Parliament is opposing AfriForum's application to the High Court Western Cape Division (Cape Town), asking the court to declare Parliament's adoption of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) report on the possible review of Section 25 of the Constitution constitutionally invalid.
Parliament's basis for opposing this application - scheduled for hearing tomorrow - is that the relief AfriForum is seeking has become moot. This is because the process of potentially amending Section 25 of the Constitution has moved far beyond the factual background underlying AfriForum's application and makes the relief it seeks of no consequence.
To read Parliament's full affidavit on this matter, from Dr. Mathole Motshekga, please click: https://tinyurl.com/y3ut42aq
Parliament has already considered and adopted the CRC Report. This happened in December 2018, after the court dismissed AfriForum's application for an interim interdict to stop Parliament from adopting the Report. The court affirmed Parliament's constitutional right to independently determine and conduct its business, without undue interference.
Subsequent to the adoption of the CRC Report, Parliament has established an Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution. As it is now public knowledge, the Ad Hoc Committee has since considered the matter and, among other things, published a draft Bill. The Bill aims to amend the Constitution to provide that, where land and improvements on it are expropriated for purposes of land reform, compensation payable may be nil.
In this context, it is Parliament's contention that this entire application has now become moot.
Members of the media wishing to follow tomorrow's High Court proceedings should send their details to Mr. Mlindi Mpindi on firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the Parliamentary Communication Services WhatsApp group, for a link. The media must forward their requests using their official email addresses (no private emails).