Presidency accepts ConCourt ruling

2011-07-29 14:07

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma accepted and respected the Constitutional Court ruling on his extending of now-outgoing Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo's term of office, the Presidency said on Friday.

"The Presidency accepts and respects the judgment of the Constitutional Court in relation to the unconstitutionality and invalidity of Section 8(a) of the Judges' Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act of 2001 and will abide by it," said Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj.

"The law was valid until today's judgment, and government will now study the ruling to see what directives the Constitutional Court is giving to Parliament for remedial action."

Unanimous ruling

The Constitutional Court on Friday unanimously ruled that it was unconstitutional for Zuma to extend Ngcobo's term of office.

Section 176(1) of the Constitution says that a judge holds office for a non-renewable term of 12 years or until he or she reaches the age of 70 - whichever comes first - except where an act of Parliament extends the term of office of a Constitutional Court judge.

The court declared Section 8a of the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act - in terms of which Zuma extended Ngcobo's term -unconstitutional.

It found that the section allowed the president to "usurp" the power of Parliament and held that Parliament alone had the power to extend a Constitutional Court judge's term of office.

Zuma and the Justice Minister were ordered to pay costs.

It was announced on Wednesday that Ngcobo had decided to withdraw his acceptance of Zuma's extension, which left the post of chief justice open from August 15 should a replacement not be found by then.

The application against the way Zuma offered Ngcobo an extended term was brought by the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution, Freedom under Law, the Justice Alliance of SA and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies.

Maharaj said Zuma had begun the process of identifying a new chief justice and it would be done "in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Constitution of the Republic".

Constitutional democracy

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga, speaking after the judgment was handed down, said the current Parliament was the fourth since 1994, and found laws in place which the executive had to implement.

"There is nothing that the president should be embarrassed about, and nothing that Parliament should be embarrassed about.

"In a Constitutional democracy there will be laws that are found to be unconstitutional, that's why we have a Constitutional Court, that's what makes our democracy vibrant... we are happy about that."

Centre for Legal Studies director Raylene Keightley said she was "delighted" with the outcome.

She said the reaction from the ANC "put the best spin possible" to "regaining the integrity of the president". She said the unconstitutionality of section 8(a) was "fairly clear" and found it "worrisome" that the President had legal advice leading up to the litigation and did not pick up on this.

She was not surprised by the judgment.

  • melchiedek - 2011-07-29 14:13

    what else can you do, if zuma could interpret the constitution he would have known better he just cant stop embarasing us!

      Brad - 2011-07-29 14:38

      It is all the DA's fault, and the broderbond, and Apartheid, but not the fault of the accused......

      Barry - 2011-07-29 14:55

      @ Brad You can`t even spell Broederbond.

      Seanred - 2011-07-29 15:07

      @Brad, The persoon who cannet spelll. What about right wingless whites and the third forces.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 15:11

      Broderbund used to make cool PC games

      MandlaSithole - 2011-07-29 15:13

      Nothing to be emabarrassed about? The president with a team of a 100 people assisting him at our expence breaks the constitution and theres nothing to be embarassed about? What has the ANC become mara?

      mike - 2011-07-29 15:14

      he is just too bloody stupid with std 3 education what can you expect

      Sooth Slayer - 2011-07-29 15:32

      A lot of the comments here show a lack of understanding of how government (admin, parly and courts) works. In fact, very few here quite understand the difference between an act of parliament and the constitution. When Zuma extended the CJ's tenure, he was following the law as provided by the act of parliament. Nothing wrong with that. However, the section in that act of parliament that allowed Zuma to do so, is the one that is said to be in breach of the constitution in that it gives the preseident power that should otherwise be vested in the parliament. This act was probably already in place by the time the SA constitution was written. So Zuma's decision to respect the decision of the concourt is a sign that he respects the constitution and holds it as the supreme law of the land, which it is anyway.

      Andy - 2011-07-29 15:46

      Is Brad a known troll? I thought he was just being sarcastic...

      Frungy - 2011-07-29 15:53

      @Sooth Slayer - What you fail to grasp is that the ANC's current position, with a majority that can push any Act through parliament, and their current attitude, that party loyalty and position are more important than national positions and loyalties, put this incident in a very different light. The ANC pushed through legislation that was unconstitutional, which is in and of itself something that should have happened, and then the ANC President lacked the integrity to decline to act on it, and instead went ahead with using that unconstitutional legislation to promote party interests over the national interest. This philosophy of "Party over Nation" in the ANC is the core of many of South Africa's problems, with the ANC repeatedly putting it's members' interests ahead of the wellbeing of the country, the constitution, and pretty much anything else. It needs to be dealt with or, when the time comes that the ANC loses an election it will simply follow suit, push some legislation through that changes the electoral laws to make ballot stuffing legal (after all who cares about the nation, it's the ANC that's important!!), and declare themselves winners!

