We are disgusted by court's overreach - KZN ANC

Durban - ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala has said the party was "disgusted" by Judge Bashier Vally's judgment in "favour of the Democratic Alliance".

Vally had ruled in favour of the DA's application for President Jacob Zuma to give reasons for reshuffling his Cabinet on March 30, where he fired then finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.

Vally ruled that Zuma must hand over all records explaining the reason why he reshuffled the Cabinet.

"We were disgusted by Judge Vally's judgment in favour of the DA, where he said the president should give reasons for his decision to fire the finance minister and his deputy," said Zikalala during a march against "judicial overreach" in Durban on Monday.

He said the appointing and recalling of ministers was the president's right, which is guided by the country's Constitution.

Judge Vally's judgment should be reversed and his order should be immediately stopped, said Zikalala.

"The President's decision should remain as is," he added.

Review and suspend

He asked the Constitutional Court to review Vally's decision and called for his suspension.

"Vally should be suspended because his decision showed that some judges have political agendas and are biased," he said.

The courts are increasingly meddling in national political matters and taking sides, said Zikalala.

"If not stopped, that will turn to undermine the judiciary system and put it in a political battleground and finally fall prey to judiciary capture," Zikalala said.

There's a growing observable trend by the courts to act and play big brother role, where in some cases courts find themselves increasingly encroaching in the terrain of other state organs, said Zikalala.

"Courts use their powers like they are above Parliament. They interfere in executive decisions and Parliament," he said.

Court 'interference'  

Zikalala said everyone, including courts, should respect the country's Constitution and protect it.

"The Constitution has three organs. All of them have authority, given to them by the Constitution. The first organ being the legislature authority, the executive authority and the judiciary authority," he explained.

The Constitution puts it clear in section 41(3) that State organs should resolve their matters by following the Constitution, he said.

"It means the organ of the State involved in inter-governmental disputes must make every reasonable effort to settle the dispute by means of the mechanisms and the procedures provided for that purpose. It must exhaust all other remedies before it approaches a court to resolve a dispute," he said.

He said the ANC has observed that opposition parties in the national Parliament use courts to oppose things that they've failed to oppose in Parliament, "therefore, undermine parliamentary procedures".

"It's becoming a scourge for courts to interfere in matters that are brought by opposition without the opposition raising those issues in Parliament so they could be dealt with through proper parliamentary procedures," he said.

He added that UDM's application for a secret vote during the motion of no confidence in Zuma should be dismissed with costs.

"Courts should find ways to protect themselves from being used by those who lose in elections and debates in Parliament. They should protect themselves by seriously charging those who bring court applications and lose," he said.

'Robbing voters'

ANCYL KZN deputy chair Sibonelo Mtshali challenged judges to open their own political parties if they are interested in politics.

"If judges want to politic, they should open their own political parties and contest the elections," Mtshali said.

Mtshali also called on the ANC "leaders in Parliament" not to "massage" Dr Makhosi Khoza but take action against her following her recent social media posts criticising the ANC.

ANC KZN deputy chair and premier Willies Mchunu said: "It means the freedom we fought for is gone if the courts have turned against government."

Before the march to the Durban High Court began, ANC KZN provincial secretary Super Zuma said the courts are robbing voters of their electoral right if they meddle in executive decisions.

"We are the ones who voted for the president. The president must be given space to lead in the executive, not for opposition parties to use courts," he said.

After Zikalala handed over the ANC's memorandum to the Durban High Court registrar, the party gave the judiciary 14 days to respond.

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