ConCourt decisions to be 'assessed'

2011-11-24 12:52

Cape Town - The decisions of the Constitutional Court are to be assessed as part of a broader look at transformation of the judicial system, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.

At its regular Wednesday meeting, Cabinet decided that the transformation of the judicial system and the role of the judiciary in a developmental state would be assessed by a "reputable research institution", he told reporters.

The assessment would be threefold.

It would seek to ensure that the judiciary "conforms to the transformation mandate as envisaged in the Constitution" in terms of non-racialism, gender, disability and other transformational variables.

It would also examine access to justice on all levels of the courts, from the lower courts through to the Constitutional Court.

The third focus would be to affirm the independence of the judiciary, that of the executive and of Parliament to promote independence and the interface necessary to realise transformation goals as envisaged in the Constitution.

'Positive' exercise

Manyi said Cabinet had agreed on a specific approach to the transformation of the judicial system.

This included that the assessment of the decisions of the Constitutional Court be undertaken by a research institution to establish how the "decisions of the court have impacted on the lives of ordinary citizens and how these decisions have influenced socio-economic transformation and the reform of the law".

Asked whether it was appropriate that, in terms of the separation of powers, Cabinet order an investigation of the Constitutional Court, he said the executive had a duty "to do what it has to do".

The assessment was a "positive" exercise.

"The fact of the matter is that the decisions that get taken [by courts] have got an impact in society. It [the assessment] is a positive exercise. There's nothing to raise temperatures about. It's a positive exercise.

"It's to say: The decisions that these courts take, the impact they have on society, are we moving in the right direction, and so on," he said.

It was also an opportunity to reflect and see "if all three arms of the state are operating as the Constitution requires them to do".

Nothing unconstitutional

Manyi said Cabinet would do nothing that was unconstitutional.

"It's just to make sure that the inter-dependence of the three arms of... the state operate efficiently. Cabinet has the responsibility to ensure that all is in place," he said.

The agreed approach to transformation also included using the Judicial Education Institute as a vehicle for transformation through which aspirant and serving judicial officers could acquire the necessary skills to contribute to the evolving local and global constitutional jurisprudence.

Measures would also be taken to enhance the efficiency and integrity of the Judicial Service Commission and the Magistrates' Commission in carrying out their constitutional mandate of facilitating the racial, gender, and other constitutional prescripts in the judiciary.

An appropriate framework would be established to regularly monitor implementation of court decisions by all state departments, he said.

The mandates of the SA Law Reform Commission and the Rules Board of Law would be reviewed to "enhance the research capacity of the state to be able to lead transformation in the fields that have greater impact on the lives of people, such as socio-economic transformation, land reform, mining, aviation, and many more".

Appropriate mechanisms would also be developed to facilitate regular interface between the three spheres of government to "enhance synergy and constructive engagement among them in pursuit of common transformative goals geared to benefit society at large", Manyi said.

  • Malachai - 2011-11-24 12:57

    Come on Manyi...this is just another attempt to regulate the institutions put into place to regulate the government.

      Gerhard - 2011-11-24 13:06

      Like I said, or rather what Julias will say:"Lets Nazi-onalise the judiciary sistem...In the name of iconimic fredom"

      Ryan - 2011-11-24 13:11

      Manyi says "The decisions that these courts take, the impact they have on society, are we moving in the right direction, and so on." I SAY since when does the government get to decide on whether the courts decisions are appropriate or not ?????

      Kala - 2011-11-24 13:15

      Ryan - When they are concerned that major policy decisions will be declared unconstitutional therby having 99% of the world telling them "I told you so".

      Fred - 2011-11-24 13:17

      Just another ANC way to subvert the justice system to benefit the most corrupt government in the world. Does anyone now have any doubts about what a bunch of thieves the ANC is?????

      Ryan - 2011-11-24 13:20

      Kala, yes you right, we all know the true reasons behind the secrecy bill and the government's maneauverings regarding the courts. it just makes me sick how the government tries to disguise it.

      David - 2011-11-24 13:52

      Anyone know where I can get a copy of George Orwell's "Animal Farm"? I need to refresh my memory on what the pigs did once they were in power.

      Pierre - 2011-11-24 14:05

      Just google Animal Farm, got it last week :)

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 14:07

      @David....Napoleon - The pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion. Based on Joseph Stalin, Napoleon uses military force (his nine loyal attack dogs) to intimidate the other animals and consolidate his power. In his supreme craftiness, Napoleon proves more treacherous than his counterpart, Snowball.

