Zuma’s warning to judiciary ironic – Zille

2011-07-11 10:58

President Jacob Zuma’s remarks on the judiciary were ironic because the judiciary was under threat from interference by government, not the other way around, DA leader Helen Zille said today.

“The irony of his presence at an Access to Justice conference was trumped only by what he said, presumably with a straight face,” Zille wrote in her weekly newsletter SA Today.

“He supported the separation of powers that lies at the heart of any democratic constitution. He then asserted that the independence of judiciary was adequately protected by the Constitution, but argued that the executive was not sufficiently protected from interference by the judiciary!” she said of Zuma’s keynote speech at the third annual Access to Justice conference.

“In arguing that the courts could not supersede the voters’ political mandate, he missed the point that no matter how powerful a ruling party is, it cannot do what it likes.

“It must abide by the Constitution. A popular mandate does not place a governing party above the law,” Zille said.

“The threat to our criminal justice system is not the judiciary’s interference in the executive. It is the other way around.”

In his speech, Zuma warned the judiciary to stay out of politics.

“The executive, as elected officials, have the sole discretion to decide policies for government,” the president said.

“This means that once government has decided on appropriate policies, the judiciary cannot, when striking down legislation or parts thereof on the basis of illegality, raise that as an opportunity to change the policies,” he said.

Constitutional law experts have expressed concern at the president’s remarks, saying the court had a right and duty to strike down legislation or policies that contradicted the principles of the Constitution.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.