10 January 2014

South Africa: Constitution Is a Transformative Document

press release

The Presidency has noted media reports relating to the amendment of the Constitution based on remarks by President Jacob Zuma in Mpumalanga province.

There is nothing untoward about referring to wishes to amend any part of the Constitution by any political leader or political party. The Constitution is not static. It is a transformative document.

The Constitution has been amended 18 times since the advent of our democracy in 1994.

The latest constitutional amendments are as recent as November 2012 through which Parliament approved substantive amendments to the country's Judicial System. These amendments are aimed, in particular, at strengthening the independence of the judiciary and the advancement of the rule of law.

Among other examples, the Constitution was amended through the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act in 2005 to abolish cross-border municipalities for the better coordination and strengthening of our municipalities for better service delivery.

The amendments have been effected through the necessary majority votes prescribed by the Constitution. The Constitution entrenches special majorities for the amendment of different provisions. Amendments must be in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court, as the custodian of our Constitution, is entrusted with the power of judicial review through which it can declare invalid, any amendment which is not in accordance with the Constitution and the law and which is in contravention of the rule of law which is a pillar of our democracy.

Copyright © 2014 South African Government. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.