Quote of the week

Mr Zuma is no ordinary litigant. He is the former President of the Republic, who remains a public figure and continues to wield significant political influence, while acting as an example to his supporters… He has a great deal of power to incite others to similarly defy court orders because his actions and any consequences, or lack thereof, are being closely observed by the public. If his conduct is met with impunity, he will do significant damage to the rule of law. As this Court noted in Mamabolo, “[n]o one familiar with our history can be unaware of the very special need to preserve the integrity of the rule of law”. Mr Zuma is subject to the laws of the Republic. No person enjoys exclusion or exemption from the sovereignty of our laws… It would be antithetical to the value of accountability if those who once held high office are not bound by the law.

Khampepe j
Secretary of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State v Zuma and Others (CCT 52/21) [2021] ZACC 18
15 September 2022

The core problem with the majority judgment in EFF II is that the majority’s public reasons for its judgment are insufficient to explain the case’s outcome. It handed down a judgment that intruded on the ambit of the legislature’s authority and intervened in the highly political impeachment process; without having carefully set out legally legitimate reasons for doing so. The majority’s expressed reasons failed to substantiate the outcome at which it arrived, leaving a ‘reasoning vacuum’ waiting to be filled by competing hypotheses. One potential hypothesis gives the Court the benefit of the doubt: the majority, though handing down a ‘troubling’ decision ‘not justifiable from a ‘traditional’ separation of powers perspective’, was ultimately acting to reinforce the democratic process, in acknowledgement that Parliament had egregiously failed in its duty, as representative of the people, to hold political elites to account.

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