Zuma made errors with Simelane - judge

2011-12-01 14:14

Bloemfontein - The appointment of National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane by President Jacob Zuma in November 2009 was invalid, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday.

The court found Zuma's decision was inconsistent with the Constitution if read with the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

The SCA made a unanimous decision to set the appointment of Simelane aside. The judgment follows an appeal by the Democratic Alliance against Simelane's appointment.

Earlier, the North Gauteng High Court found against the DA. The opposition party had contended Simelane was not a fit and proper person within the meaning of the requirements for the post as stipulated by law.

The party submitted Zuma did not, as he was required to do, properly interrogate Simelane's fitness for office.

The DA built its case on "the misleading and untruthful evidence" given by Simelane before the Ginwala inquiry, held in 2008 to probe the fitness for office of his predecessor, Vusumzi Pikoli.

Unresolved questions

The SCA held the matter before it was of national and constitutional importance.

"It involves an institution integral to the preservation and maintenance of the rule of law, namely the National Prosecuting Authority, which consists of the national director at the head of prosecutorial offices."

The SCA found Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Zuma made material errors of fact and law in the process leading to Simelane's appointment.

Radebe, the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), and Simelane were respondents in the appeal hearing. The court held Zuma did not conduct a proper inquiry into whether the objective requirements of the law, to appoint Simelane, were satisfied.

"On the available evidence the president could in any event not have reached a conclusion favourable to Mr Simelane, as there were too many unresolved questions concerning his integrity and experience," the judgment reads.

Judge Mohammed Navsa said although the president was a busy man, he should, when he dealing with an office as important as the NDPP, take the time to get it right.

  • CdeSganja - 2011-12-01 14:23

    Oh My God I think Anc should start revising court powers.They are politically used...Away with these judges away!!!!

      ServaasD - 2011-12-01 14:28

      Zuma is the BIGGEST ERROR!

      ServaasD - 2011-12-01 14:30


      Simon - 2011-12-01 14:30

      I take it you do not believe in democracy, if you know what democracy is.

      notbuyingface - 2011-12-01 14:32

      Now courts are doing appointments? Whats next, aboloshing election results when the ANC wins. I dont like Zuma right now but this is shocking.

      CdeSganja - 2011-12-01 14:33

      Come on people,don't deny you know that courts are used by opposition parties.H I don't have Vervoed mind. Simon I believe in democracy what I'm saying is that lets revise court powers.

      notbuyingface - 2011-12-01 14:33

      Now courts are doing appointments, next they will abolish election results where ANC wins. Dont like Zuma right now but this is shocking.

      Simon - 2011-12-01 14:48

      @Sganja, having law courts that bring the president accoutable for his actions IS part of a democracy. If you believe courts should not have these powers then you clearly either 1. do not know what democracy is or 2. you dont want democracy.

      H - 2011-12-01 15:02

      Of course the courts are being used by the opposition parties. If the opposition parties contravene the constitution, then the courtswill be used in exactly the same way against them. That is why we have an independent judiciary - to ensure that EVERYONE is bound by the constitution, from the smallest to the biggest.

      Ari - 2011-12-01 15:02

      Troll Alert!!!

      appietrader - 2011-12-01 15:08

      This is how democracy works. This high office the NPA should have a clean record and not a job for a pal. The court don't get used by politicians but rule on facts. Are you suggesting now that these esteemed judges are politicians??? Get you facts right and don't comment when you are political biased, grow up!!

      Poloyatonki - 2011-12-01 15:16

      Zuma works alongside with a team of expects when appointing his staff, they cant be wrong. How can only one misinformed judge rule that he made an errror?

      John - 2011-12-01 15:16

      @CdeSganga, hello spoilt little white boy with nothing to do except p@ss off people on this site.

      CdeSganja - 2011-12-01 15:18

      Simon I know Democracy and I want it but it seem's we are making courts fashionable, how can one man take a decision for millions ?

      CdeSganja - 2011-12-01 15:21

      Anyone called John Kirkwood here?

      CdeSganja - 2011-12-01 15:26

      Viva Poloyatonki Viva!

      Simon - 2011-12-01 15:33

      @Poloyatonki, team of experts? Are you totally blind to Zuma being one of the worst proponents of cronyism SA has ever seen? @Sganja, clearly you DO NOT understand what democracy is, so stop saying you do understand it, you are making yourself look as stupid as polloyatonki.