      willieman - 2011-07-29 15:58

      Mr President,with due respect you are been surrounded by people who continuously misleading you.The have seen the weakness in you.The fact of the matter is you are not applying your mind in every situation that lends on your desk.Are we waiting for another cockup?the list is long child outside the wedlock >>> it is Zulu culture Ivory Coast >>> we need a gov. national unity Libya debacle >>> you voted with the west.disregarded AU and BRICS the list is endless i do not want to remind you of your cabinet ministers

      Left Screwed - 2011-07-29 15:58

      @ Brad Fool, wrong fool.

      Jacques.Fourie.Gremlin - 2011-07-29 16:16

      Brad spellers of the world untie!

      tzME - 2011-07-31 07:02

      Dont worry Melchie. Our embarrassment is nothing compared to that which he is experiencing right now. Or is he capable of being embarrassed? Thick skinned? he keeps subjecting himself to this ... losing I mean.

  • Neil - 2011-07-29 14:17

    They should rephrase concourt to CON-court!

      daaivark - 2011-07-29 14:39

      Why? They did the right thing.

      tommo - 2011-07-29 14:43


      Neil - 2011-07-29 15:32

      @Daaivark: Learn to read between the lines.. Sheesh.

      Almaki - 2011-07-29 15:52

      Calm down kids..

  • The lost Emperor - 2011-07-29 14:24

    Maybe the constitution should include pictures...

      Neil - 2011-07-29 14:27

      No. Coloring books so we can be sure they stay within the damn GUIDE LINES

      The lost Emperor - 2011-07-29 14:36

      @Neil Bwuaahahaha! Too true! They must just use all the crayons and not just certain colours :)

      daaivark - 2011-07-29 14:40

      A constitution is all about guidelines, so what are you on about? Or what are you on?

      edd - 2011-07-29 15:00

      @daaivark did your sense of humour died with apartheid?

      judicatordex - 2011-07-29 15:07

      @daaivark every day your comments are insulting. Get a girlfriend

      Neil - 2011-07-29 15:33

      @Daaivark: You CLEARLY lack the ability to read between the lines! Who cr@ped in your cornflakes?

      TRiP - 2011-07-29 15:53

      @Neil - it was I whom crapped in daavark's cornflakes.. between myself and the crap weather, he can't make the bowling greens - he's day is spoilt.

      Neil - 2011-07-29 16:03

      @Trip: HA HA HA HA!!

  • Stryder - 2011-07-29 14:27

    Oh, well thanks for that Shower head. Please me sure to let us know when you don't.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 14:29

    JZ showing respect? Wow, it IS snowing today

      The lost Emperor - 2011-07-29 14:38

      @Mziwethu - you are right - you only have to look at the news to KNOW he is unethical.

      daaivark - 2011-07-29 14:41

      Mziwethu. No. But if he acts contrary to the constitution he is.

      StBad - 2011-07-29 14:52

      I get the feeling JZ just doesn't know any better...

      Mziwethu Mlondo - 2011-07-29 14:53

      @Matt u made it seem like he have no respect at all. i quete, " it is snowing today.." as if respect is wat he never show at all.

      Spade - 2011-07-29 14:54

      Mziwethu - I agree. Its irrelevant whether we like him or not. What is important is that he respects the law (corruption charges swept under the carpet?), doesn't favor friends and family (Schaik?), is morally beyond reproach (extra-marital affairs?), and is an example to all those crooks out there (Schaik and Nyengeni?). To summarize then, he is indeed unethical. But not because we don't like him.

      Stryder - 2011-07-29 15:05

      @Spade - Post of the day!! One Bell's voucher for you.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 15:25

      Does anybody get the feeling that "sheep herder" is only an apprenticeship for an SA ANC president? Seems like the job doesn't change, just the workplace ;-)

  • Sean - 2011-07-29 14:29

    Another bad decision or no decision - This is JZ's gift to SA

      daaivark - 2011-07-29 14:42

      Sean, can you read? They decided against him.

      Enigma - 2011-07-29 14:46

      Perhaps he needs reading glasses. They're on sale @ Spec-savers.

      Stryder - 2011-07-29 15:02

      @Daaivark & Enigma - I suspect that Sean is pointing out the fact that this should never have had to go to court if Showerhead had a bit of sense and respect for the constitution. In other words, yet again, Zuma made a decision that was a bad one. Generally speaking Zuma either does nothing or the wrong thing. Sean please confirm if I have it as you intended.

      Riaan - 2011-07-29 15:29

      Me thinks the insufferable aardvark and enigma can't read or need glasses.

