Court not employment agency - Simelane

2010-09-15 22:07

  • The Da Vinci Method
    Break Out & Express Your Fire. Discover and master the fiery temperament shared by great leaders. Now R311.00
    buy now

Pretoria - National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane has accused the Democratic Alliance of trying to turn the High Court into an employment agency.

Counsel for Simelane, David Unterhalter SC, on Wednesday asked the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to dismiss the DA's application to set aside President Jacob Zuma's November 2009 decision to appoint Simelane.

He submitted that the NDPP was a political appointment that rested with the president, which by its very nature had a discretionary feature.

He said the DA's requirement for the post amounted to a form of moral rigour.

"Not everybody is a Sir Thomas More and if that is the standard that is required, it would mean that very few people would qualify for the post.

"People don't generally meet those sorts of standards," he said referring to the English statesperson who is regarded as a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church after being beheaded on a charge of treason in the 1500s.

Unterhalter argued that the judgement required from the president was not as clear cut as the DA was suggesting, but involved a complex and textured value judgement about the potential and characteristics of a candidate and how he would interact with members of Cabinet, who were political appointees.

NDPP not independent

The NDPP was not just an independent satellite. One could not work effectively in the office if one could not work with the National Intelligence Agency, the head of police and Cabinet Ministers.

What the DA was suggesting, he said, was that anyone who was unhappy with the president's decisions could come to court and ask the court to see if the president got it right or wrong.

This would result in the court becoming an arbiter of whether a person was right for the job, which would turn the court into an employment agency, he said.

"Executive government is a tough, difficult environment... You need someone who can survive in that environment," he said.

Unterhalter argued that significant errors were sometimes made in such an environment and to require someone who never erred was impossible to achieve.

Unterhalter accused the DA of reaching far-fetched and unfounded conclusions that Simelane had tried to mislead the Ginwala Enquiry into his predecessor Vusi Pikoli's fitness for office and had fabricated an accusation of dishonesty against Pikoli.

Irrational decision

The DA contends Simelane was not a fit and proper person for the position and that the process followed to appoint him was irrational, resulting in an arbitrary and irrational decision to which Zuma failed properly to apply his mind.

It also contends that the appointment was made for an improper ulterior motive, namely to install an NDPP who was thought to be malleable to the executive's wishes.

Simelane's appointment followed after Pikoli's much publicised dismissal, despite a recommendation by the Ginwala Commission that he should be reinstated.

The Ginwala Commission also strongly criticised Simelane's conduct and the Public Service Commission later recommended disciplinary action against Simelane.

Simelane was appointed days after the government and Pikoli reached a settlement in terms of which Pikoli withdrew his application for reinstatement and was paid R7.5m, followed by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe's decision not to take any disciplinary steps against Simelane.

Judge Pieter van der Byl reserved judgement in the application.

Read more on:    da  |  ndpp  |  jeff radebe  |  jacob zuma  |  vusi pikoli  |  menzi simelane

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24

/Oscar Pistorius

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
Traffic & Train Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. 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


There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the more

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


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 network.


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.