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.
It is difficult not to conclude that Judge President John Hlophe and his handlangers will go to any lengths to save his bacon – even destroy the constitutional order if necessary. How else to view the application launched in the Johannesburg High Court seeking a declaratory order that the Constitutional Court had violated his rights by making allegations against him in the media, before lodging a complaint with the JSC.
He also asked for an interim interdict against the JSC, stopping it from proceeding with the hearing, at least until such time as the high court ruled on his application. I hear the Judge President is arguing that the JSC cannot hear his complaint because it is not a court of law. They should therefore also not be allowed to hear the complaint by the Constitutional Court as this complaint violated his rights.
His application to the High Court – so I am told – is aimed at stopping the whole process before the JSC to “prevent a constitutional crisis”. If the High Court agrees to hear his case, so he argues, they will have to adjudicate on a matter involving a higher court and this will plunge the whole judicial system into crisis – unless the Constitutional Court is reconstituted to hear his appeal (something that is not possible in terms of the Constitution.)
The only way to solve this “crisis” is to order the JSC not to hear the complaint against him. Clever, huh?
I do not want to comment further before I get my hands on his papers (which will be posted on the net tonight, I am told). Just one thought: do I detect the hand of Paul Ngobeni in all of this?BACK TO TOP