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 14:09

      @David...Squealer - The pig who spreads Napoleon’s propaganda among the other animals. Squealer justifies the pigs’ monopolization of resources and spreads false statistics pointing to the farm’s success. Orwell uses Squealer to explore the ways in which those in power often use rhetoric and language to twist the truth and gain and maintain social and political control. You can Google Animal fARM :)

      David - 2011-11-24 14:36

      Thanks for the update on Animal Farm guys. I see the transformation is now complete. RSA=Animal Farm

      Spyker - 2011-11-24 16:24

      Albeit thoroughly enjoyable, I shall (reluctantly) refrain from the "Perfume"-ed euphemisms above. The two elements that threaten a FASCIST REGIME the most = the MEDIA and the COURTS. The ANC has launched an unveiled attack on both these institutions, 'unveiled' bar perhaps the pathetic 'cloak-and-dagger' ramblings that Manyi seems to think, has numbed our senses... I dare say, we are today further from a democracy than what we have ever been, in SA. But should we be surprised..? I think not - eg: Look up the archives, my dear Watson.., the ANC never demanded a 'democracy'.., no, they demanded 'MAJORITY RULE'. The two could not be more different. Very, very briefly: 'Democracy' honours the right of the individual as the highest entity, while "Majority Rule' is simply a Fascist form of Mob Rule - exactly what the ANC is rabidly pursuing (at the moment). Kindly take note of how the (current version of the) ANC refuses to reference the (bona fide) Constitution of SA, but doggedly reference the “Freedom Charter” (a collection of incoherent ramblings of a bunch on garden boys and goat herders, with zero legal substance and naturally no critical cognitive mass). The countries that implemented sanctions against SA before ’94, must now return, they are (after all) responsible for the current state of the nation...

  • Peter - 2011-11-24 12:59

    Here we go!!! First you plunder the treasury, then you muzzle the press and then you intimidate the judiciary - and then you are a fully fledged banana republic!

  • procold2 - 2011-11-24 12:59

    the info bill was also a positive exercise, now the con-court where are we going here people.

      robbie.crouch - 2011-11-24 13:02

      Love your sarcasm!

      Kala - 2011-11-24 13:06

      Love your avatar

      Brad - 2011-11-24 13:50

      I am very keen to see what Moeg Moeg is going to do...

      Roger - 2011-11-24 16:19

      Bobland here we come

  • Kala - 2011-11-24 13:00

    So shortly after having voted on the "secrecy bill" the ANC want to start F-ing around with the Constitutional Court. OK Seriously, why am I not surprised?

  • Larry - 2011-11-24 13:00

    If they don't want to tamper with it, why do it? I do not trust these crooks one inch. They push the sercrecy Bill, now they are after the concourt.

  • robbie.crouch - 2011-11-24 13:01

    Assess yourselves first! Is it a coincidence that assess is one letter longer than asses? ;-)

  • Gerhard - 2011-11-24 13:02

    This sounds like "Nationalisation" of the judiciary system. It seems the ANC is looking for a good reson to in future challenge decisions made by the constitutional court. Information act comes to mind....mmmmm....Like Moeletsi Mbeki has said and many others: "The ANC is digging its own grave..."

  • Vaughan - 2011-11-24 13:03

    We just passed the secrecy bill but we WONT do anything unconstitutional. Why dont I believe them...

  • Justa - 2011-11-24 13:03


  • Ryan - 2011-11-24 13:07

    every second word that comes out from the government is "transform" this and "transform" that. seriously, go transform your lazy, fat asses in the gym.

  • Aubrey - 2011-11-24 13:09


  • Priyal - 2011-11-24 13:10

    Just wanted to know if anyone on News24 has read the Info Bill?

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 13:31

      Yes I have

      Priyal - 2011-11-24 13:41

      and what do u make of it? besides what mainstream media has been saying?

      Freddie - 2011-11-24 13:56

      It needs a public interest defense clause.

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 13:59

      LOL a thumbs down because I read the Bill....illiterate whoever did that..knowledge is power.

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 14:00

      It is 28 pages, I would have to digest everything before commenting :)

      Priyal - 2011-11-24 14:22

      @freddie...agreed, most definitely. We have to have a definition there. Thats what most are concerned about. Still dont think its all doom and gloom though. Just, this one needs work. Look at the News of the World hacking scandal? @Perfume least u made an effort...its just that Many people I have asked to back up why they are opposed to the bill have been unable to back up their bandwagon stance with anything more than a regurgitation of mainstream media headlines. If u have read the Bill and you still dont agree then i support u. If not then dont act as if are fundis on the matter. When it comes to breaking down their positions on the matter they are as convincing as Jacob Zuma playing virgin.

