Judiciary not being undermined, says Motlanthe

2009-01-23 00:00

Cape Town — Recent claims in the media that South Africa’s judiciary is being undermined are “untrue and without basis”, President Kgalema Motlanthe said at the opening of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice yesterday.

Motlanthe reiterated the government’s commitment to the independence of the judiciary, but said that achieving a common understanding of judicial independence and the boundaries of separation of power between the state and the judiciary remains a challenge in South Africa.

“The challenge presented by the delicate balance [of power that exists between the three arms of government and the judicial system] is particularly important in our country, where the executive has a duty to implement policies that are necessary to transform a society …

“Our Constitution is explicit [in that it] … obliges organs of state to co-operate with one another and act in mutual trust.”

He said that if the judicial system is to contribute to rebuilding and developing society, inequalities must be addressed.

“We still have a problem where those of us with deep pockets have greater access to justice than the indigent.

“If a rich person is dissatisfied with a judgment,” he said, that person has the resources to appeal — “something that a poor person would battle to do. Clearly, there is a correlation between unequal social conditions and access to justice in modern societies, with the result that the poor and downtrodden often get the short end of the stick in comparable legal conditions,” he added.

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.