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.
On the face of it this does not seem like a significant victory for the NPA in building a solid case against Mr Zuma because they already have a copy of the diary in dispute which was accepted as evidence in the Shaik trial. But maybe there are other documents among the one’s requested that we have not been told of and that will help the state.
In any case, it seems clear that Mr Zuma will be recharged by the NPA later this year and that he will therefore be a defendant in a criminal trial at the time of the ANC conference in Polokwane in December.