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 14:40

      LMAO I am not acting as a fundi on the matter, I Googled the Bill on Tuesday so that I would have clarity as well, I am not a sheep that follows its leader blindly. One thing for certain a sentence stood out for me on the Preamble and I quote "Aiming to PROMOTE the FREE FLOW of INFORMATION within an OPEN AND DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY............." I dont see this happening right now, as the ANC have proven on Tuesday that they want to keep the public at large in the dark...knowledge is power, it is what you do with the power once you have the knowledge.

      Priyal - 2011-11-24 14:44 not u, other people

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 14:47

      Apologies if I misconstrued your response :)

      Priyal - 2011-11-24 14:49

      look, i personally believe that people are not really up in arms about the Bill itself but rather, are fed up with a government (even the 1994 one) that has allowed corruption to fester within its ranks.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-24 17:15

      Priyal: A valid question, but look at it this way: If a bunch of people arrive at your house, armed with guns, you don't have to be an expert on their weoponry to know that you don't want guns on your property. Your misgivings would be magnified if you knew some of the people carrying the guns are shady characters and they cannot explain to you the need for the guns. What argument did the ANC put forward to convince the people of South Africa that the secrecy act is necessary for their (the people's) wellbeing? Are YOU convinced?

  • Freddie - 2011-11-24 13:11

    Here we go. The subjugation of all independent, critical and honourable institutions continues unabated. The constitutional court is accountable to the constitution and people of SA, not to the ANC, Zuma or any "reputable research institution" appointed by the above. The sinking into autocracy is gathering pace. Just wait until the ANC start losing votes and their majority is at risk, then Mugabe will look like an amateur. This is just getting all the processes in place for then.

      Kala - 2011-11-24 13:17

      Sadly I have to agree with you. Wait until they get really desperate to hold onto power. The proverbial pooh is going to hit the fan.

      taurais - 2011-11-24 13:46

      You would think that with a case study right next door, people would notice the clear signs of whats coming and do something about it b4 this becomes another Zimbabwe!!

  • Henk - 2011-11-24 13:15

    A lot of hot air to hide the fact that they will change the constitution however it suits them. The one thing that kept them in check will now be gone. Hell, why break laws if you can change or scrap them?

  • CALAMITYSA - 2011-11-24 13:16

    "The decisions of the Constitutional Court are to be assessed" - By whom? The judges of the Concourt should be able to assess themselves. Publicly in the press for everybody - every right-minded citizen - to read and to condone. Who will judge the judge?? Eventually the HAGUE will assess.

  • nina.sny - 2011-11-24 13:16

    This is a very dangerous line of thinking. The Constitutional Court is the gaurdian of the constitution. This so called planned assessment is an insult to the past and the presiding judges! They occupy those positions because THEY know how to best ensure the eficiency of the consitution. It IS NOT government's duty or place to "check up" on them. This is a repulsive enfringement on the principle of seperation of powers! The COURTS have an inherent duty to regulate the exercise of public power.... NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!!!

  • jpcronje - 2011-11-24 13:20

    Wahahaha... Will do nothing that's unconstitutional. Wasn't the passing of the Info Bill Unconstitutional? These dumb idiots don't know the difference

      Musa - 2011-11-24 13:33

      Who has pronounced it unconstitutional? You are the idiot here. The bill has not even gone to the ConCourt, yet you say it is unconstitutional. Are you a ConCourt judge? Get a life, you are suffering from irritation.

  • Musa - 2011-11-24 13:25

    I fully agree with the transformation of the judiciary. We still have too many apartheid judges who use their judicial powers to oppose the democratically elected government. These judges sometimes act as opposition parties. That is why it is easy for these parties who cannot win elections, to run to courts to oppose the decisions taken by the majority. Transformation of the judiciary is long overdue. We don't want politician-turned judges who are frustrated by the fall of apartheid. We want the judges who represent the current judiciary system, not the 1961 one.

      Merven - 2011-11-24 13:36

      Another ANCYL idiot.

      Maredi - 2011-11-24 13:43

      Musa, with all due respesct to I think you are talking rubbish!

