The Deputy Shadow Minister of Transport has written to the Editor of the SACNS, as has been his habit for a long time, requesting that the following view be noted. We do not take sides in political matters at present although the Scripturelink Vote Service will when the next election occurs. The claims of the DA and their representatives while highly interesting are their own.
"Letter to the Editor
The Simelane ruling highlights the Zumafication of government
Earlier this month the Democratic Alliance was victorious in defending our Constitution. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) found in the DA's favour that the appointment of Menzi Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in November 2009 was unconstitutional and as a result invalid. Judge Mohamed Navsa in the delivery of a unanimous decision emphasised the fact that the legislative and executive arms of government are not above the law. Judge Navsa reminded the government that it cannot ignore, defy or subvert the Concourt.
However Zuma and his government simply do not understand this. They also do not understand our Constitution. This is evident when Zuma was being questioned during a Parliamentary session recently, he said the following; "The powers conferred on the courts cannot be superior to the powers resulting from the political and consequently administrative mandate resulting from popular democratic elections." In other words Zuma's understanding is that once a party is elected it can govern like a dictatorship presumably until the next elections when it should be able to do so until the following elections.
This scary scenario is further reinforced as more of the ANC leadership demonstrate their ignorance of how our democracy was carved out and how it should work. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe is quoted in the media as saying, "you can't have a judiciary that seeks to arrest the functioning of government" describing the Constitutional Court as a consolidation of opposition to government.
The ANC is simply ignoring the principles of separation of the powers and arms of government, especially the assurance that no government could impose their will unchecked. Again, this statement is supported by the fact that the cabinet will be appointing a research institute to review the Constitutional Court's decisions.
Almost weekly we see how President Zuma is running the country- by constructing the "Zumafication" of South Africa. An example of this is the fact that Zuma ignored concerns raised about Simelane's character during the Ginwala Commission of Inquiry into whether the then NDPP Vusi Pikoli was fit to hold office. In truth Simelane gave misleading evidence to the Ginwale Inquiry into the fitness for office of his predecessor, Vusi Pikoli.
This ruling has opened an even bigger can of worms; it is clear that the Minister of Justice, Jeff Radebe, who was supposed to have advised Zuma on Simelane's fitness for office, is loyal to President Zuma and not the Constitution. We can be sure that Radebe will continue to serve on Zuma's cabinet as it suits his plan perfectly.
Zuma's mission is simple: to "Zumafy" state institutions so that they shield and protect the President and his network from being accountable to the law for any illegal actions he may have committed.
The President is however left with a dilemma; who must he appoint as the National Director of Public Prosecutions. He needs to apply his mind this time round. If he doesn't then the potential is there that this could escalate into a constitutional crisis. For once, Zuma needs to follow the interests of the country and not himself. I somehow doubt it though.
Manny de Freitas MP
Member of Parliament
Shadow Deputy Minister for Transport
Member of Parliament for Johannesburg South