President Jacob Zuma says while government respects the independence of the Judiciary, there is nothing wrong with reviewing the South African constitution.
He was responding to African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe, who accused him of interfering in the affairs of the Constitutional Court and expecting judges to become the rubber stamp of government.
Meshoe was speaking during the State of the Nation debate, to which the President has replied. Zuma says it’s the responsibility of the executive to formulate and review policy.
“There is nothing unusual or untoward about this, the chief whip of the majority party, honorable Motshega, reminded us that constitutions the world over are dynamic and subject to review. In recognition of these facts, our constitution provides that it must be reviewed at least annually by parliament in terms of section 45 (1) C, that is why there is the constitutional review committee in parliament.”
FFPlus leader Pieter Mulder told parliament that Bantu-speaking people had no historical claim to large swathes of the country
Zuma also issued a stern warning to MPs that the question of land is an emotive one and politicians should tread carefully. He says for the majority of South Africans, it is a matter of life and death. The President says it needs to be handled with care.
Yesterday, FFPlus leader Pieter Mulder told parliament that Bantu-speaking people had no historical claim to large swathes of the country. “We urge Mulder to tread carefully, it’s an extremely sensitive matter and to the majority it is a matter of life and death. We should not provoke emotions, it is wrong,” Zuma said.
But the President’s sharp rebuke drew an angry response. The FFP’s Pieter Groenwald asked: “Mr President is it responsible leadership if some leaders in the ANC constantly say white people have stolen the land?”
Zuma answered by saying: “Honourable speaker, I don’t think the member wants me to get to how the land ended up in the hands of the minority, I said we are a responsible leadership….”
The President also says South Africa is the only country that has a programme to fight corruption.