MP taken to task over judiciary comments

2012-10-24 20:33

Cape Town - ANC MP Patekile Holomisa was reprimanded by the DA on Wednesday for asking how the government planned to guide courts to "exercise judicial restraint".

Holomisa put the question to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe during question time in the National Assembly.

Democratic Alliance MP Dene Smuts rose to comment that Holomisa's question was "shocking", and possibly prompted by cases where the DA had successfully taken government decisions on review.

"It is clear that it is the Honourable Holomisa who needs guidance and not the judiciary," Smuts said.

"The Honourable Holomisa has perhaps been led astray by his colleague [deputy minister of correctional services Ngoako] Ramathlodi who called on the courts earlier this year to exercise judicial restraint, or judicial constraint as he called it, after the DA won two cases of rationality review," Smuts said.

She said Motlanthe had corrected Holomisa, but been "too nice" in the manner in which he did so.

Motlanthe responded that the Constitution set out the powers of each arm of the government, and that the government would uphold the Constitution.

He said: "With regard to the judiciary, government continues to enact legislation and implement programmes to enhance the independence within the context of the separation of powers embedded in the Constitution.

"One of the significant safeguards against encroachment is the Constitutional Court which, as the highest court in the land, is entrusted with the important function of ensuring that each branch, including the judiciary, does not overstep its boundary.

Smuts said: "If the executive branch ever tried to guide the courts, they would kill off the Constitution."

Congress of the People MP Papi Konare said Holomisa's question pointed to a "very serious tendency in the ruling alliance" to undermine the judiciary and warned that it would scare off investment, cause job losses and destabilise the country.

He said the ANC had itself to blame for being overruled by the courts because its MPs drafted legislation that ran counter to the Constitution.

"The root cause of judgments against government are due to unconstitutional legislation promoted by elements in government attempting to bypass or undermine constitutional imperatives, rather than any deficiency in the judiciary."

  • godfrey.welman - 2012-10-24 20:54

    Well done Dene Smuts.

  • BulletProof. - 2012-10-24 21:05

    Yes they can not do what they want there is a lot of ANC elements that are trying hard to overule the good principles of the democracy.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-24 21:15

    Yeah, right. It's time that somebody tell them not to prescribe to the courts what to do. Their boundless arrogance is sickening. What is that fool doing in parliament anyway? Honorable nogal! My ass.

  • Vince.York - 2012-10-24 21:19

    So SINISTER what is floating around in the minds of all these anc-pf creatures that are determined that South Africa's Democratic Principles must be treated with disdain and as irrelevant - in their drive to transform our nation backward to a tribal dictatorship, considering that they are already just pouring the nations funds into every tribal nook & cranny (the nkandla zumaville catastrophe the latest publicized one)// which should in fact only be supported by funds from each local tribe and NOT from the nations coffers.

  • kseyffert - 2012-10-24 21:46

    hmmm, I wonder just how many of our current politicians even know we have a constitution, never mind what is in it.

  • peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-10-24 21:53

    Is these guy for real. How does he expect two third majority, with certain corrupt elements to guide the judiciary. Not raining anymore, starting to pour.

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-10-24 22:47

    This Holomisa dude is halfway up the collective discharge hatch

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2012-10-25 07:36

    This is the essence of what is destroying our country; the ANC is not educated enough to know what is right and what is on the wish list of the pigs feeding at the trough. Everything bad comes from this pathetic situation. We need to get the "stupids" out of power and get some common sense in their place.

  • darra.pillay - 2012-10-25 17:03

    "excercise judicial restraint"? Really? How do you propose that be done?Yet another phrase ... a la 'Poorest of the poor', "challenge" instead of PROBLEM, 'Excellency" when there's no excellence, 'honourable' when so many MP's have judgements against their names of some kind, etceteraaaah! Ever so'ooo South African' Patekile. hardly an 'honourable' inference that the judiciary should be 'managed' ,if that is what you imply, sir. Disturbing sir , seriously disturbing. And embarrasing as well, as reflected in Kalema's reaction.

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