Thursday, 31 March 2016

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng spells out what it means to be president in a constitutional democracy


This is an extract from the judgement delivered by the Constitutional Court in the Nkandla matter:
"The President is the Head of State and Head of the national Executive. His is indeed the highest calling to the highest office in the land. He is the first citizen of this country and occupies a position indispensable for the effective governance of our democratic country.
"Only upon him has the constitutional obligation to uphold‚ defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic been expressly imposed.
"The promotion of national unity and reconciliation falls squarely on his shoulders. As does the maintenance of orderliness‚ peace‚ stability and devotion to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people.
"Whoever and whatever poses a threat to our sovereignty‚ peace and prosperity he must fight.
"To him is the executive authority of the entire Republic primarily entrusted. He initiates and gives the final stamp of approval to all national legislation. And almost all the key role players in the realisation of our constitutional vision and the aspirations of all our people are appointed and may ultimately be removed by him.
"Unsurprisingly‚ the nation pins its hopes on him to steer the country in the right direction and accelerate our journey towards a peaceful‚ just and prosperous destination‚ that all other progress-driven nations strive towards on a daily basis.
"He is a constitutional being by design‚ a national pathfinder‚ the quintessential commander-in-chief of State affairs and the personification of this nation’s constitutional project."
This is what the court found:
"An order will thus be made that the President’s failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector is inconsistent with his obligations to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic."

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