LSSA expresses grave concern at views by President Zuma on the courts

April 25th, 2016

Compiled by Barbara Whittle

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) expressed its grave concern at the comments relating to the courts made by President Jacob Zuma when addressing a gathering of Traditional Leaders in Pretoria on 7 April.

‘The principle of audi alteram partem – or ‘listen to the other side’ – is vested in our legal system, and the insinuation that our courts listen only to one side of a story is ludicrous,’ said LSSA Co-chairpersons Mvuso Notyesi and Jan van Rensburg in a press release.

They added: ‘The fact that this address – and the views relating to the courts – was made shortly after our highest court, the Constitutional Court, found that the President’s actions in relation to the Public Protector’s ‘Secure in Comfort’ report had been inconsistent with the Constitution, illustrates the President’s persistence in flouting the Rule of Law.’

The Co-chairpersons stress that the President’s comments were regrettable and called on him to acknowledge clearly that South Africa
is a constitutional democracy where the Rule of Law, the courts, the judiciary and the judgments of the courts must be respected by all, including the government and the Head of State.

Compiled by Barbara Whittle, communication manager, Law Society of South Africa,

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2016 (May) DR 19.