Chief justice decision may go to court

2011-06-07 08:33

Johannesburg - The courts will have to decide whether a section of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, used by President Jacob Zuma to reappoint Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, is constitutional, The Star reported on Tuesday.

Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos told the newspaper that Zuma might have a case to answer.

He said groups that questioned the process Zuma used "have a good argument".

"The Constitution gives that power to Parliament. And the power given to Parliament cannot be delegated to the president," De Vos said.

At the weekend, the University of the Witwatersrand-based Centre for Applied Legal Studies said it would challenge Zuma's extension of Ngcobo's services.

Zuma disclosed on Friday that Ngcobo would continue to serve as South Africa's chief judge for the next five years.

Zuma said that on August 15 this year, Ngcobo would have held office as a judge and Constitutional Court judge for a cumulative period of 15 years and three months.

"Acting in terms of... the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act... I requested Chief Justice Ngcobo to continue to perform active service as the Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, with effect from August 16 [this year] until August 15, 2016," he said.

"He has agreed to my request."

  • 1gascan - 2011-06-07 08:44

    Ag its so lekker to have tjommies so high up that can give you a lekker position hey? It doesn't matter how corrupt or sh#t you were at your job, as long as your tjom is there to help you hey? The president took an oath to abide by the constitution. Makes me sick...

      Mthetwa - 2011-06-07 09:02

      Just had a quick puke myself

      1gascan - 2011-06-07 09:13

      Domino effect :) - 2011-06-07 09:18

      It's his stay out of jail ticket.

      BOY30 - 2011-06-07 10:06

      Was the Chief Justice accused of any corruption? Or is it because Zuma never do something right in your eyes? I am confused.

      Renny - 2011-06-07 10:10

      Mr. Zuma you can't do that, you should be leading by example, what are you doing, you tit.

      ratex - 2011-06-07 10:30

      Dudes, you are missing the point. They, the cANCer do not give a f8ck. Thats how simple it is. They are not interested in what anybody but the cANCer has to say. So all of our bitching and moaning and morally this or that discussions mean nothing to the cANCer. I mean this is Africa after all and according to Zuma, they are the chosen race, so as the chosen race you get to do what the f8ck you want to, when you want to and how you want to. The fact that according to the rest of the Universe and all intelligent life in the know galaxy, you are completely wrong means nothing to the cANCer. Hey look at the cANCer's track record, its all a bed of roses isnt it. They have addressed all of their own voters concerns haven't they? They are too thick skinned, stupid, whatever to realise that they are completely wrong. Thats communisim for you.

      Steen - 2011-06-07 10:36

      Please help me, is Sandile Ngcobo corrupt? or he must go because he had held this position for the last 15 years?

      Marcell - 2011-06-07 12:11

      He was also one of the judges that thought Robert 'Murderer' MacBride is a good guy!

      changeisGood - 2011-06-07 12:13

      you people are just bitter, what did Chief Justice Ngcobo do that is scanalous, facts only please do not speculate or generalise as you always do and call every ANC supporter stupid?

      changeisGood - 2011-06-07 12:17

      That is why Malema is saying all of you whites are criminals, he is right, judging by the manner in which you paint all Black People with the same brush, tell us one thing Chief Justice Ngcobo did, which he is under investigation for or any charges pending against him? stop generalising and state facts.

  • Hendrik - 2011-06-07 08:46

    It will be sad to see Ngcobo go, because he is actually good, very good. If he has to go because of Zuma's stupidity not to follow correct procedures, it would be a shame

      Roman Moroni - 2011-06-07 09:11

      Never really made headlines outside of the judiciary which tells us he did he's job and nothing more - we could end up with that racist guy from the Cape or someone similar if he has to go. So am I right in assuming parliament should have made this recommendation and not the prez himself?

      bokfan1 - 2011-06-07 10:13

      @roaming moron..."we could end up with a racist guy from the Cape." You are right about assuming because it makes an 'ass out of u and me' to assume you MORON. You obviously assume because he hasn't made headlines that he "did a very good job" and assume that "racists come from the Cape." What a village idiot! ..and you were the the 'best' sperm cell????

      Rincewind - 2011-06-07 10:30

      @bokfan1 he's referring to the current, embattled, judge president of the Cape, you moron yourself! and not all Capetonians!

  • vusi22 - 2011-06-07 08:55

    This is an extra ordinary decision by the President and also an extraordinary court challenge by the law groups

      willieman - 2011-06-07 09:21

      Thats the difference between us and some of the countries in the western world.We cannot pass laws and when they do not suite us we disregard every clause in the contitution of this country.The rule of law is the key to progress and order in every sphere of our lives as a people

  • Christo - 2011-06-07 09:09

    Mmmm. R 1 for you, R 1 for me, R 2 for you, R 2 for me, R 3 for you, R 3 for me, etc etc etc.... I love SA!!!

      BOY30 - 2011-06-07 10:09

      Is that how you corrupt people do when sharing corruption money?

