The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) once again reiterates its previous condemnation against any attack on the judiciary. In particular, we now again strongly condemn the disturbing personal attack by a branch of the ANC Youth League and by Mr Mzwanele Manyi, on Judge Bashier Vally as a result of Judge Vally’s judgment against President Zuma, in the North Gauteng High Court last week. Such unwarranted attacks appear to have the sole aim of undermining the judiciary and thereby fail to be in the interest of society.
The court ordered the President to submit the record and reasons of the decision to reshuffle his Cabinet on 31 March 2017. The LSSA has noted the announcement by President Zuma that he has filed an application for leave to appeal the decision of the court. It is the President’s right to do this.
‘It is, however, established law that executive decisions are subject to a challenge based on legality and rationality, as was conceded by the President in this matter. But even if this were not the case, we are shocked by the disturbing accusations against Judge Vally – and the judiciary in general -- and regard them as an attack on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary,’ say LSSA Co-Chairpersons Walid Brown and David Bekker.
Should they feel strongly about their convictions, the LSSA urges the complainants to submit these complaints with full grounds to the Judicial Service Commission for urgent investigation, as this is the correct body to investigate such serious allegations against a judge.
The LSSA further urges the African National Congress and Government to distance themselves from these irresponsible public statements, which in the absence of substantiated allegations, must be seen as an attack on the judiciary.
The Law Society of South Africa brings together its six constituent members – the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, the Black Lawyers Association and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers – in representing South Africa’s 25 200 attorneys and 5 700 candidate attorneys.