ConCourt’s job to intervene: Zuma

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IOL pic july4 jacob zuma Independent Newspapers (File image) President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Jacques Naude

South Africa's judges are doing an excellent job, and it is the Constitutional Court's job to intervene when government policy clashes with constitutional principles, President Jacob Zuma has told Beeld newspaper.

The constitution should be strictly adhered to, and not unnecessarily tampered with, Zuma said it an interview with the newspaper, it reported on Thursday.

Zuma's support of timely Constitutional Court intervention to force the government to adhere to constitutional principles in times of policy conflict differed from his statements in Parliament last year.

At the time, he said that the executive authority (Cabinet) had the right to determine government policy, and that the courts' powers could not be seen as superior to those of the country's mandated leaders.

When Beeld asked Zuma how these opinions tied in with his current opinions, he said he supported the powers of the Constitutional Court.

He said that what made him unhappy was when people shackled the government's ability to perform its duties by going to court.

An example of this was a court challenge of his appointment of someone, who had proved themselves as a director-general, to another post, he said.

This was an apparent reference to the DA's court case related to the appointment of advocate Menzi Simelane as the national director of public prosecutions. – Sapa


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