Quote of the week

Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation.  This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.

KHAMPEPE J and THERON J
Public Protector v South African Reserve Bank (CCT107/18) [2019] ZACC 29 (22 July 2019)
17 September 2008

Panic among Mbeki appointees….

I received the following sms purporting to come from a panicked Mbeki appointee. Can it be true?

Am informed that the NWC has resolved as follows: 1. Thabo must go. 2. Baleka to take over. 3. Don’t prefer clauses 89 & 102 cos of possible early election. 4. Committee set up 2 look @ other possibilities including constitutional changes. 5. TM 2 be informed as soon as he’s back. 6. Certain ministers & premiers 2 be approached 2 stay 2 avoid exodus. It is time we move out of our comfort zone & face the reality of us all leaving sooer (sic) than we think!

I am a bit skeptical that this is what the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC really decided. This is because if it true, it suggests the NWC is desperately in need of a constitutional law adviser. (Hey, I won’t charge you guys that much – just ask!)

First, if President Mbeki resigns, the Speaker, Baleka Mbete, cannot take over as Acting President because the Deputy President and then a Minister selected by the cabinet is in line before the Speaker for the job of Acting President if only the President resigns. Second, if the President is removed in terms of section 89 or 102, we do not necessarily have to have an election – as long as a new President is elected by the National Assembly within 30 days of the resignation.

Regardless of the personal drama and tragedy of these events, it is a boon for anyone teaching Constitutional Law. Finally students will be able to see that these provisions in the Constitution relating to the President’s election and dismissal actually mean something!

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