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)
23 April 2007

What a surprise

The Public Protector, Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, has announced that his office will not investigate Chippy Shaik over arms deal bribery allegations. The Sowetan reports:

Mushwana said the Public Protector did not have powers to conduct criminal investigations and to institute prosecutions. “It is therefore for the National Prosecuting Authority to decide whether the allegations made by Der Spiegel warrant any further investigation in South Africa, at this time.” According to Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, Shaik, brother of convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, was allegedly paid a US3 million (about R21 million) bribe by one of the arms-deal bidding companies.

The Public Protector does have the power to investigate corruption and then to refer the matter to the NPA for criminal investigation. Guess Chippy has friends in high places and the Wise One is not prepared to upset them. If only I could feign surprise….

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