Quote of the week

Once the powers and functions have been assigned, the Deputy President and Ministers are responsible for the executive powers and functions assigned to them. These provisions make plain that members of the Cabinet are accountable independently and collectively to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and performance of their functions. For good measure, section 92(3) of the Constitution restates the obvious which is that, when they exercise the powers assigned to them, members of the Cabinet must act in accordance with the Constitution. This is significant because once Cabinet ministers are assigned powers and functions by the President they are not mere vassals of the President. They bear the duty and the responsibility to fulfil the duties and functions so assigned which in practice take the form of political and executive leadership of specified state departments. The Constitution makes the point that besides the duty to account to the head of the national executive, cabinet ministers bear the responsibility to report and account to Parliament on how they execute their executive duties.

Moseneke DCJ
Von Abo v President of the Republic of South Africa (CCT 67/08) [2009] ZACC 15; 2009 (10) BCLR 1052 (CC) ; 2009 (5) SA 345 (CC) (5 June 2009)
11 March 2016

Invite: UCT Law Dean in conversation with Navi Pillay

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