File picture: Sizwe Ndingane
Johannesburg – South Africa's democratic institutions and the judiciary should be enhanced and transformed to be able to discharge their respective duties effectively, according to an African National Congress policy discussion document released on Sunday.
"The objective and subjective reasons that have resulted in the mushrooming of referrals to these institutions of issues that could be resolved in the political and policy sphere – a form of law-fare – should be identified and resolved," the document states.
"Besides weaknesses in government in managing unsavoury developments, this trend also reflects attempts on the part of some privileged sectors of society to undermine the popular electoral mandate."
The ANC government has had to deal with the aftermath of major court judgments, including the Nkandla debacle by the Constitutional Court and the recent judgment on government's move to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has been deemed unconstitutional and invalid by the High Court, among others.
Such developments are not favourable as it tends to put the judiciary in running the country, the document states. "This has an effect of sucking the judiciary into the maelstrom of day to day societal management and thus unnecessarily spluttering it with mud."
Each arm of government – the executive, judiciary, and legislature – "should play their role in the context of the doctrine of separation of powers," it said. The governing party released its policy discussion documents on Sunday.
Its policy conference will take place at the end of June and will be followed by the national elective conference set for December.