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)
14 January 2009

Where to now for Mr Zuma, legally speaking?

Here is my take, published on News24, trying to answer this question. Money qoute:

If Mr Zuma therefore has a strong case to answer (as he clearly has – even Bulelani Ngcuka said so when he declined to prosecute Mr Zuma), it would be irrelevant if that case was only brought to court for political reasons. Mr Zuma’s best bet now is to argue that the case has dragged on so long and the reporting in the media has so tainted the minds of every judge in South Africa that it would be impossible for any judge to hear such a case with an open mind and afford Mr Zuma a fair trial.

That is an extremely high hurdle to overcome and few judges would grant such an application. But Mr Zuma does have another ace up his sleeve. If Parliament confirms the firing of the NDPP, Mr Vusi Pikoli, and if President Motlanthe then appoints, shall we say, a more disciplined member of the ANC as head of the NPA, the “political solution” to his legal troubles might yet be found.

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