ConCourt powers are safe, minister insists

2012-02-21 22:10

Cape Town - Government intends to review Constitutional Court decisions "germane to the executive" and not the powers of the court itself, Science Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday.

Responding to opposition members' statements in the National Assembly, she said President Jacob Zuma had been very clear on this matter last week during his response to debate on the state-of-the-nation address.

"[He stated] that the intention of government is to review decisions that are germane to the executive and its exercise of power in terms of national and other legislation that has been [the] subject of rulings by the Constitutional Court.

"I did not hear him refer to reviewing the powers of the Constitutional Court," Pandor said.

The president's reply had "referred to decisions and an assessment of government, and to how those have impacted on policy and what lessons we of the executive must derive from that review".

This, she said, was necessary to improve the functioning of the executive and ensure policies were absolutely in line with what was mandated in the Constitution.

"So I don't know what all of this fuss is about and I really think members are looking for evil where none exists," Pandor said.

Earlier, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the government had a duty to uphold the principle of the separation of powers and respect the independence of the judiciary.

"President Zuma's remarks last week to the effect that his government intends to review the powers of the Constitutional Court are not only a serious affront to [this] principle... but also undermine public confidence in the executive's commitment to uphold the Constitution," Mazibuko said.

Pandor said the government was committed to upholding the Constitution.

"We are responsible for ensuring that we act with regard to it; we swear oaths to ensure it is implemented; [and] that we uphold it," she said.

  • Francois - 2012-02-21 22:28

    Naledi, I don't know when you became the spokesperson of government, but I think they (Zuma and cronies) thought long and hard to put forward a person who does still garner a bit of respect. Let us be honest, if Lindiwe or Blade gave this speech, no one would have bothered to think about it. Now let us cut through the chase: How about your party make a deal with the rest of the country that if it tries to pass a law (like the protection of information act) through the system and it fails at the Concourt, then the ANC will pay the money and not government. Then we can use all the money lost in court cases to get the education system, that you helped to mess up, back on track. How about that?

      John - 2012-02-22 06:04

      Francois, You don't know nothing man. "...members are looking for evil where none exists" allegedly is a Science issue. Who else can comment this than Naledi Pandor? Its a matter of fact.. There are good number of people that can observe who speaks to whom and how "the fellow compatriots" are addressed. In parlament probably is a "lucky draw" and Naledi won a "lucky speech".....hahaha

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-21 22:31

    The fuss is that the review must take place against the backdrop of transformation (or did you not hear that) which in ANC terms means "give to blacks"

  • Vince.York - 2012-02-22 07:10

    Zuma expanded the presidency by somewhat 400% in various nefarious guises leading to complete confusion and collapse in a short space of time of how many departments and provinces in the shall we refer to it as the NEW "Total Onslaught" to centralize all power and funds into an easily controlled wallet of largesse for friends and connected - and the one single area that is still a threatening stiletto in his side is the ConCourt and Justice - so this onslaught will increase. Naledi - SHAME ON YOU for becoming a simpleton spin doctor for the rotten apples.

  • Craig - 2012-02-22 07:20

    What the ConCourt says is BS. What really happens behind closed doors, is what scares me...

  • SJBotha - 2012-02-22 10:26

    I'll stay with my common sense and not trust one word from a minister belonging to a party who manages to steal, corrupt and squander r20billion in one year.

  • Adam - 2012-02-28 18:03

    @news24..are we not allowed to use the term "quatro" in these comments??

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