The DA suggested to the Department of Justice at last week’s Annual Report and Budget Review hearings that the assessment of the judgements of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, then out on tender, be abandoned and welcome the news in the Mail and Guardian today that the bidding process has been stopped.
We argued that the cost-cutting required across the board should start with this item, because absolutely nothing would come of the exercise. The amount of money is small in the larger scheme of things, but the trouble it has caused and would continue to cause is great.
The exercise was tainted from the day when Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said that President Zuma’s remarks about a review of the Constitutional Court’s powers should be seen against the background of the proposed assessment of its jurisprudence.
It was suspect also because its goal was said to be the achievement of interdependence and interface between the independent branches of state, a contradiction in terms.
Nothing would have come of the exercise because the independence of the judicial branch is in fact being enhanced by the laws currently before the Justice Committee, the 17th Constitutional Amendment and Superior Courts Bills.
We trust that the assessment will be permanently abandoned.