ConCourt ruling a game-changer - IFP

2012-10-09 17:30

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court's judgment that rules which regulated the introduction of bills were unconstitutional is a game changer, IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini said on Tuesday.

"[It] takes South African democracy onto a new and higher level of engagement, which is finally on par with all established democracies of the world," Oriani-Ambrosini said in a statement.

"This judgment removes what was one of the major shames in our democracy."
In his judgment on Tuesday, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the rules which stated that permission was needed were inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore invalid.

This came after Oriani-Ambrosini tried to introduce a bill in the National Assembly in 2009. The speaker of the National Assembly refused him permission to introduce it because he did not follow the rules.

Oriani-Ambrosini challenged the constitutional validity of the rules in the Western Cape High Court. This was dismissed. He then applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the judgment.

More active MPs

The Constitutional Court declared that those provisions of the rules which imposed, reinforced, or were inextricably linked to a permission requirement, were constitutionally invalid.

Oriani-Ambrosini said the judgment opened the door for laws to be drafted and introduced in Parliament by MPs who were not Cabinet members or deputy ministers.

"In the past 18 years, legislation has been drafted almost exclusively at the executive level and has been introduced by ministers. MPs have often acted as rubber-stampers and always been seized by the legislative initiative of the executive branch of government."

He said he hoped MPs would become more active.

The permission requirement had been used to stop opposition party members from introducing legislation and silencing African National Congress back-benchers.

"With this judgment we have opened a door. It will be up to the initiative, courage and foresight of other MPs to walk through it," Oriani-Ambrosini said.

  • thefat.canarie - 2012-10-09 17:37

    Good for you Mr Ambrosini - you took them on alone - not even the DA supported you on this one! This is a victory towards a People's Parliamnet and stopping the Vile ANC Regime from manipulating the legislature! EXCELLENT WORK AND YOU ARE VERY BRAVE!

      deon.jansevanrensburg.58 - 2012-10-09 18:11

      Oh yeah - there are other oppositiom parties that do excellent work showing the DA they are not THE opposition but only a part of it. Hats off to the IFP

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-10-09 18:20

      It sounds good, but does this not also mean that parliament can be swamped with new Bills, effectively paralyzing it?

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-10-09 17:43

    This is fantastic news. It brings the power closer to the people. Well done!

  • andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-09 18:02

    Hats off to you Mr Oriani-Ambrosini. But why do we continually have to consult the Constitutional Court. Don’t the ANC have a copy of our Constitution ?? We know that they definitely have a copy of the Presidential Handbook. That came to light when they consulted it with the :”Compound” debacle

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-09 19:42

      It's a game they can afford to play. Delaying tactics, making it as expensive as possible. They took an oath to uphold the Constitution and all the laws of our country but still we have to take them to court to get them to do any work. And even when the court orders are handed down, they ignore them anyway. Law unto themselves

  • cilliers.vanniekerk.1 - 2012-10-09 18:32

    My compliments and thanks as a voter to Mr. Ambrosini, the judges of the Constitutional Court, and in particular the much-criticised Judge Mogoeng.

  • stompies.hattingh.5 - 2012-10-09 18:33

    A two edged sword!!

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