An ‘important purpose of section 34 [of the Constitution] is to guarantee the protection of the judicial process to persons who have disputes that can be resolved by law’ and that the right of access to court is ‘foundational to the stability of an orderly society. It ensures the peaceful, regulated and institutionalised mechanisms to resolve disputes, without resorting to self-help. The right of access to court is a bulwark against vigilantism, and the chaos and anarchy which it causes. Construed in this context of the rule of law and the principle against self-help in particular, access to court is indeed of cardinal importance’.The right guaranteed s34 would be rendered meaningless if court orders could be ignored with impunity:the underlying purposes of the right — and particularly that of avoidance of self-help — would be undermined if litigants could decide which orders they wished to obey and which they wished to ignore.
01 December 2011
CASAC notes that the SCA has affirmed the constitutional duty on the President to appoint a fit and proper person to the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). The Ginwala Enquiry made adverse comments about the character of Adv Simelane, which the President should have taken into account in considering Adv Simelane’s fitness for office.
The National Prosecuting Authority is a critical organ of state and its integrity and independence should be beyond reproach to ensure public confidence in its ability to act without fear, favour or prejudice.
We trust that the President will now initiate a process that will lead to the appointment of suitable person as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority to restore confidence in this section of the justice system. The judgment of the SCA confirms that the President must exercise his discretion in line with his constitutional obligations.
Lawson Naidoo – 073 158 5736
Masutane Modjadji – 076 937 0825