LSSA implores ruling party to respect the rule of law and the judiciary

February 1st, 2018

By Barbara Whittle

Following the unwarranted attacks on the judiciary, as a result of the judgment handed down by the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria in the matter between Corruption Watch (RF) NPC and Another v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others; Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others (GP) (unreported case no 62470/2015, 8-12-2017), the LSSA expressed its serious concern in a press release.

On behalf of the attorneys’ profession LSSA Co-chairpersons, Walid Brown and David Bekker, implored the ruling party, its leadership and its structures, to take urgent steps to:

  • openly support the judiciary, and respect the courts and their judgments;
  • decisively rebuke the African National Congress Youth League and others who unjustifiably attack and criticise the judiciary without proper grounds to do so; including personal attacks on judges and unwarranted accusations of overreaching and partiality with ludicrous threats of impeachment;
  • restore the status and dignity of the National Prosecuting Authority, so that it can serve as an independent and trusted light in the search for truth and justice for all persons in our country;
  • level with the people of South Africa as to the true intentions behind state of emergency regulations, a media tribunal and our country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court;
  • openly support and strengthen the Chapter 9 institutions;
  • show leadership; take responsibility and restore accountability;
  • deal decisively with the state of capture that our country has been mired in and, which has affected our economy, as well as our standing and credibility in the region, on our continent and internationally, by implementing the remedial action of the Public Protector in the State of Capture report, which has been declared to be binding by the Gauteng Division;
  • ensure that any state representative immediately complies with a court order and only wastes taxpayers’ funds on appeals when there are overwhelming legal merits to such an appeal (to be certified by an independent senior attorney or counsel); and
  • guarantee that the Constitution, rule of law and our constitutional democracy are secure.

 Barbara Whittle, Communication Manager, Law Society of South Africa,

 This article was first published in De Rebus in 2018 (Jan/Feb) DR 15.