Nzimande slams 'judicial dictatorship'

2011-12-18 20:30

Johannesburg - South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande has warned against the dangers of South Africa becoming a “judicial dictatorship”.

In an interview with City Press, Nzimande, who is also the higher education minister, criticised parts of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal, which set aside President Jacob Zuma's appointment of Menzi Simelane as head of the national prosecuting authority (NPA).

According to him, a statement in the judgment went “too far”.

Nzimande is the latest tripartite-alliance leader to criticise ­the judiciary.

He referred to a portion in the unanimous judgment, written by Judge Mahomed Navsa, which agrees with the Democratic Alliance’s submission to the court that there “has to be a real and earnest engagement with the requirements” by the president when he appoints the prosecutions boss.

Navsa wrote: “Having regard to what is stated in earlier paragraphs about the importance of the NPA and the office of the NDPP (national director of public prosecutions), it is the least that ‘we the people’ can expect.”

Not the people

Nzimande lashed out at this sentence, saying: “The judiciary is not the people, the judiciary is supposed to perform its role ­without fear or favour - that is ­going too far.”

Nzimande said that the “day the judiciary tries to substitute itself into the principle of ‘the people shall govern’, it runs the risk of losing the respect of the people”.

He also took aim at the final paragraphs of Navsa’s judgment, in which the judge was critical of arguments made by Zuma’s lawyers that the president was the “people’s choice” and had the right to exercise a value judgment.

In dealing with whether the court had “subverted the popular will” by subjecting Zuma’s decision to scrutiny, Navsa quoted extensively from a speech made by former Chief Justice Ismail Mahomed in 1997.

He said Mahomed’s sentiments, that the legislature has no mandate to make laws which transgress the powers it has in terms of the Constitution, are “beyond criticism and apply equally when actions or decisions by the executive are set aside”.


But Nzimande said this was tantamount to saying the judiciary cannot be subjected to public criticism and warned that there was “no democratic order in some kind of country that is subjected to a judicial dictatorship”.

Nzimande said the judiciary was being abused by those with access to money and accused them of attempting to “rule from the grave”.

Referring to legal groups and opposition parties, Nzimande said there was a “co-ordinated ­liberal offensive people who do not have power to seek to challenge almost any decision by the president and the executive”.

He also said the SACP supported an assessment of the Constitutional Court, recently announced by Cabinet, and said it should include both an audit of decisions by judges as well as the gender and racial composition of the justice system in South Africa.

  • Sterling - 2011-12-18 11:04

    The people in SA don't have a voice in how the government is run so, Blade got that worng this reporter should have reminded him of that.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-18 21:47

      "we don't like it when the law does not rubberstamp our decisions. We need judges that make decisions in favour of the ANC." Yeah right! Hands off the judiciary you Commie!

      Jarryd - 2011-12-18 21:49

      next: The disbanding of the judiciary bill :P

      Mike - 2011-12-18 21:51

      The idiocy of some leaders in this country are down right dangerous

      Squeegee - 2011-12-18 22:11

      Won't be long before the Public Protector gets fired, framed or fried. These guys hate anything that exposes their criminal behaviour.

      Godfrey - 2011-12-18 22:34

      He likes the Zim way of operating "I rule,you agree,so sign"

      Hermann - 2011-12-19 07:59

      The blade is getting blunter by the day and hopefully soon will loose his cutting edge.

      infijar.ken - 2011-12-19 08:45

      Yes, the President was selected by a bunch of drunks at a whiskey festival in Limpopo. Mr. blade was then selected for his lofty position in Cabinet by the President. Godfrey, as bad as things are in Zimbabwe, at least the people have the opportunity to vote for their own constituency MP!

  • Ben - 2011-12-18 20:58

    If someone critisize the judiciary, be it government or individual, he is critisizing the people who are protecting our constitution. Makes one think you have something to hide, so Mr Blade please stick to what you are paid for, where things dont look too rosy presently.

  • Jason - 2011-12-18 20:59

    Judicial dictatorship? Is that a term to describe not being able to do as you please because the law gets in the way?

