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The Umkhoto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has noted with dismay the decision of the Northern Gauteng High Court, which was yesterday read out by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, to the effect that the current Director of Public Prosecution (NDPP) must vacate his position, and that President Jacob Zuma is stripped of his constitutional right and duty to appoint the National Director of Public Prosecutions, and furthermore that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should appoint a new NDPP within 60 days. This was done despite the fact that there is no provision in the Constitution for the Deputy President to be simply appointed to take over this important duty of the President. The ruling is serious judicial over-reach by the judiciary, and comes perilously close to a judicial coup against our democratically elected President.
This decision flies in the face of the fundamental legal maxim that every citizen is innocent until found guilty by a court of law. It must be pointed out that President Zuma has not been found guilty of any crime at all, yet with this outrageous decision the Northern Gauteng High Court behaves towards him as if he is already found guilty and sentenced. In effect the court is saying that President is to be stripped off his rights as a citizen and Head of State. The President has had to face this kind of kangaroo court behaviour for years now in the manner that the mainstream media, who are in the ownership of White Monopoly Capital, treats him as if he is a convicted criminal, but for a High Court now to behave in a similar manner is indeed a new low water mark and a very serious situation.
MKMVA is left with the distinct impression that this judgement has the intention to influence the outcome of the current contestation for the ANC Presidency. There can be no doubt that the judges who took this contentious decision are fully aware that they have done so barely a week away from the start of the African National Congress’ National Elective Conference, and that Deputy President Ramaphosa is a prominent candidate contesting for the position of ANC president. There can be no doubt that this ruling both in its content and timing is intended to favour the candidacy of the Deputy President. In having done so the justices have compromised the judiciary, and undermined the independence of the judiciary as one of the three critical pillars that must uphold our constitutional democracy.
MKMVA has before warned about the dangers of judicial over-reach and some justices getting involved in politics, with this judgement a critical boundary has now flagrantly been breached, and it cannot be left unchallenged. Exactly because MKMVA respects our courts and the judicial system we are of the opinion that this judgement not only undermines the Constitution’s provisions with regards to the powers of the Executive, but also compromises and endangers the rule of the judiciary. It was therefore of critical importance that this judgement should be appealed, and we commend the President for his swift decision to do so.
We also commend the President for not having allowed himself to be provoked, and for the balanced manner in which he responded to this outrageous ruling.
The following three paragraphs in the media statement that the Presidency issued deserve to be emphasized over and over:
“The National Prosecuting Authority is an important institution in our constitutional democracy, appointments in respect of which are not made lightly.”
Together with judges, who likewise are appointed by the President, National Director of Public Prosecutions plays a vital role in the criminal justice system. Minded by the principle of the separation of powers, constitutional legality and the rule of law, the judgement will be appealed.”
“out of deference to the court and the judicial system, these grounds will be properly ventilated in the normal course of court proceedings.”
MKMVA applauds the President for the patriotic and balanced manner in which he approaches this serious situation.
As liberation fighters, who have put our very lives on the line for attaining our democratic state as defined by the Constitution that governs our institutions, MKMVA wants to reiterate that we will defend the sovereignty of South Africa and oppose any attempts from whichever courter to capture our democratic state – whether it is by White Monopoly Capital, elements within the judiciary or by anyone else.
Media Statement issued by Carl Niehaus, MKMVA NEC member and National Spokesperson of MKMVA. Mobile number: 0827962626