UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

SEPARATION OF POWERS IMPERATIVE

STATEMENT ISSUED BY MS A VAN WYK, MP
UDM CAUCUS LIAISON OFFICER

The UDM welcomes the judgement handed by Justice Brian Southwood in the Pretoria High Court yesterday regarding the Law on Magistrate Courts and the Law on Magistrates, in which the honourable judge declared the powers exercised by the Minister of Justice in terms of these laws are unconstitutional.

The UDM concurs with the judgement in that it highlights the imperative importance of separation of powers that are pivotal to a successful democracy. This is also the third such defeat that the Minister has been dealt; following his spate of political muscle flexing over the legal fraternity. The power thirst of the Minister is a reflection of the ongoing attempts of the ANC government to interfere with the cogs of successful democracy thereby undermining the processes of growth and maturity of our country.

The UDM calls on the Constitutional Court to confirm the High Courts decision and thus force political powers to act in accordance with the law and Constitution.

Ms A Van Wyk, MP
UDM Caucus Liaison Officer

Cape Town
6 June 2001