      Achmed - 2011-06-07 11:50

      @boy30. No the sharing by the corrupt people (read anc) goes something like this: R1 for Citizen 1 and R1 for me, R1 for Citizen 2 and R1 for me, R1 for Citizen 3 and R1 for me, R1 for Citizen 4 and R1 for me, R1 for Citizen 5 and R1 for me, etc ..... Oops money finished, sorry citizens here is a t-shirt.

  • bob - 2011-06-07 09:15

    hooray for corruption

  • matubeng - 2011-06-07 09:16

    There is an element of of fear from the President, maybe, taking decisions like that. Shouldn't NGcobo have refused the offer, I mean if he really cares about his good standing. Mbeki would have not taken this kind of decision, 'cause is the best (even Malema knows that).

  • zulufox - 2011-06-07 09:35

    such rubbish is to to expected from this Pierre de Vos moron

      DeonL - 2011-06-07 10:25

      Zuma is side stepping the law, he is the President not Parliament. Parliament should decide not Zuma.

  • Christo - 2011-06-07 09:35

    I know this has nothing to do with this article, but who can tell me what happened to Cwele's wife? Is she behind bars or at club med????

      1gascan - 2011-06-07 09:42

      It think that the answer to that is pretty much 2nd nature to all South Africans now - nothing happened to her. We are so used to hearing about "this official did this" and "that official did that", but once the news is gone, we never hear about the repercussions or accountability. Simply put, nothing ever happens - these guys are above the law. As nothing happened to Winnie As nothing happened to Jimmy As nothing happened to Zuma The list goes on...

      tut - 2011-06-07 09:45

      Silly question she is having drinks with Selebi in Nelson Mandela square as we speak!

      Christo - 2011-06-07 09:48

      In other words, she is at Clubmed!!!!

      BOY30 - 2011-06-07 10:13

      She appealed the court decision. So she is out on bail until her appeal is heard. That is bad but our law allow her to do that.

  • Razorwire - 2011-06-07 09:54

    I saw her yesterday playing golf with Shabir.

      onetickie - 2011-06-07 10:46

      No, she was his caddy.

  • William - 2011-06-07 10:00

    I think the honourable Professor is completely misguided when he says the President has committed a constitutional breach. I think he is misguided because when you look at the constitutional provision of term of office for judges, the constitution provides for an exception in terms of an Act of Parliament and that Act is the Remuneration of Judges and Conditions of Employment Act 47 of 2001. Section 4 of the Act does allow such an extension. The President has his special advisers who knows their jobs very well. People must do research first before they can make accusations. By the way it is the President's prerogative to appoint judges. Parliament makes recommendations as to who they think is fit to occupy the position. This is beside the point.

      BOY30 - 2011-06-07 10:16

      They just need attention. Ngcobo is good for that position.

      bokfan1 - 2011-06-07 10:22

      William you might need to rethink your statement, "The pres has his special advisors who know their jobs very well." Their jobs might be to protect the pres and his corrupt cronies from prosecution but those aren't the 'jobs' they are supposed to be doing are they???

      willieman - 2011-06-07 10:23

      "The President has his special advisers who knows their jobs very well"like the guys at the UN who voted for no fly zone in Libya without consulting our partners AU and BRICS ,IT MAKES YOU THINK WILLIAM

      Dilika - 2011-06-07 10:34

      William the problem you have in this site is that people do not read but want to comment on matters beyond their comprehension. This challenge in this matter is against a section in the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act and not against the President. The President has done it in terms of s8 of the said Act and I qoute: —(a) A Chief Justice who becomes eligible for discharge from active service in terms of section 3 (1) (a) or 4 (1) or (2), may, at the request of the President, from the date on which he or she becomes so eligible for discharge from active service, continue to perform active service as Chief Justice of South Africa for a period determined by the President, which shall not extend beyond the date on which such Chief Justice attains the age of 75 years. The question is whether this section conflict with the Constitution. Let the Concourt make the call.

      Steen - 2011-06-07 10:45

      The problem with White South Africans is they oppose everything that is implemented or done by a Black South African, Sandile is doing a great job but he is labeled corrupt by many in this forum purely because he is Black. Mr. de Vos has been misguided in this regard; it is the president prerogative to appoint a Judge.

      Rincewind - 2011-06-07 11:05

      erm... I don't think so...they are talking about the appointment of the Chief Justice, not simply a judge in the constitutional court. Also the time limit for a constitutional court judge is 15 years or the age of 75 whichever occurs first.

      Slimy - 2011-06-07 11:33

      Iagree with you William.The president is not acting on his own but on behalf of the ANC and according to the law through the advice of the law (advisors).

