President Jacob Zuma and south Africa’s top judge would soon meet to resolve intensifying government-judiciary row between over the state’s failure to detain Sudan’s President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in June.
Government officials say judges are biased against the state and the ruling ANC has said some were driven to “create chaos” and were guilty of ‘judicial overreach.’
He name the Cape High Court and the high court in Pretoria that heard the Bashir case as his examples.
The high court has ruled that the state was at fault in letting Bashir leave the country in spite of a global arrest warrant and a court order barring him from doing so.
Judges say the government should respect the rulings of one of the country’s most respected institutions.
“Judges, like others should be susceptible to constructive criticism. However, in this regard, the criticism should be fair and in good faith.
“Importantly the criticism should be specific and clear. General gratuitous criticism is unacceptable,” Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said at a news conference on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Supreme Court of Appeal president, Lex Mpati, re-echoed the need for respect for the courts in an interview with a local broadcaster.
“If we’re going to disrespect court orders or we’re going to want to go out and do things which are not legal or lawful, then of course we are treading on dangerous grounds,” he said.
Mogoeng has called for a meeting with Zuma, who says he will see the chief justice after the BRICS nations’ summit in Ufa, Russia. The meeting ends on Thursday.
“The president wishes to reassert his own commitment and that of the executive to the independence of the judiciary and its role as the final arbiter in all disputes”, the presidency said in a statement.