      Terry - 2011-12-18 21:42

      That is exactly what he means. The ANC want to bulldoze their decisions regardless of the constitution, and they don't want meddling judges telling them that they can't.

      infijar.ken - 2011-12-19 08:54

      At least the Judiciary are trained and educated for the posts they hold. Blade is Minister of what? I would bet that there is not one Judge in the RSA that relied on his department for their education!

  • PilgrimX - 2011-12-18 20:59

    'judicial dictatorship' Well Blade, isn't that what communist's do?

  • Shoe - 2011-12-18 21:00

    Nzimande has been drinking red wine again.

  • mike.clery - 2011-12-18 21:01

    No Mr Nzimande - the judiciary is there to ensure that the executive and legislature operate within the confines of the SA Constitution. As Thabo Mbeki has just pointed out: "...we agreed to establish a law-governed society, in which, among other things, the rights of the individual would be protected and all statutory law would respect the perimeters prescribed in the letter and spirit of our Constitution, including its Bill of Rights." If you disagree with this Supreme Court of Appeal judgement, take it to the Constitutional Court instead of this populist whipping up of public sentiment against the judiciary.

  • Comrade - 2011-12-18 21:01

    Blade Nobody .... Get over yourself. South Africa is stronger than YOU or any of your rubbish politics and ANC. You LOSE!!

  • Ben - 2011-12-18 21:08

    If the media takes the trouble to publish stupid utterances like these they should also have the guts to publish the public's comments.

  • Jan - 2011-12-18 21:13

    The legal processes in this country is in any case not affordable to the common citizen. You need a lot of money to find justice. The government has free access, thus it is only a few wealthy organisations that can get rulings like these. I think it bothers old Blade more that there is someone with financial clout that outnumbers their political clout.

  • Carlin - 2011-12-18 21:15

    The people do not really dictate who runs the country because they do not vote for individuals, the ANC dictates by means of cadre deployment. The judiciary is the last defence we have against this and now it is under concerted attack. It the attack succeeds we shall be ripe for a true dictatorship. Be alert against this evil, for it is almost upon us.

  • Renier - 2011-12-18 21:16

    Should we lose the rule of the law we will be back where we were before 1994!

  • Max - 2011-12-18 21:16

    Zuma has the right to exercise a value judgement...God help South Africa!

  • Nkululeko Coobra Gwadiso - 2011-12-18 21:17

    its so easy for Blade to criticise yet it took him ages to act when Walter Sisulu University was falling apart right infront........futsek Blade we tired of your opportunism & hypocrisy

  • Nkululeko Coobra Gwadiso - 2011-12-18 21:17

    its so easy for Blade to criticise yet it took him ages to act when Walter Sisulu University was falling apart right infront of him........futsek Blade we tired of your opportunism & hypocrisy

  • shirley.friedman - 2011-12-18 21:24

    The only thing that stands between civilisation or anarchy is the Rule of Law and in a constitutional democracy it is the Constitution that is the final arbiter of the law. Having a communist who by definition must be a fool pronounce on the merits of our constitution is in itself an unfunny joke.

      Xolani Ziqubu - 2011-12-18 21:55

      You are half right. But what you are missing is as long as its a constitutiona its democracy the judiciary can not be the supreme power. The judiciary in this country has already shown itself as having a pro white middle class agenda. What we have now is the bad monitering the worse. The judiciary has just oversteped in the four white prisinors having their meager sentances commuted. Yes lets trust the judiciary.

      cameronjohnprice - 2011-12-18 23:00

      @ Xolani - "pro white middle class agenda" Please explain to me who and what that is so that I can try to understand your statement.

      Johan - 2011-12-19 01:47

      Xolani the correctional services released them not the judiciary. The last time I looked correctional services were run by blacks.