      Maredi - 2011-11-24 13:49

      Musa, catch a wake black man. this country is in serious trouble. remember one thing: all thieving and corrupt governments have one thing in common: they hate the judiciary and the media!

      Carlin - 2011-11-24 13:50

      The courts had a history of frustrating the govt. under apartheid, but I don't expect you to know. Are you legally trained or are you just a perpetual fountain of meaningless pollitical rhetoric?

      richard.hipkin - 2011-11-24 14:11

      Musa, how old are you? And do you actually think for yourself because right now you sound just like a waffling ANCYL supporter... A parrot.

      Peter - 2011-11-24 14:30

      Musa, today the head of the SUI said he is investigating R28bn worth of irregular tender transactions by Government departments. So the only way you get around that is by having judges that cow-tow to the government. Soon you will be riding on donkey carts on dirt roads, begging for food with your fine rags in tatters! Enough said eh?

      Other - 2011-11-24 14:37

      Aai shame......Another new ANC'er. You are right, let's get rid of the constitutional court so that the cANCer can completely have their way.......Just don't complain when we end up like our northern neighbors. I pity you blind cANCer sheep. In any civilised country on the planet, you will see that the courts and media are there to balance the abuse of power by the morally bankrupt people in power. Whilst I agree with transformation, DON'T MESS WITH THE CONCOURT!

      Other - 2011-11-24 14:40

      @jnpickering - low blow, what does the poor child done to deserve his or her fate. If that was the face of your child, would you feel the same? Regardless of idiotic decisions by a child's elders, they should not suffer as a consequence. By the way, I agree with your sentiment though, don't cry when you get what you voted for......

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-24 15:56

      Dude where the F@ck are you from ? Get over apartheid and over yorself it was decades ago and were you alive back then? And dont say yes cos ill give you the royal finger up mate! if we could settle our "kwaals" we had with one another we would be better off... the government is wack they care for themselves not you not me any government will do that it is for the greeater public to stand up and say no to these actions... you say apartheid i say F U!

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-24 15:57

      My comment is for MUSA!

  • deon.fourie - 2011-11-24 13:32

    Early preperation so they can meet the Info Bill at the end of the line (and whatever else they have planned for us). This is scary stuff.

      taurais - 2011-11-24 13:36

      You read my mind Deon. Its so obvious who do they think they are fooling. This might be the last chance for citizens to safe guard their liberties!!

  • Deon - 2011-11-24 13:35

    It sounds more like they are warning the C court. Zuma and co has already tried to push through laws and appointments (Judge) through that had to be changed. Let us hope they(CC)change another law or 10 in the future.

  • Maredi - 2011-11-24 13:36

    God help this country! We are in even bigger trouble than I thought. How did we end up with such backward people in cabinet, and a useless, thieving dunderhead for president to cwrown it all.

  • Carlin - 2011-11-24 13:43

    First we gag the press, next we transform the courts into toothless "yes" men. Come on South Africans, are you blind? This is heading straight for another African dictatorship and the next African genocide. Wakey wakey! Read the history of the rise of the Nazis and be afraid, very afraid.

  • Shirley - 2011-11-24 13:44


  • raymond.kok3 - 2011-11-24 13:45

    so if i understand it correctly you want the court to dance to your tunes .man you people are so predictable thats why the official statemant reader put Moegoe Moegoe in charge , but keep on craping on your own steop the end in nigh soon it will be all over for you

  • Lynn - 2011-11-24 13:47

    I think it is time that this government was assessed.

      Shirley - 2011-11-24 14:11

      We have as much chance of that as juju becoming a ballerina! They just keep slithering along silently destroying all democracy and use the Malemas to distract attention.

      Veli - 2011-11-24 14:34

      @ art, assessed by who???

      Other - 2011-11-24 14:43

      I think it's time that the government get sent to Polsmore Prison on holiday for defrauding the South African public!

  • Ryan - 2011-11-24 13:49

    If one views the ANC as nothing more than a monopolistic organisation acting in the absence of checks and balances (since they are the highest power in the land) like any company seeking to maximise profits, everything it does (corruption, money laundering, non -disclosure, excessive salaries, secrecy) is logical and rational. It may not make us feel any better but helps explain why everything they do is against the public interest (i.e. only self-interest)

  • Harley - 2011-11-24 13:55

    Me thinks there's something rotten in the state of SA

  • Perfume - 2011-11-24 13:56

    ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ censored comment, what a coincidence this is.

