IFP slams Zuma over Ngcobo

2011-06-06 08:11

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma breached the Constitution by extending the term of office for Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo beyond the 12 year limit, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said on Sunday.

The 12-year limit is set out in the Constitution, the party's MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini said.

"If [media reports are] correct, the president acted unconstitutionally as only an act of Parliament may effect such an extension, not the president purporting to act in terms of an act of Parliament," he said.

"The fixed term of a constitutional justice is a guarantee of his independence, which lies in the knowledge that under no condition may he receive favour from the government."


Oriani-Ambrosini said if media reports were true then it highlighted a major constitutional breach or blunder on the Presidency's side.

Zuma disclosed on Friday that Ngcobo would continue to serve as South Africa's chief judge for the next five years.

Zuma said that on August 15 this year, Ngcobo would have held office as a judge and Constitutional Court judge for a cumulative period of 15 years and three months.

"Acting in terms of... the Judges Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act... I requested Chief Justice Ngcobo to continue to perform active service as the Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, with effect from August 16 [this year] until August 15, 2016," he said.

"He has agreed to my request."

Ngcobo, who turned 58 in March this year, was appointed as a judge in the Constitutional Court by former president Nelson Mandela in 1999.

He holds a Master of Law (LLM) degree from Harvard Law School.

  • William - 2011-06-07 09:51

    I think the IFP MP is completely misguided when he says the President has committed a constitutional breach. I think he is misguided because when you look at the constitutional provision of term of office for judges, the constitution provides for an exception in terms of an Act of Parliament and that Act is the Remuneration of Judges and Conditions of Employment Act 47 of 2001. Section 4 of the Act does allow such an extension. The President has his special advisers who knows their jobs very well. People must do research first before they can make accusations.

      Mpilo - 2011-08-02 12:47

      I think chief you were off the mark on this one. For the first time the IFP MP was correct in his interpretation of the constitution and he was backed by the unanimous decision of the CC

  • Malusi - 2011-06-08 22:22

    I think they should be focusing on the up coming conference in october before they become a thing of the past

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