      Frikkie - 2011-12-19 09:55

      @Xolani Ziqubu - did you show that middle finger to your mother, moron. ou carry on about the 4 white okes that "murdered" the homeless black. You have Nelson mandela (murderer, bomb planter, terrorist) McBride (murderer, bomb planter, terrorist) showa head (rapist, fraudster) selebi (fraudster, drug smuggler, maybe child smuggler also), fat zot malema (blatant thief, fat terrorist to be), etc, etc. Willie Hofmeyer (if you know this white baas) so far uncovered 30BILLION RANDS of corruption for 1 year (committed by your ZOT FRIEND alone) this year. And you say that the judiciary system are for the white middle class? You are even more stupid than you look

  • Hugh - 2011-12-18 21:31

    geez and some said Malema was thick. Talk about double speak.One thing about Malema he did not mince words and you could be sure that what he said would come about someway. Now we have Blade in effect warning that the new unqualified chief justice puppy will start applying the political will not law

  • H - 2011-12-18 21:33

    It is exactly those "people with no power" who need the judicial system to protect them from "people with power". Comrade Blade should apply his mind to a higher education in the principles of constitutional democracy. We would all benefit.

  • Etienne - 2011-12-18 21:37

    Wat n box!!

      braamc - 2011-12-19 06:08


  • Nicholas - 2011-12-18 21:38

    Rather a "judicial dictatorship" than an African dictatorship. I would rather the judiciary make these decisions than inept self serving politicians. That is exactly why the judiciary should remain totally independent.

  • brettcch - 2011-12-18 21:48

    god help us all from peasants like this

  • Themba Mbuyisa - 2011-12-18 21:55

    I wish these journos would just once. Ask what our politicians are smoking. It must be really good ish.

  • Jim - 2011-12-18 21:58

    Mr Nzimande - you are exactly why this country needs a "Constitutional Democracy" and not a politically misaligned "democracy??" as you would like. Nelson Mandela had good vision when he agreed to a Constitutional Democracy to prevent idiots like you from grabbing power from the masses.

  • Burtfred - 2011-12-18 22:02

    So what should we rather have then, blade? A communist dictatorship? Try it and we will have a full-blown bloody revolution to contend with.

  • Mpho Ndlovu - 2011-12-18 22:12

    Some1 should help me tell this lost soul to shut up. Bab ndzimande, ure representing no1 but yourself, you used to be the champion of the masses or never was you just had us all fooled, ure eyes where firmly set on the rolling gravy gautrain, ure nothing but a blubber, it is so unjust to be refered to as a communist, u have transformed yourself to be the worst imperialist ive ever laid my eyes on, plse u just shut up and enjoy it while it lasts, u can fool some people sometimes, but u cant fool all of us everytime. U knw nothing about the judiciary so run along

  • Mpho Ndlovu - 2011-12-18 22:13

    Some1 should help me tell this lost soul to shut up. Bab ndzimande, ure representing no1 but yourself, you used to be the champion of the masses or never was you just had us all fooled, ure eyes where firmly set on the rolling gravy gautrain, ure nothing but a blubber, it is so unjust to be refered to as a communist, u have transformed yourself to be the worst imperialist ive ever laid my eyes on, plse u just shut up and enjoy it while it lasts, u can fool some people sometimes, but u cant fool all of us everytime. U knw nothing about the judiciary so run along

      Jim - 2011-12-18 22:46

      Mpho I guess that is what is wrong with the ANC today - They have lost the support of the masses because of corruption

      Garth - 2011-12-19 08:21

      Sorry Jim, but you are incorrect and living in `cloud cuckoo' land if you believe that the inept anc has lost the support of the masses. They retain that support by spouting communist rhetoric and making it sound democratic. The anc is in power because of the ignorant. Ignorants believe what they are told to believe. Victory over the inept anc will only come from within - the ignorants will believe no other.

  • Wayne - 2011-12-18 22:15

    Well Blade... I guess we can assume your response to that of pridictability... If you and you ilk were the true custodians of the rights and equaltities for all then we wouldn't have issues of corruption to cast legal review over now would we... Me thinks the Minister doest protest too much...!!!

  • Cracker - 2011-12-18 22:15

    Scratching head. Isn't Nzimande a democrat and concerned about human rights? Something doesn't seem to fit. Too much red wine and/or a hangover?