      NrGx - 2011-12-01 15:45

      Sheesh! you guys are seriously lacking the understanding of LAW. Do you know that if ANYONE breaks the law they are (well, "should" in this country) held accountable regardless of race, creed or religion. Even the president is bound by law. Do you not remember him taking an OATH to protect the law and constitution of south africa. All you see is that non-black pointed out that it was unconstitutional and that blinded you from the truth. The point is it WAS unconstitutional which makes the appointment unlawful (PERIOD). Or are you saying the ANC is not bound by law, therefore making your comment "Simon I know Democracy and I want it but it seem's we ar...." untrue, but thats no surprise to me anymore!!

      Willie - 2011-12-01 17:27

      @ Poloyatonki -what are you smoking please do not mix it with any thing,Why do you mention the religion of the judge it's got nothing to do with the decision

      infijar.ken - 2011-12-01 18:31

      Who actually voted the President into power? In fact who voted all the MP's who sit in Parliament? Not the voting population, that is for sure. They are only allowed to vote in a Party. Then the "Chums" vote each other into Parliamentary and Cabinet seats, and then they get to deploy all their mates. How is this any more democratic than the Judiciary?

      Anton - 2011-12-01 20:07

      Not one judge who made the decision. It was an unanimous decsion from the 5 preceeding judges. The highest should always be the law, everyone in the land should be equal and judged by the same law and an independent court.

      J-Man - 2011-12-02 11:17

      @ SGanja and Poloy I'll say it again (maybe this time you'll understand): If the ANC would work within the law and the constitution (for a change), and not think and act like they are above the LAW of this country, the opposition (or whomever) would not HAVE to use the courts against them....Jeees, what is so hard to understand here? The laws are clearly written for all to read.... if you can that is.

      Ryan - 2011-12-02 11:29

      @ CdeGanja .. its hard to argue and rationalise with an idiot. because all you say is "how can one man make a decision for everyone, how can one court make a decision for a country". firstly, that is what courts, presidents, CEOs, boards of directors etc do !!! that is their mandate. its funny how your silly logic doesn't apply to the one man you are defending, namely the president. you conveniently forget that he ALONE made the decision to appoint Simelane.

  • George - 2011-12-01 14:38

    Can zuma and his cronies do anything right first time round or even 20th time. Do they not discuss anything first or just to decide now and do it

      George - 2011-12-01 14:48

      PS/ get you white lawyers to check your work first, you might come right

  • Jaco - 2011-12-01 14:49

    Oh my! Who would have thought that Mr Zuma is not following protocol when appointing staff. Shocked.

  • Craig - 2011-12-01 14:49

    Since when does JZ care about our constitution??? I mean, he clearly doesn't care about freedom of speech/expression - Something the much respected Madiba worked his entire life for, just to have to demolished by corrupt, ignorant, arrogant and money hungry 'leaders' that make 'errors'!!!

      Refilwe IronMan Rakoma - 2011-12-01 15:08

      go hug a bush craig.

      Craig - 2011-12-01 15:24

      @Refilwe, LOL, that comment is kind of ironic considering the COP17 talks at the moment. Also, denial is not a river in is called THE NILE (FYI)

  • CALAMITYSA - 2011-12-01 14:49

    Hopefully the president will react with open eyes and realise and admit the mistake. It seems as if it is starting to happen referring to the firing of the 2 ministers and Cele. The concourt is RIGHT. No politics can change it. Do not argue or fight it, please sir.

  • Johan - 2011-12-01 14:59

    Finally we are getting there. The judiciary is a separate entity than the government. Viva. Hope this judge keeps his integrity when he gets offered some cozy job in order to get sidelined.

  • George - 2011-12-01 15:01

    Wish they would all just admit that they are a stupid

  • THABOM85 - 2011-12-01 15:04

    Can someone please hand Zuma a gun. One thing for sure, "he'll make an error", and we shall live happily ever after.

  • Ovie - 2011-12-01 15:05

    Typical Idiots. RTFM... Thinking they can just do anything

  • raymond.kok3 - 2011-12-01 15:17

    the court does not appoint anybody but because your president abuse his power he needs to be bought to book he is forever surrounds him with a buch of useless spineless idiots so there you have according to the african national corruptors we live in a democracy well pal this is how it works . we dont like we take to court

  • Sipho - 2011-12-01 15:20

    I'm not a member of da but I think they deserve a round of applause for keeping anc in check and doing their opposition role very well. Otherwise the ruling party would do as they please without any challenge. To all anc members and supporters pls let us start to be patriotic and loyal to our country and its constitution 1st and not to a party. Otherwise we are heading to zimbabwe situation. I wish pac, azapo and others could take notes & start challenging all the rubbish that anc is feeding us.

