Live by constitutional values - Zac Yacoob

2017-02-03 10:41
Zac Yacoob (File, News24)

Zac Yacoob (File, News24)

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Cape Town - Politicians upset with courts having to settle their disputes should start living according to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, retired Constitutional Court judge Zac Yacoob said on Thursday.

Courts were a good mechanism to resolve disputes, but courts alone were not enough, Yacoob said at the FW de Klerk Foundation's conference on the Constitution and governance, held in Cape Town.

If President Jacob Zuma had understood that he would have to repay some of the R246 million spent on the upgrades to his home in Nkandla, a court would not have had to intervene, he continued.

“Whose conduct was unreasonable in that matter?”

He was referring to a Constitutional Court judgment in March last year, that found Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had flouted the Constitution when they ignored recommendations in a Public Protector report that he must repay some of the Nkandla money.

Zuma complained that political parties rushing to court were “perverting democracy”.

Yacoob felt people did not understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and, if they did, there would be a social revolution.

“How many of us have read the Bill or Rights? How many people in Parliament have read the Bill of Rights, I should imagine hardly any of them?

“But before you laugh, how many of you have?” Yacoob asked his audience.

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