As seductive as certain perspectives of international law may appear to those who disagree with the outcome of the interpretative exercise conducted by this Court in the contempt judgment, sight must not be lost of the proper place of international law, especially in respect of an application for rescission. The approach that my Brother adopts may be apposite in the context of an appeal, where a court is enjoined to consider whether the court a quo erred in its interpretation of the law. Although it should be clear by now, I shall repeat it once more: this is not an appeal, for this Court’s orders are not appealable. I am deeply concerned that seeking to rely on articles of the ICCPR as a basis for rescission constitutes nothing more than sophistry.
The Commissions Act provides that once a commission has been appointed, the President may confer upon that commission the power to summon and examine witnesses, to administer oaths and affirmations and to call for the production of books, documents and objects.Failure to comply with a subpoena issued by a commission is a punishable offence. If these powers are not conferred, the commission will have no powers beyond those enjoyed by any individual or state agency conducting an investigation. The Commissions Act may only be made applicable to a commission of inquiry if it is investigating a matter of public concern…. Making the Commissions Act applicable to a commission of inquiry therefore ensures that a commission can call witnesses and obtain the production of documents and objects on pain of punishment. Nevertheless, a commission remains an investigative body whose primary responsibility is to report to the President upon its findings. A commission is generally not entitled or empowered to take any action as a result of its findings. – The Constitutional Court in the judgment of President of the Republic of South Africa v SARFUBACK TO TOP