  • Observer - 2011-07-29 14:31

    Respect = don't understand!!

  • Sisie - 2011-07-29 14:34

    So why did you try and push it through? The general population are not dimwits.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 14:41

      "pushing it" is all he knows how to do.

      Kenno - 2011-07-29 15:20

      @ Sisie...Are you sure? They keep on voting ANC !!

  • Brad - 2011-07-29 14:38

    It is all the DA's fault, and the broderbond, and Apartheid, but not the fault of the accused......

  • Mad man - 2011-07-29 14:39

    You are the only honest and truthful leader this country has ever had - you really deserve to rule us until Jesus Christ comes back. Long live Zuma

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 14:40

      Schabir Shaik agrees with you.

      Mafele - 2011-07-29 14:48

      You really deserve psychiatric attention !No wonder you call yourself Mad man/// Even my 7-year old son can see that Zuma's not a leadership material.He's not even fit to run a ward council, whatever it means.

      marc.potgieter1 - 2011-07-29 14:49

      Your alias says it all.

      Enigma - 2011-07-29 14:49

      Damn! Sorry guys I forgot to remind Mad man to take his medication today. That's why he sometimes misses the plot. Next time I'll give him a double dose.

      Mad man - 2011-07-29 14:53

      Matt: You made my weekend and for that you deserve bells, my boy

      Seanred - 2011-07-29 15:12

      And JuJu must be vice president for life. He with a forked tongue. Some people have no sense of humour.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 15:14

      @ Mad man: I don't drink but a Coke would be lovely thanks

      Felix - 2011-07-29 15:18

      OOOO the troll slips up and exposes his sense of humour.

      Mad man - 2011-07-29 15:21

      Matt: You lie, the way you comment all whites morons on this site can agree with me

      Enigma - 2011-07-29 15:25

      The other reason I like this site is because of people like Mad man. Brother you really know how to make someone's blood boil. Some of these folks are so sensitive

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-29 15:27

      Can someone just translate what Mad man just said? I've read it 4x and I don't see what he's trying to say...

      unproud - 2011-07-29 15:38

      If Zooma is the only "honest and truthful leader" we have ever had, then god help us.

      Wendy - 2011-07-29 15:42

      @Matt - He was calling himself a moron...

  • matla - 2011-07-29 14:45

    I gather from your comments that you are not scholars of Law - Zuma acted on the basis of an Act which was only declared unconstitutional TODAY -- MORONS. Zuma is not wrong but the Act is unconstitutional ......Morons

      Lionel - 2011-07-29 14:59

      You're a moron; he was informed, inter alia by the Wits guys some time back; so instead of amending the legislation, which would have been easy, he and Hadebe carried on in their own arrogant pigheaded way, thus causing us to lose the services of a great judge. If you had listened to SAFM the other day, you would have heard Hadebe sticking to that stupid attitude until it became too late. Unfortunately for us, the leadership in the ANC always take things personally. Some of their ilk thought it was an attack on Justice Ngcobo; their shortsightedness had the opposite effect of what they wanted - so yes, Zuma IS a moron.

      DeonL - 2011-07-29 15:19

      You believe to easy what the ANC says. Read the article again, Zuma was wrong.

  • chris.khanye - 2011-07-29 14:46

    This is what we fought for during our liberation struggle. Rule of law and equality before the law. Our constitution reigns supreme. I love our democracy!

      ZotBot - 2011-07-29 16:21

      Yes bra, this is the strength of our constitution that so many died for. Let's not allow uneducated militant youth to steal it from us. Viva Mandela, Viva Zille, Viva Democracy !!!

      OLIBO - 2011-07-29 17:13

      The best constitution in the world - for whom? What is intesting is that it is a constitutional court whose majority of judges are African who took that decision. The whites got us where they wanted. Give these darkies the best constitution and let us control using the so called supreme law. I wish I were in Zim.

  • Scottykira - 2011-07-29 14:51

    Is it me or does it sound like they are blaming the facet that they extended it on Apartheid "ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga, speaking after the judgment was handed down, said the current Parliament was the fourth since 1994, and found laws in place which the executive had to implement."

      The lost Emperor - 2011-07-29 14:54

      They would blame everything they do on Apartheid, given half a chance.

  • Mike - 2011-07-29 14:57

    Do i detect a Freudian slip in the headline of this article? :-) Very apt.

