News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
16 Dec 2017
5:48 am

ANC put in the dock

Ilse de Lange

Unjustified attacks on judiciary must be rebuked – LSSA.

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) is calling on the ANC to take urgent steps to openly support the judiciary and respect the courts after virulent criticism following a series of judgments against President Jacob Zuma and senior government officials.

In less than a week, the High Court in Pretoria set aside as unlawful the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), confirmed former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report and its remedial action as binding and granted two personal punitive costs orders against the president for ill-advised and reckless litigation.

The court found Zuma was conflicted because of the criminal charges he faced and prima facie evidence of his involvement in state capture and took away his powers to appoint a new NDPP and to name the judge to preside over a state capture commission of inquiry.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will appoint the NDPP and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will name the judge for the state capture inquiry.

Zuma lodged an appeal against the ruling that he may not appoint an NDPP, saying it effectively left SA “with two presidents” while the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution lodged an application with the Constitutional Court to confirm the ruling.

The LSSA added its voice to the Black Lawyers Association, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Cape Law Society and other legal practitioners calling on the ANC to protect the constitution, rule of law and the independence of the legal profession and judiciary.

It called on the ANC to rebuke its youth league and others who “unjustifiably attack and criticise the judiciary without proper grounds, including personal attacks on judges and unwarranted accusations of overreaching and partiality with ludicrous threats”.

The profession also called on the ANC to level with citizens about the true intentions of state of emergency regulations, the media tribunal and SA’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.

– ilsedl@citizen.co.za

Judge orders NPA head Shaun Abrahams to vacate his position

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