Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has a week to explain why he should not personally pay the legal costs for a case where the Department of Home Affairs ignored a court order for three years.
The Constitutional Court has given Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and the department's director-general a week to explain why they should not personally pay the legal costs for a recent court case that saw the department admit to ignoring a court order for three years while providing a flimsy explanation for so doing.
The department recently approached the court to request that the order, made in 2017, be "revived" after it had lapsed. Neither the minister nor the DG tendered any apology for the delay or for not coming to court sooner. Instead, they blamed the 2019 elections, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic and a fire at Parliament, both of which took place long after the court deadline had passed.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo questioned the Home Affairs lawyer, advocate Mike Bofilatos SC, about why the department had not bothered to apologise.
"I may have missed this in the papers. But I don't see any apology from the minister or the director-general for what happened here. The order expired without the minister and the director-general approaching this court asking for an extension. That is the usual thing to do," Zondo said.
He went on...