5 October 2012

South Africa: DA Pleased With Concourt Victory in Simelane Appointment

press release

Earlier this morning the Constitutional Court ruled that the appointment of Advocate Menzi Simelane was unlawful, unconstitutional and that it should be set aside. The Democratic Alliance is pleased with this final ruling, which confirmed the earlier decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal, and which also denied the appeal lodged by Adv. Simelane in his personal capacity.

This ruling marks the end of a long legal battle that the Democratic Alliance undertook to protect the integrity of the office of the National Director of Public Prosecution (NDPP) - an important and constitutionally independent office - and to ensure that the President fulfils his constitutional responsibility to uphold the independence and competence of the NDPP.

Today marks an important victory for all those South Africans from all parties who value and treasure the Constitution, and hope to see it respected by our leaders. The ruling demonstrates that power abuse can be prevented by the courts, even when it is perpetrated at the highest levels of our government. The court has now confirmed that Adv. Simelane should never have been appointed, and President Zuma must now appoint someone new to the position - someone who is fit and proper, and who can act without fear or favour, and entirely independently in their role as the state's chief prosecutor. To comply with the judgment, Adv. Simelane should vacate his position immediately. In other constitutional democracies, a President would also be required to resign under such circumstances.

We will continue with our case to review the decision to withdraw corruption charges against President Zuma, which we believe was also irrational and unlawful.

Helen Zille, Leader of the Democratic Alliance

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