Zuma's Ngcobo decision 'unconstitutional'

2011-07-29 11:12
Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court on Friday ruled that it was unconstitutional for President Jacob Zuma to extend now-outgoing Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo's term of office.

The judgment was unanimous.

The court declared Section 8a of the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act - in terms of which Zuma extended Ngcobo's term - unconstitutional.

The court found that the section allowed the president to "usurp" the power of Parliament and held that Parliament alone had the power to extend a Constitutional Court judge's term of office.

Zuma and the justice minister were ordered to pay costs.

It was announced on Wednesday that Ngcobo had decided to withdraw his acceptance of Zuma's extension, which leaves the post of chief justice open from August 15 should a replacement not be found by then.

The application against the way Zuma offered Ngcobo an extended term was brought by the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution, Freedom under Law, the Justice Alliance of SA and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies.

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