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.
Composition of the Constitutional Court in the first and second terms of 2015
Justice Chris Jafta is on long leave from 1 November 2014 to 31 March 2015. In addition, Justices Ray Zondo and Johann van der Westhuizen are on long leave from 1 February to 31 May 2015. The vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Thembile Skweyiya has not yet been filled.
In the stead of the judges on leave, and as against the current vacancy, Justice Zukisa Tshiqi and Justice Leona Theron of the Supreme Court of Appeal have been appointed as Acting Justices of the Constitutional Court until 31 May 2015. In addition, Judge‑President Mahube Betty Molemela, of the Free State High Court, has been appointed for the first two terms of 2015, until 31 May 2015. Deputy Judge-President Achmat Jappie, of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, has been appointed for the first term of 2015, until 31 March 2015.BACK TO TOP