  • jock - 2011-07-29 15:13

    you are required to accept any court ruling and if you dont know that you should not be president

  • Georgie Porgie - 2011-07-29 15:19

    Maharaj must think that all people are dumb stupid and illiterate because he says zuma acted lawfully. ie zuma did nothing wrong. If that is the case then why did the constitutional court make the ruling that zumas actions were unconstitutional and ordered to pay costs. Surely it has always been that the guilty party pays the costs. Maharaj must be removed from office with all the other henchemen. Don't even expect an apology from the president because you won't get one. By the way what president? Even a 15 year old black schoolgirl from natal has woken up to the fact and realized that the president has lost the repect of being adressed by that title and will only address him as mr zuma. read her letter. zuma should be ashamed of himself but then people like him dont have a conscience to even know what shame is.

  • YES - 2011-07-29 15:26

    Apart from having no any other choice, it is embarassing that the President utilised an unconstitutional piece of the Act in the midst of personnel bestowed with necessary skills to realise that the Act will not stand the test of time. Unlike changing spin doctors in his office, maybe the President should reconsider his legal advisors, who have clearly let the President down.

  • Pikkie - 2011-07-29 15:42

    Welldone JZ. At last you can stand back without shame. Don't allow your cronies to get you into trouble. Justice has been done. People no use to keep on cracking him down. He is already on his knees in front of the ANC and JuJu. Allow him to honourably bow out. No shower this time around. Of wat se ek Bro!!!

  • williamq - 2011-07-29 15:43

    Well you bunch of ignorami, of course you have to accept it. Or is there in your warped interpretation of the law in this country, room for appeal against a decision of the Constitutional Court ? Instead of listening to everybody, you tried right until the end to justify your own idiocy.Poor Zuma, to a certain extent I can sympathise with him, because he received poor advice from the Dept of Justice, but then the reponsibility ends with him and his minister of Justice : his own appointee. Fact is, his cabinet and government are a bunch of yobs who can not be trusted to run this country.

  • Ockert - 2011-07-29 15:43

    he did not have any option at this stage.

  • Freddie - 2011-07-29 16:06

    How magnanimous of him.

  • edalsg - 2011-07-29 16:12

    EISH _-Its not CONSTIPATION ZOOMER its a CONSTITUTION : Look it up sometime

  • Jacques.Fourie.Gremlin - 2011-07-29 16:16

    B(r)ad spellers of the world untie!

  • Fair Deal - 2011-07-29 16:21

    So whats the big deal ,he will simply choose someone els to dance to the pipers tune.

  • Sabathman 33 - 2011-07-29 16:43

    bla bla bla bla bla....... talk talk talk and mostly crap , when do we start shooting and mounting some youth league heads?

  • Malcolm - 2011-07-29 16:46

    President Zuma and The minister of justice were ordered to pay costs? Who is really paying these costs? The taxpayer of course!

  • MIM128 - 2011-07-29 17:00

    Blame it on Enver Daniels, the Chief State Law Advisor. He has always given bad advice, including the "Secrecy Bill", Childrens Act, Arms Deal, etc, etc. As for counsel for govt, Moerane (Mbeki's cousin) is always the preferred lead counsel, and he never wins. Ask Manto (from the grave) about his string of losses to TAC. Its high time costs must de bonis propriis...

  • OLIBO - 2011-07-29 17:04

    I read the full judgement of the CC and I must say it is strongly worded and I wonder who wrote it. There is a part which implies that by extending the term of office of the CJ the President would be extending the "benefits" assocated with it. If the DCJ wrote the judgement I will be very worried since to me this sounds like someone acted out of self-interest. By the way judges are human - they make mistakes and they are influenced by what is happening in the society. Just because they wear those gowns and sit in that chamber does not make them magicians or angels.

  • ldo - 2011-07-29 18:25

    Zuma should be happy because now he can re-deploy Bheki Cele to the position of Chief Justice,problem solved Zuma!

  • Enockay - 2011-07-30 13:02

    and all the bitter Zuma haters cum out with guns

  • Anonymous123 - 2011-07-30 14:30

    Anonymous South Africa to raise world wide awareness for government corruption and censorship in South Africa and provide information on how to protest in relative safety see.

  • tzME - 2011-07-31 07:00

    Codswallop. What absolute nonsense. Of course they 'accept' the courts ruling. But DO they REALLY? Of course not! They've got mud on their faces, their integrity has been called to question, and with all the wonderful compliments being paid to a Chief Justice who was a "minority" dissenting vote in terms of Zuma's charges being dropped, the Scorpions debacle and a host of lost causes (Zapiro comes strongly to mind), they DO have a PROBLEM. (notice I did not say challenge?). This is a problem baby, and they're probably hatching some plot right now to 'replace the ConCourt' or something. Probably are putting their "best brains" on the job ... you know the same guyz who recommended the Ncobo reappointment in the first place. The embarrassment is palpable. No self respecting President likes to lose. This ones a LOSER!.. and he keeps losing ...

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