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)
19 June 2009

Surprise! Paul Ngobeni is a liar

I took part in a debate with Paul Ngobeni this morning on SAFM about whether Judge President John Hlophe should be appointed to the Constitutional Court. My dear friend Paul said in his opening remarks that I had written on this Blog that I “hate” Hlophe. I was rather taken aback by this as I have never written on this Blog (or anywhere else, for that matter) that I hate anyone. Ngobeni was, in fact, telling a scurrilous lie. What I actually said was EXACTLY the opposite, and I quote:

Really, it deeply angers me that those who are charged by the Constitution to uphold the Constitution and the law could steep so low. They should be ashamed of themselves. This does not make me a person who hates the Judge President (or his lawyers). It does make me a person who is very, very angry with the Judge President. It makes me a person who is beginning to wonder whether the Judge President has the requisite moral compass required to continue serving as a judge in our beautiful democracy – regardless any finding of the JSC in the CC case against him.

Mr Ngobeni has shown a propsensity to distort both facts and the law to suit his purpose and this morning was no exception. If I was Hlophe I would feel ashamed to be associated with such blatant dishonesty. As Judge Hlophe himself has been caught telling lies, I suppose it is par for the course though.

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