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TOPIC: Trias Politica to Die in SA???
#23849
Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 191
Well after the Info Bill - is this any surprise??????



www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=159629




CAPE TOWN — A decision by the Cabinet to institute an investigation of how Constitutional Court decisions have affected the lives of ordinary people has got alarm bells ringing again about possible interference in the judiciary.


Government spokesman Jimmy Manyi told media yesterday after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the assessment of the judiciary was to ensure it "conforms to the transformation mandate as envisaged in the constitution … in terms of nonracialism, gender, disability and other transformational variables".


This comes after criticism by senior African National Congress (ANC) officials of the Constitutional Court and assertions that the judges were counterrevolutionary.


President Jacob Zuma is on record as saying the courts should not infringe on the exclusive right of the executive to make policy.


Mr Manyi said the Cabinet had agreed that the assessment of the court’s decisions be done by a research institution to establish how these decisions had affected the lives of ordinary citizens and how they had influenced socioeconomic transformation and reform of the law.


Democratic Alliance (DA) justice spokeswoman Dene Smuts said the decision "must rate as one of its strangest proposals to date".


"It will inevitably be seen as a sinister attempt to bend the bench to the executive and the ruling party’s will, especially given the recent spate of hostile comments from such persons as ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Deputy Correctional Services Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi, and the fact that it is common knowledge that certain judgments are unpopular with the ANC," Ms Smuts said.


"The courts are not an instrument of government policy whose output can be measured on performance indicators and other governance criteria. They are there to give authoritative interpretation of the constitution and the law," she said.


University of Cape Town constitutional law expert Prof Pierre de Vos agreed there would be suspicion about the motives for a new assessment of the judiciary.


But on its own, research into the socioeconomic effects of judgments would not be problematic as the court had had a positive influence on the lives of ordinary people and was often more pro-poor than the executive or legislature, he said,


Prof de Vos, however, objected to the Cabinet statement that "appropriate mechanisms be developed to facilitate for regular interface between the three spheres of the state to enhance synergy and constructive engagement among them in pursuit of common transformative goals that are geared to benefit the society at large".


This had implications for the separation of powers, and the intention to create mechanisms for closer co- operation between the executive and judiciary was "deeply troubling".


Ms Smuts said: "Cabinet says it wants to affirm the independence of the judiciary by promoting interdependence between the three branches of state — that is a contradiction in terms." She noted a "regular interface" between the three spheres was to be established via "appropriate mechanisms".


"No formal mechanisms are necessary to pursue the constitutional dialogue which former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo postulated and practised to deal with the tensions that inevitably arose between especially the executive and the judiciary."


In response to a question about whether such an executive investigation did not constitute an infringement of the separation of powers, Mr Manyi said it was a "positive" move intended to establish how well this arm of the state was working. "This government would never do anything unconstitutional," he said.
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#23860
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 7
Ok, I am not that clued up on the law anymore, but can they legally do this? I thought the Trias Politica and the judiciary's independence is constitutionally guaranteed. Is the judiciary not totally separate from the executive and legislative in order to protect them and their decisions from political interference. Can the ANC legally institute such investigations???

This does not bode well for us...I think this week has been a clear indication of the intentions of the ruling party. And their intentions are not in the best interest of the people of this country...
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#23862
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 23
No they aren't legally allowed to however they are sugar coating it with statements that this is positive action by the executive to see how the decisions of the concourt affect the public and they are not really meddling at all, bla bla bla. If you ask me this is one step away from attempting to amend the constitution to give the executive the power to influence the courts. Not a good idea at all!!!
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#23863
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 23
Add to that the secrecy bill and the government can get away with whatever they like. I find it funny how this is happening now that all the opposition parties have vowed to take the adoption of the secrecy bill to the concourt.
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#23901
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 191
Leah

I agree with you - definitely does not bode well.

We now have a Chief Justice tha no-one other than our illustrious president wanted - we have a secrecy bill with no "public interest" clause - and now we have the executive/legislature investigating ConCourt decisions (no matter in what guise) - been a busy session for Parliament this one.

Cheers

Amanda
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#31400
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 3
this explains everything in layman's language
i shiver when i look at this cartoon depiction of what is actually happening in our judiciary
what happened with the separation of powers?

oh not to mention the implications!
the pattern is as clear is daylight
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#31401
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 3
refer to today's timeslive wanted to post the image but couldn't

www.timeslive.co.za/local/2011/06/13/zapiro-cartoons
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#32441
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -1
with regards to the so called 'secrecy bill',

our public protector together with George Bizos, the universities and the Nelson Mandela Foundations archive
have sent written protests to Parliament againt th bill

261 objections have been submitted to the NCOP's ad hoc committee
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#32442
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -1
Parliament is obliged to support the work of the Chapter 9 institutions

the public protector is one of them

and other chapter 9 institutions also agree that this bill will impact on their mandates
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#32443
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -1
so although the ANC may have the majority,

it will actually be a battle to have such a bill promulgated
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#32444
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -1
we all know that this bill is unconstitutional..

heaven knows how such a bill can be justified

i for one, do not think it will pass constitutional muster

what do you lot think..
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#32445
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -1
i really admire adv thuli madonsela

that woman really knows how to kick butt!

what do you all think about her
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#32448
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 4
I have to say this debate had to come up some time in our rather young democracy. It's not surprising that the ruling party and the top dog wants to secure thier position at the top. The 'absolute power adage' is so appropriate! However, I have to hand it to the drafters of our constitution, they really learned from the past - and numerous safe gaurds have been put into place before the trias politica will come under real threat - I maintain, if the judiciary remains vigilant, this country has a chance! I'm waiting with baited breath - the secrecy bill will have to come under constitutional scrutiny...this is not something that can stand against the terms in the constitution.
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#32489
Re:Trias Politica to Die in SA??? 2 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -1
unless of course they try to wriggle their way around

and try to justify it in terms of the limitation clause..

who knows what they would do
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