      Achmed - 2011-06-07 12:14

      @ william. I think you are misguided and have other motives for critizising De Vos. Just take note of the following from the article. 1. The group challenging the move by Zuma is NOT De Vos. 2. De Vos said zuma "might" have a case to answer. 3. De Vos said they "have a good argument" 4. The power for extention is given to parlaiment and NOT the president. By default he cannot assume that power or like in this case take it for himself. Given the above the right way is to test it in the constitutional court and if correct so be it. I do not belive or have seen it anywhere that it challenges whether the judge is competent or not. The main problem here is the unilateral implementation of something without considering the facts.

  • - 2011-06-07 10:04

    Put all my people in charge then nothing can happen to me and my corruption now and in the future LOL and who said you need a matric to be cleaver.

  • eradingoana - 2011-06-07 10:07

    i wonder if anyone real realized that the president uses street law.No one should blame him because in ANC it not the studies that take you up, but having being in exile for long and favoured.

  • george - 2011-06-07 10:38

    Guys our democracy is still young after the ravages of apartheid decrees which the Nazi electorate during apartheid never questioned. Most Acts and democratic practices stand to be questioned and tested in courts of law. This is normal and good in a democracy. The challenge to Zumas appointment of Ngcobo has nothing to do with corruption. Our laws might have conflicted the power of the executive and the legislature. This is normal and Ent

  • Mart - 2011-06-07 10:42

    this administration has got to be the world's worst much time and money wasted fixing things they should get right in the first place. and who keeps paying....yes us, the taxpayer. when is enough going to be enough ?

  • Pat - 2011-06-07 10:43

    I don’t hear Parliament complaining about the appointment, if the President consulted with Parliament then the appointment was legal, but some of the comments above on Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo are illegal. A waste of taxpayers’ money and a foul disparagement of a decent man

      Dilika - 2011-06-07 11:08

      Pat the comments in this site should not surprise you. Drivel is a prerequisite.

      Pat - 2011-06-07 12:14

      @Dilika The whole thing is ridiculous, if it went before parliament they would approve the appointment, all the stirrers are doing is bringing the judiciary into disrepute.

      Achmed - 2011-06-07 12:27

      I do not see the Judge President being attacked in the article, but the actions of zuma are under scrutiny, which by the way is the constitutional right of ALL citizens. This issue has nothing to do with whether Ngcobo did good or bad things. I believe that is a whole new discussion, such as his speech to the law society in October 2010. If the actions of zuma is not tested I believe it would be a miscarriage of justice to both zuma and all citizens of SA.

      Pat - 2011-06-07 14:24

      @Achmed You’re flogging a dead horse, charges have been dropped against President Zuma and Sandile Ngcobo will remain Chief Justice, finish and klaar.

  • Slimy - 2011-06-07 11:38

    I agree with William.The president is folowing the advice of his advisors

  • pirate.1970 - 2011-06-07 12:11

    It is just plain and simple. Whether you are the President or not, just give effect to the principle of law. More so when holding the top office, set the example. What will happen? The ConCrt may uphold, then the correct procedure followed and without dissent from Parliament - as it should have been - he will retain his position, unless Parliament is NOT going to toe the line on this one. Just keep it simple, ensure the correct procedures are followed and erradicate this conspiracy ghost that will continue to haunt the Zuma and ANC administration for as long as it continues to act outside the norms of law, justice and more over the Constitution. We need people like Prof De Vos and others to just bring those in power in any sector of Government back to the basics. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!

      Achmed - 2011-06-07 12:29

      Thanks pirate.1970. I think that is all that is being asked.

  • Dilika - 2011-06-07 12:43

    Pat in terms of s8 of the Act the President does not need approval from Parliament to extend the tenure of a Chief Justice. Why must he take the matter to Parliament?

      William - 2011-06-07 13:22

      Dilika, you need to read the Act with section 176 of the Constitution. I do not see the challenge of the provisions of the Act succeeding in the Concourt. You know why, because the Constitution makes an exception. The Chief Justice has served closed to 12 year term and he is permitted in terms of the Act if asked to continue serving for another period not exceeding 15 years. Well I still maintain that the most applicable section is section 4.

      Pat - 2011-06-07 14:39

      @Dilika and William: Good work, I think you've blown Wits out the water, they should spend less time in the Devonshire Bar.

  • Reality - 2011-06-07 13:08

    All you guys who don't see the point. The point is that Zuma didn't follow the correct procedure in making the appointment. It is not about whether the judge is a good judge or whether he did anything scandalous or whatever. And even the judge in question being a brilliant jurist as Min Radebe called him should know the law and should have corrected Zuma and said thank you very much, but you cannot appoint me, can you please allow parliament to do the right thing. Do you guys know that there are criminals roaming the streets simply because policemen did not "follow the correct procedures" in arresting or charging them?

      Dilika - 2011-06-07 13:46

      Reality you are the one who does not know procedure. Go and read s8(a) of the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Emploment Act 47 of 2001. @William s8(a) is more appropriate as it refers to the Chief Justice and not any other judge of the Concourt. The tenure of Ngcobo CJ is extended as the CJ and not as a judge of the Concourt making s4 irrelevant.

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