Newsroom/Press Releases/

Does President Zuma abide by the oath he took to uphold the Constitution?

Dene Smuts, Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
13 February 2012

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the alacrity with which Mr Mac Maharaj has responded to our urgent public call for clarification of President Zuma's call for review of the Constitutional Court's power.

The Presidential spokesperson says the President's remarks should be seen in the context of Cabinet's 2011 decision to assess the impact of the Concourt's rulings.

But if that is the context then it simply means that the assessment will purport to tell us which rulings are not "correct", in what way the Concourt's wings can consequently be clipped to prevent further ideological (or logical as the President suggested) error, and how the separation of the powers can be curtailed.

Of course the analysis of Concourt jurisprudence by scholars and writers is not unusual, as Maharaj protests. It is the fact that the executive is undertaking or commissioning the exercise that guaranteed that it would be greeted with scepticism. President Zuma's remarks and Maharaj 's clarification now guarantee that it will be seen to undermine the judiciary. Cabinet should abandon the attempt. You don't need a study to know the Concourt's work has been transformative.

The President's views remain the problem. Does he or does he not abide by the oath he took to uphold the Constitution?