      Veli - 2011-11-24 14:38

      @Perfume, where can I get a copy of the latest amended secrecy bill, I would like to read it.

      Perfume - 2011-11-24 14:43

      @Veli...Google Protection of Information Bill, it is 28 pages :)

  • KReddy - 2011-11-24 14:01

    So what now, the Constitutional Court can't force the amendment of the secrecy bill unless Mr President says so??? I find it strange that this is happening just after the probe into the Arms deal was initiated. The probe will happen, but will then be CLASSIFIED FOR STATE SECURITY REASONS. What a laugh Im having.

  • Pierre - 2011-11-24 14:04

    The mandates of the SA Law Reform Commission and the Rules Board of Law would be reviewed to "enhance the research capacity of the state to be able to lead transformation in the fields that have greater impact on the lives of people, such as socio-economic transformation, land reform, mining, aviation, and many more". All i read is we will change the law to suite us.

  • christian.helberg - 2011-11-24 14:10

    It has been the ANC's intent to change the constitution all along, first they push through an unconstitutional bill, muzzling the media, (one of the opposition's main tools) effectively stripping the opposition's power. We have all seen this happen in Zimababwe and other African countries. The ANC know that South African citizens will not stand together as one against them, they divide and conquer us all, by sowing seeds of racism. The freedom charter, the constitution, the blood, sweat and tears for freedom, ALL IN VAIN.

  • Veli - 2011-11-24 14:13

    I've always wondered how can I contribute in assisting the "man on the street" to understand the importance of their votes during elections. Today i'm happy that the ANC has unintentionally done so by giving all of us a wake up 'klap' across the face. Now people will begin to understand that they their crosses on the ballot paper are literally a decision between one's life and death. I hope in 2014 people will remember that their crosses will determine whether they can still express themselves freely, get uncensored information from the press, rely on an independent judiciary, report a corrupt official, hold someone accountable for non-delivery of services...the list goes on. I weep deeply for my beloved country.

  • - 2011-11-24 14:20

    Oh boy you guys aren't wasting any time hey??? You know there is a chance that this while Information Bill saga will end up in the ConCourt.... you are turning our so called democracy into a communist country.

  • djmain1 - 2011-11-24 14:29

    Forward to fascism!! Sieg heil cANCer, sieg heil!

  • ddejong3 - 2011-11-24 14:30

    Mr Manyi, and the governing party, seem to suffer under the delusion that the ConCourt is an "arm of government". It isn't, it's a seperate and equal arm of the state. Of course, he could mean that government needs to review the courts decisions to see whether the government is adhering to the spirit and intent of the constitution, although I doubt it.

  • Clarissa - 2011-11-24 14:30

    Ag, die onlangse info wetsontwerp is nie twee dae oud nie en hulle karring reeds aan die CC hof... Verbaan my nie. Hulle maak nou seker die CC hof keur die wetsontwerp goed indien dit daarop sou uitloop!

      deon.fourie - 2011-11-24 14:38

      Het self nie gedink dit gaan so vroeg al gebeur nie maar het dit wel verwag. Die donners is ongelooflik haastig.

  • Other - 2011-11-24 14:32

    Was waiting for this. Now that the cANCer that is afflicting South Africa is forcing draconian secrecy laws on us, they want to try and make sure that the last bastion of democracy and hope left to the people of South Africa is bought under the sway of the cANCer so that they can pass dark laws and they will then be OK'ed by the cANCstitutional court. RIP ANC of old....

  • Heinrich - 2011-11-24 17:51

    Our democracy is on track. There are, however a few more things for the ANC to do before we are fully transformed into a modern African democracy. 1) The judiciary should be made to understand that the will of the people is embedded in the ANC. Therefore the ANC can override any court's decision. 2) Suitable incentives (farms, businesses,assets abroad, huge cash payments) should be found to retain and boost the loyalty of the Armed Forces. 3) The citizenry should be politically trained. Patriotism and loyalty towards the ANC should be second nature. The people of S.A. should be taught how to show their gratitude towards the ANC. 4) All People should be encouraged to participate in our democracy. They should have absolute faith in the ability of the ANC to count the votes after, and even before, (to save time) elections. 5) Our country needs to develop a culture of dicipline. Anyone opposing the will of the people ( the will of the ANC) should be severely disciplined.

  • Richard - 2011-11-24 22:45

    I get the idea. Lets see what effect our decisions have had on the country, but then i likewise think the government ie cabinet should also be subject to a similar study and the decisions they have made and the impact there.

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