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)
7 November 2006

Tidbits from SCA Shaik judgement

I was struck by one paragraph in the SCA judgment in Shaik v S.

On 9 February 2000, a newspaper, City Press, reported under the heading ‘Senior defence official in arms corruption scandal’:
‘Claims under scrutiny include that:

  • a senior politician intervened to reopen negotiations for the contract to provide the corvette defence suite, after which French outfit Thomson, together with a local empowerment group, African Defence Systems, were declared the preferred bidders.
  • this was after a different local company received indications it was the preferred bidder.’

As was stated by the court below the report ‘clearly identified Thomson as one of the culprits in the allegations of corruption and left the identity of the senior politician to guesswork and rumour’. On the same day the Presidency issued a statement rejecting ‘any insinuation that Deputy President Jacob Zuma is implicated in shady arms deals’.

Zuma’s name was not mentioned in the report. Why would the office of the President issue a denial which in effect confirmed the existence of the allegations against Zuma. Grist for the mill for those who beleive in the conspiracy.

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