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.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE
MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF MINISTER ROY PADAYACHIE
8 May 2012
Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng today expressed his deep sadness at the sudden and untimely passing of Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie at the weekend.
In paying tribute to Minister Padayachie, Chief Justice Mogoeng said: “Observing from a distance, Minister Padayachie struck me as someone who served our country with laudable gallantry and great distinction. The only official engagement that brought the late Minister and I together, was my request in relation to the composition of the panel that is to interview the Head of the new national Department known as the Office of the Chief Justice. He, in consultation with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, responded positively and with great speed to our proposal that contrary to the norm, the panel should comprise more members of the Judiciary than of the Executive, in support of the independence of the Judiciary. We will always remember him as someone who was committed to speedy delivery of quality service to our people.”
The Chief Justice added that it was telling that Minister Padayachie passed on while in Ethiopia – doing what he stood for, delivering service not only to the country, but to the African continent as a whole.
“I wish to express a word of deep condolence to his family, friends and colleagues in government. I also wish to convey a special word of gratitude to his family for allowing us to share him with them.
His untimely departure will leave an emptiness that will be hard to fill and we hope his selfless service and contribution to building a united, just and truly free South Africa will be remembered by many generations to come” said Chief Justice Mogoeng.
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