      Michael - 2011-12-02 07:48

      Well said, thank you!

  • Chris - 2011-12-01 15:23

    This decision is not surprising. I am humbly, but passionately, appealing to ANC leadership to undergo a "workshop" titled "Understanding the imperatives of our constitutional democracy". It is blindingly obvious, (even from listening to the ANC Chief Whip on Judge Denis Davis's program this morning) that there is huge lack of understanding on the matter. There seems, instead to be a belief that, provided the judiciary is now packed with "transformation candidates" (transformed) it can be brought onto the "political wagon". It won't work! Ask the previous Nationalist Party. The psychological climate under which judges operate makes it extremely difficult for any incumbent to deliberately pervert justice for the sake of politics. As a judge, you are a member of a now international community, united on a sacred quest and business. The South Africa Constitution, in particular, makes it near impossible to act other than as an independent defender of justice, and NOT politics. The local and international opprobrium that any judge invites by siding with politicians is now a huge deterrent. It is quite possible to achieve the noble objectives of the struggle without all this political heat that is being generated. ANC leadership is in for disillusionment in thinking that they can achieve their objectives other than having judges appointed purely in terms of judicial skills. I should know. I have the badge; and have also attended international judicial conferences.

      DanielDennett - 2011-12-01 19:42

      Thank you for a great post well said

      Chris - 2011-12-02 10:59

      Good post. The ANC (and South Africa) need to understand our history: the Nats gerrymandered the courts as well. Rememeber they "packed" the supreme court to get thye 'coloured ' people off the voters roll in the 1950's. So our history is bad in this regard. Everyone must realise that the constitution is "THE BASIC LAW". iF IT IS UNDERMINED, OUR DEMOCRACY GOES WITH IT.

  • John - 2011-12-01 15:25

    jup we are here

  • Tuner - 2011-12-01 15:28

    Poloyatonki If you do not understand how courts work, then rather refrain from making a fool of yourself and read the article properly. The appeals court judgement was an unanimous one, in other words, more than one judge came to same decision. There was, in fact, five yes 5 judges that reasoned that Zuma had not made a correct decision according to the law. I think they know a lot more that what you do!

      shaun.cousins1 - 2011-12-01 15:35

      the advisors are as pathetic as zuma is...

  • Julie - 2011-12-01 15:29

    Can Zuma ever get it right?? I think NOT

      Daniƫl - 2011-12-01 15:39

      Zuma who?

      Poloyatonki - 2011-12-01 15:56

      Julie, what a stupid question to ask especially for a man who has five wives and 20 odd kids, and he is your President as well.

      Kobus - 2011-12-01 16:11

      Polydonki, a man with 5 wives and 20+ kids are not a genius, stupid is the word you are looking for!

      jody.beggs - 2011-12-01 20:12

      And I don't think Zuma is our President , with BEE and AA he clearly doesn't speak for any other colour of the Rainbow ! Damn the man , Save South Africa.

  • maria.kruse2 - 2011-12-01 15:37

    Good show DA. Go for it! It is comforting to know that the opposition party knows the law. We are behind you all the way and cannot wait for the day South Africa is governed by an honest, knowledgeable party and become a true democratic country where all races can thrive in peace.

      George - 2011-12-01 15:51

      And the anc can then piss off to there own little hut and sulk, JUST BECAUSE WE ARE BL......k

      Poloyatonki - 2011-12-01 15:57

      "knowledgeable party" DA has never ruled a country before unless they ruled as National Party during apartheid.

      Michael - 2011-12-02 07:52

      @POlio-dronki - what is it that you smoke?

  • Irene - 2011-12-01 16:03

    Sganja and Polydonkey have the same mentality as Zooomer. All three are herdboys.

  • downsideforsure - 2011-12-01 16:05

    Will the ANC realise that the court is saving the country? most probably not.

  • Kobus - 2011-12-01 16:06

    Polydonki, do you have a brain? there are 5 judges appointed by the ANC. Numnut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • anneline.duplessis1 - 2011-12-01 16:12

    One for the people of SA who voted you in Parliament. You tend to forget about us and only think of what you want. Come back to earth!

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-01 18:09

    He is simply the trial and error man on the helm of the trial and error government.

  • braamc - 2011-12-01 18:10

    So the manipulation of NPA having Simelane now down the drain. Start being a leader and act and lead that serves the people of SA

  • Adam - 2011-12-01 20:10

    Thank you DA... Viva DA.

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