL THE WAY. May the DA go from strength to strength.......

  • makenawn - 2012-10-05 20:28

    Nxesi take a leaf boet otherwise someone is heading for CON COURT.

  • IcemanGP - 2012-10-05 20:34

    Wish the court could find the ANC unconstitutional as well.

      sam.ntshangase - 2012-10-05 21:18

      Hang yourself who cares nxaaaa

      IcemanGP - 2012-10-05 21:27

      Were you educated in Limpopo by any chance? Dumb ass.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-05 20:39

    It is not about the DA but how business is done in S.A. Where must I place my cadress and not the best qualified person.If not cadress then I will be surrounded by qualified but not ANC people.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-10-05 20:44

    Everybody knew it, now let JZ pick up this tab

      howard.dembovsky.5 - 2012-10-05 21:04

      Correction. WE, the taxpayers will have to pick up the tag.

  • clive.kihn - 2012-10-05 20:45

    When our clueless Pres stated quite openly that Simelane's was the only CV he had perused for this post, the writing was on the wall. That shows arrogance and ignorance, as he was supposed to "apply his mind" before making his decision. But then again perhaps he doesn't have a mind to apply. This is not the DA's victory, but one for the constitution, the judiciary and the country. But thanks to the DA for pursuing it.

      phillie.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-10-05 22:58

      Zuma will now apply his mind even more strenuously to have the constitution changed to suit his agenda

  • sam.ntshangase - 2012-10-05 20:59

    Why the issue of Simelane becomes so popular as if he was guilty to go to jail not long ago the govt of Zuma won Concrt ruling on etoling nobody was celebrating Zumas victory. The ANC has delivered many things but enemies focus on dirty spots. The ANC has achieved in advancing blacks in key management positions previously reserved for whites, black midle class increased under ANC govt yet some few blacks are biting the very same hand feeding them being misled by selfish whites, wake black ppl

      sarel.brits - 2012-10-06 06:35

      Is it an African tradition\\Culture to view people who does not agree with your view as enemys? And why does the same hand that's feeding a very small black middelclass revered when its supposed to feed everybody? If it can just stop stealing and mismatch for a moment.

      clive.kihn - 2012-10-06 08:37

      More and more blacks are "waking up", Sam - just read these columns. Yes, the ANC has some achievements to boast about, but it has many more failures. How about the failing education and health systems, endemic corruption, crime, rising unemployment due to inconsistent economic policies, ANC infighting and lack of leadership which is paralysing government, crumbling infrastructure - need I go on? In short, this govt has many "dirty spots". I put it to you that whites are not being "selfish" when they criticise govt, but have the best interests of the country at heart. You also accuse some blacks of being incapable of thinking for themselves by being "misled" by whites. On the contrary, they are the ones who think for themselves and are not misled by the ANC's (unfulfilled) promises every five years.

      sam.ntshangase - 2012-10-06 15:02

      @CliveKihn, you must be brain dead isn't. Crime stats was relesed three wks ago it declined. Coruption Selebi,Cele,Malema and his gang re in doc.Econ polcy you are enemy of BEE, AA n land redistribution. Health your Zile is a critic of NHI nt long ago Saunders died without med aid which is prove of NHI need. Infrastracture Dev the Pres outlined a plan on SONA geeese where re u frm

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-05 21:12

    Yay. Now about all those ministers who took an oath to uphold the Constitution and *all* the laws of the country....

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-05 21:31

      @lacrimosewolf:)the most annoying noise was made by the Minister of Justice telling everyone who cared to listened that Mr Simelane's appointment was above-board. That they did not recognize Dr Ginwala's findings. How rich was that coming from someone we told has LLM in law?

      clive.kihn - 2012-10-06 11:36

      Siphom: Radebe has failed in every portfolio he has occupied since 1994; why should Justice be any different?

  • khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-10-05 21:14

    The real battle that needs to be won is the R203 mills, then we can all have a real celebration, if DA can win this, then they'll have my vote, anytime.

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-05 21:45

      @khetu.ndlovu:)if you were watching this evening news I am you've heard the Minister of Public Works justifying it. The arrogance was astounding. So it's. A foregone conclusion. No debate about it Nkandla palace is competin with Mugabe's palace finish and klaar.

  • thabani.dube.988 - 2012-10-05 21:50

    Maybe this may teach Zuma to stop systematic tribalistic and nepotistic appointments to key Govt positions. Apply your mind Mr. Pres before you think of a shower solution, sort of.

      thabani.dube.988 - 2012-10-05 22:42

      Baba Ntshangase firstly Im old Std 8 and nothing more. Secondly thank God, you are an unbrainwashed proud black, so do I but not primitive. Thirdly, a minister is a political appointment and YOU may be one with no Matric while directors of public institutions are appointed through merit, i.e. with impeccable CV. Get it sir?

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-05 21:56

    I tend to think that the ANC does not know the constitution.There is alot of challenges that gets put up in court aginst the decisions that the ANC make and most of the time they come of second best. I do not expect the president and his ministers to be clued up because reality is they wer struggle heroes that was good tools for the task of the liberation, but they are not the right tools to run a country. I would atleast expect is for them to have the wisdom to make sure that their advisers are up to the task but even this they can not get right.Untill they are able to distinguise between state and party we as S.A. are screwed. But what scares me more is that the disregard for the law(constitution) and disregard for citizens are blatantly displayed.

  • archie.mooki - 2012-10-05 22:51

    Dear Mr President\r\n\r\nPlease note that you have surrounded yourself with comrades who gIve you wrong advices, either on purpose or they are idiots

  • Stephen Radebe - 2012-10-05 23:21

    VICTORY FOR CONSTITUTION. that Zuma and his legal advisers had been prepare\r\nto go to court and had lost was proof that the African National Congress was a \failed government\.

      clive.kihn - 2012-10-07 08:52

      Correction Stephen: IS a failed government.

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-10-06 06:41

    Many black people will hate to admit this.The Democratic alliance is playing a very important role in South African politics.Helen Zille is doing a great job.Its unfortunate that former liberation movements such as Azapo and the PAC have failed to do what the DA is doing - exposing the ANC's failed govt. Thank you Mrs Helen Zille for exposing the ANC failure to run this country Mangosuthu Buthelezi is 100

  • vuyani.zondi - 2012-10-06 06:51

    This expose zuma as incompetent head of the state. Under his leadership he has put anc and this country from one crisis to another tax books crisis, jobs crisis, service delivery protests, marikana trdagy zumaville the list is endless all these failers happened under his leadership.

  • vuyani.zondi - 2012-10-06 06:52

    This expose zuma as incompetent head of the state. Under his leadership he has put anc and this country from one crisis to another tax books crisis, jobs crisis, service delivery protests, marikana trdagy zumaville the list is endless all these failers happened under his leadership.

  • vuyani.zondi - 2012-10-06 06:52

    This expose zuma as incompetent head of the state. Under his leadership he has put anc and this country from one crisis to another tax books crisis, jobs crisis, service delivery protests, marikana trdagy zumaville the list is endless all these failers happened under his leadership.

  • neilpretorius83 - 2012-10-06 10:32

    Democracy 1, Zoomer 0. I wonder if a shower can wash off accountability?

  • mathivha.obert - 2012-10-06 12:49

    Zuma has been a subject of ill-strategic advises ever since he came power leading him to act irrationally & take uniformed decisions - How much more blunders do we still need to experience with this incompetent cadre - are all "cadres" skilled & capable enough to lead a modern economy as ours?

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