Quote of the week

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.

Plasket AJ
Victoria Park Ratepayers' Association v Greyvenouw CC and others (511/03) [2003] ZAECHC 19 (11 April 2003)
15 August 2011

Correction of SABC report by DCJ Moseneke

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PRESS RELEASE

Monday 15 August 2011

 Yesterday the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that in my address to the annual conference of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women judges at North West University I said almost 90% of South Africa’s courts have not delivered judgment on cases before them.

That report is inaccurate.

I stressed to the judges and magistrates who attended the conference that the delay in the finalisation of cases may lead to injustice and that judges and magistrates are duty-bound to deliver judgments promptly.  I added that almost 90% of complaints against judicial officers relate to judgments that had not been delivered promptly.

Clearly this does not mean that “almost 90% of South African Courts have not delivered judgment on cases before them.”

This inaccuracy in reporting is to be regretted because firstly the SABC appeared to televise the entire address and more importantly, by and large, Courts of this country do their work diligently and as promptly as it is reasonably possible.

Issued by:  Dikgang Moseneke

Deputy Chief Justice

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