  • AlQuestioningLife - 2011-12-18 22:31

    The Hon Minister Blade needs to be re-schooled,[if a product of Aparthied's Bantu Education]. The courts are there to ensure that the laws of the land are adhered to. The courts surely check that the law is been followed correctly to the letter. If they find fault and rule against the regime then it goes to show that maybe the law was not drafted correctly or that it is not compliant with the SA Contitution or some other Act or Regulation etc. A Banana republic would operate the way the Hon Minister Blade and his ike want. That being a FULL Executive Dictatorship. The Hon Minster Blade being part of the ANC regime who does not even allow their members freedom of voting for Bills, Acts etc in the Parliment. What happened to freedom of choice, freedom of belief & opinion etc.[Chapter 2 : Bill of rights] This is what Hon Mister Blade should rather be trying to rectify. Just a thought as to how the ANC Regime fails to respect THE CONSTITUTION. Lets give the Hon Min Blade a "F" on his speach.....

  • Cracker - 2011-12-18 22:32

    Truth? BLADE HATES THE JUDGES BECAUSE BLADE WANTS TO BE THE SUPREME ONE. In other words, NZIMANDE FOR DICTATORSHIP. The judicial system is here to stay. Some fear it. Now why would they? South Africans may have a lot of issues - often exaggerated, but nevertheless - but they will eventually deal through the legitimate legal system with the dastardly deeds of the real people thieves and hijackers.

  • Holden - 2011-12-18 23:32

    Navsa, Mahomed Solomon. Judge of Appel. Born 24 May 1957,, Edenvale, Gauteng. Spouse: Roziah. 3 Children. Matric: William Pescod Secondary School, Kimberley. university of the Western Cape: BA LLB. Judge of the High Court, Johannesburg: 1995-2000. Member of Special Electoral Court: 1995-2000. Acting Judge – Constitutional Court: February - May 2007. Judge of Appeal 2000 to date. Legal Resources Centre: 1981-1995 Regional Director, LRC: 1991-1994 Advocate: 1982-1995 Senior Counsel: 1994 Judge of the High Court: 1995-2000 Chairperson, Legal Aid Board: 1998-2002 Trustee, Legal Resources Trust: 1998 to date Executive Member, LRC: 2001 Junior Soccer Coach: 1993-2000 Honourary Professor UWC: 2003 Assisted in drafting TRC legislation for submission to Parliament.

  • Holden - 2011-12-18 23:33

    Bloody Nzimande: at all material times: Rissole

  • Mboneni - 2011-12-18 23:54

    Blade Nzimande is arrogant he cannot critisize the judiciary in the govt where he is a serving minister this is bringing the govt into disrepute for which he must be disciplined

      H - 2011-12-19 20:52

      Excellent point. He is dangerously close to being in breach of his oath of office, wherein he undertook to defend the constitution. I'm sure that clause is still in there.

  • Thozi - 2011-12-19 01:04

    If ever I once ever had a tiny bitsy little respect for Blake, I will regret it for the rest of my life. I have never known a worse and cheaper opportunist. The man is without a tiny fibre of morality.

  • Mark - 2011-12-19 03:35

    Show me a communist who believes in judicial independence and I'll show you a liar!!!...Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hoxha, Tito.....all believed in judicial independence...till it came time for the show trials....

  • Boer - 2011-12-19 06:15

    SA must watch out, we are moving towards a dictator regime...and it has not been the best of years for strongmen...Kim Jong Il is the latest casualty.

  • Muhammed Essop - 2011-12-19 07:11

    The day that the judiciary becomes the mouth piece of the executive is the day that South Africa ceases to be a democracy, sadly, due to unfortunate and self serving executive interference. Our legal system is among the best in the world due to the respect that our judiciary holds internationally. A judicial decision, like any other decision, is made upon the facts and by application of the applicable laws to the facts. By Minister Nzimande criticising Hon Judge of Appeal Navsa's judgment in the media shows his disrgard of the rule of law and a sad indictment of Min Nzimande's perception of the learned bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Remember Min Nzimande ministers can be removed any time, judges are appointed for life. One nail in the coffin of South Africa's failing reputation abroad, which makes me very sad as a proudly South African citizen.

  • Trevor - 2011-12-19 07:28

    Blade, you an idiot and always will be...this came about due to an action the OPPOSITION took against the appointment which is their DEMOCRATIC RIGHT...The courts have just enforced the LAWS OF THE COUNTRY...if you don't like it, move to North Korea and give up your CAPITALASTIC material gains you so called "COMMUNIST"....idiotic old fart!

