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Constitutional Law

Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. We've identified some articles that may be of interest to readers below.

Labour broker case in ConCourt this week

The protracted dispute between labour brokers and casual workers over the interpretation of section 198a of the Labour Relations Act will reach the Constitutional Court on Thursday. A Business Day report notes the issue – which has been before the CCMA, the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court – centres on the question about who is the rightful employer in the relationship between labour brokers, clients and employees.

AfriForum to test Zuma's commission regulations

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 19 February 2018
Constitutional Law Criminal Law
Civil rights organisation AfriForum is to submit an urgent application to the Constitutional Court today to put aside former President Jacob Zuma’s last attempt to escape criminal prosecution. A week ago, just a few days before his resignation, Zuma published the regulations with the mandate to which the state capture commission of inquiry must comply.

Zuma banks on the supremacy of Parliament

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 09 February 2018
Constitutional Law
President Jacob Zuma’s refusal to relinquish the top job is asserting the supremacy of Parliament over the authority of the party. ‘He is daring the ANC leadership to put a motion of no confidence to the National Assembly and to use the party’s majority to vote him out of office,’ says Wits University’s Professor Roger Southall, in an analysis on The Conversation site.

Judgment reserved in firearms licence challenge

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 08 February 2018
Civil Rights Constitutional Law Litigation
The Minister of Police yesterday asked the Constitutional Court not to confirm that two sections in the Firearms Control Act were unconstitutional. According to a TimesLIVE report, the sections‚ if declared unconstitutional‚ will disrupt the police’s goal of regulating firearm ownership by requiring that each firearm owner has a licence which expires after a certain period.

Date set for 'conflicted' Zuma hearing

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 07 February 2018
Constitutional Law
The Constitutional Court has set down 28 February to hear an application that seeks to confirm President Jacob Zuma was too conflicted to appoint Shaun Abrahams as National Director of Public Prosecutions.

MEC takes school language case to ConCourt

The Gauteng Education Department will approach the Constitutional Court directly to challenge the Overvaal school decision, MEC Panyaza Lesufi said. The department's legal team met the national Department of Basic Education on Monday and will file an appeal on Friday, Lesufi said.

Pistorius' appeal arguments not constitutional

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 26 January 2018
Constitutional Law Criminal Law
It is clear from Oscar Pistorius’ submissions to the Constitutional Court that his application is based on questions of fact disguised as constitutional issues, according to the prosecution, which yesterday filed opposing papers in Pistorius’ bid to appeal his prison sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Landmark housing delivery judgment

A precedent-setting judgment by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) will have significant implications for thousands of people waiting for government-subsidised housing, and for state institutions dragging their feet over housing delivery. GroundUp reports that the City of Ekurhuleni was ordered to build 133 houses by 31 December this year for successful applicants, some who have been waiting as long as 20 years.

English ruled to be official language at university

The University of the Free State’s sole language of instruction is now officially English after the Constitutional Court refused AfriForum leave to appeal a judgment of the SCA that upheld the university's appeal against a High Court order which said the policy decision was unlawful. A BusinessLIVE report notes AfriForum and Solidarity had appealed to the Constitutional Court, after the SCA overturned the judgment of the Free State High Court (Bloemfontein), which reviewed and set aside the language policy adopted by the university senate in 2016.

Pistorius takes 'unfair' sentence appeal to ConCourt

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 08 January 2018
Constitutional Law Criminal Law Litigation
Oscar Pistorius, arguing the SCA exceeded its powers and violated his rights to a fair trial following the recent decision to increase his murder sentence to 13 years, has applied to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the sentence. In his application, notes a News24 report, he submitted the SCA ‘impermissibly disregarded or ignored’ factual findings the original trial court found to be substantial and compelling evidence.

Another judgment day for 'conflicted' Zuma

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Constitutional Law Litigation
Less than a week after President Jacob Zuma was stripped of one of his crucial powers by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), the same court will rule on his executive powers again today, notes a Business Day report. Last Friday, a full Bench of the court ordered that Zuma cannot appoint, suspend or remove the National Director of Public Prosecutions for the remainder of his term in office as he was found to have a conflict of interest as he faced possible serious charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Salem land is common ground

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Constitutional Law Litigation Property Law
The indigenous community of Salem in the Eastern Cape does not have exclusive rights to the thousand hectares of valuable farmland that makes up the Salem Commonage‚ the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday in dismissing the settlers’ appeal against judgments of the Land Claims Court and the SCA.

Move to short-circuit Zuma, NPA appeals

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 11 December 2017
Constitutional Law Litigation
The judiciary is under fire again from sections of the ANC following Friday’s Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) judgment (see report below), which found President Jacob Zuma had been ‘reckless’ to the point of lying in unlawfully paying off Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana to vacate the office of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), and effectively labelled current NPA boss Shaun Abrahams a Zuma lackey.

Banks class action set for High Court

With the Constitutional Court having refused to hear the R60bn class action suit launched against the major lending banks, the case is heading to the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) early in the new year. The class action suit was filed in the Constitutional Court in August by more than 225 applicants whose homes were repossessed and sold at sheriffs’ auctions for a fraction of their market value.

Employer's unilateral salary deductions 'unconstitutional'

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 08 December 2017
Constitutional Law Employment Law Litigation
The Constitutional Court has confirmed that a section of the Public Service Act‚ which permitted an employer to make unilateral deductions from an employee’s salary‚ is unconstitutional. The court confirmed the order by the Labour Court in January‚ which concerned a health manager who was erroneously overpaid for a number of years. Itunu Ibogu‚ a senior administrator at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital‚ found herself owing the Gauteng Health Department close to R800 000 after being erroneously appointed in the wrong position in 2010.

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