Zuma to meet legislature, judiciary heads twice a year

2015-11-03 16:43
(Picture: GCIS)

(Picture: GCIS)

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Cape Town - The heads of the "three arms of state" - the judiciary, executive and legislature - would meet twice a year to iron out any issues they had in the future, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Zuma was speaking after a closed meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise at Genadendal, his official residence in Cape Town.

"We had a very good discussion," said Zuma on the steps leading into the gardens, with the three standing to his right. No questions were allowed.

In a short statement couched in diplomacy, he said meeting twice a year would allow them to discuss and "harmonise" important issues.

He said the judiciary had a difficult task in interpreting laws and Parliament made laws which some felt did not fulfil Constitutional requirements.

"So they have to go to the Constitutional Court or are referred back to Parliament.

"We thought it important to discuss things to find a common platform," said Zuma.

The meeting came after complaints earlier by Modise that Parliament was not able to do its work effectively because of interference from the judiciary, and Mogoeng denying allegations by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe that some judges were influenced to reach specific verdicts.

Allegations were also made that the judiciary was overreaching into the executive and the legislature.

Modise said at a breakfast five months ago that Parliament was feeling undermined by both the judiciary and executive.

She revealed in an interview in City Press that she had appealed to the president to convene a meeting of the three arms of state. She said the legislature should not feel like a “Cinderella” of the three. “Parliament has not been told it is the junior of the three partners,” she added.

Mogoeng called Tuesday's meeting productive and said it was an opportunity to reflect on the state of health of South Africa's Constitutional democracy. Mbete and Modise agreed the meeting had been constructive.

Read more on:    mogoeng mogoeng  |  thandi modise  |  jacob zuma  |  baleka mbete  |  cape town  |  judiciary  |  politics

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