  • Paulo - 2011-12-19 07:35

    but isnt he the minister of higher education? surely he should focus on his own dept or is he jack of all trades and master of none? a$$hole.

  • igno1 - 2011-12-19 07:54

    I was under the impression the Comm Party loves this sort of thing!!!

  • frank.hartry - 2011-12-19 08:04

    This man is the biggest idiot in parliment. He is also however a dedicated stalinist communist and a very dangerous man to the South African nation. He no doubt at this time will be mourning the death yesterday of the North Korean leader and will probably use taxpayers money to go to the one month funeral ceremony of the late North Korean dictator. Nsimande just loves taxpayers money. It has enriched him and has made him possibly one of the most richest politicians in the world. He is also a complete hypocrite as a so called dedicated communist. Beware of Nsimande South Africa. He is bad news.

      Tc - 2011-12-19 09:21

      And he lies-lies-lies.

  • eradingoana - 2011-12-19 08:39

    Nzimande is an embarrassment. They only want the judiciary to favour them. Then what is the use of having the law for others. I thought ministry will give him more experience but it shows clearly that people are not educated but have just been certificated.

      Tc - 2011-12-19 09:20

      Nzimande is not only an embarassment, he also has a terrible track record of lies-lies-lies. Blatant lies.

  • Pur - 2011-12-19 08:55

    All I can say is thank God for the judiciary. It gives a small measure of protection against the idiots who actually think they can run a country.

      Pieter - 2011-12-19 09:23

      It's not going to stay 'independent' for long...

  • Daft - 2011-12-19 09:12

    Hey Blade ...we need order in SA and the courts are the only body that can do it for us cause the current government is out of order.

  • Tc - 2011-12-19 09:17

    I can understand why hatred-spewing Blade and his whole damn lying-, corrupt ANC does not like the Judicial System. I can understand.

  • Pieter - 2011-12-19 09:19

    Coming from a communist I would expect nothing else. If old bladeboy had his way you would see a dictatorship worse than that of Stalin. An any case, we have already slided into an unsustainable spending spree and moral free-fall.

  • Alec - 2011-12-19 09:26

    Ja no, well fine. What is democracy? Is our country a democracy in the true sense of the word? Voting these "great thinkers " into power, allowing them to make these these intelligent decisions on our behalf. Is this democracy? The only way people of this low leadership ability and of limited intellectual acumen can control is to appeal to the uneducated masses. By doing this they can force the will and their backward policies on those that they are keeping dumbed down. Using a country like China as a role model says it all Blade. Come out of the dark ages and join the 21st century.

  • ludlowdj - 2011-12-19 09:28

    The Judiciary is currently the only thing sanding between the despotic ANC and the people, without the judiciary to keep what amounts to a child in line this country would have descended into open war a long time ago.

  • Alec - 2011-12-19 09:32

    Don't people realize the likes of blade bases his ideas on the ancient, failed and morally corrupt communist doctrine. Why does he even feature in a newspaper. Is this the type of leaders the people of South Africa look up to. Wow! This country is really sliding fast.

  • Johan - 2011-12-19 10:19

    We have laws in this country by which it is supposed to be ruled. The presidency is governed by them, the president has to oblige to them and so has the government. The judiciary is above the presidency. And above the ANC. One needs to get that. Otherwise it is called a dictatorship, and we don't want that, do we?

  • pandaylabels - 2011-12-19 13:33

    The Minister's statement that the judiciary is party to a "co-ordinated liberal offensive subvert popular the will" is shocking. The current judiciary in its racial composition is becoming reflective of the South African population. Judge Pius Langa in his judgments often took the ANC government to task. His punishment was being told at the outset that his chances of becoming Chief Justice was nil. Anybody who accuses Judge Langa of entertaining any liberal conspiracy against the will of the people will need to have their head examined. The point is simply that people of the Minister's ilk cannot accept that government is bound to rule in terms of the Constitution of the country. If the judiciary is now a headache to the President or any Minister who feels that their constitional obligations are just words on a piece of paper, I suggest that the government lay off the judiciary and make the lives of the Judges more simpler by abolishing the constitution. Then again can the government afford to lose its respect and all that foreign investment by doing so? You be the judge Minister.