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)
28 May 2008

Scorpions bombshell coming?

The Citizen reports this morning that Parliament has done an about-turn and launched a “desperate” last-minute bid against a Johannesburg businessman’s urgent High Court interdict application against disbanding the Scorpions.

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairman Johannes Mahlangu filed affidavits with the Pretoria High Court on Monday, asking to present their case if Glenister intends to interdict Parliament.

From what I hear from lawyers and going on what was said in the media, it might well be that Mbete has gotten wind that the Court will rule against the government and the ANC leadership in Parliament is now trying to stop this from happening.

If the court rules in favour of the Johanneburg businesman it would be truly a legal bombshell. The judge will become the hero of the chattering classes and the villian of the new ANC eladership. Thing is, it is the same judge who acquitted Jacob Zuma on rape charges so vilifying him might be awkward.

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