Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said that there is no basis for reducing the powers of the Constitutional Court, Business Day reports.
The terms of reference for the Cabinet's "assessment of the judicial system and the role of the judiciary in a developmental state" are to be announced by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe - who may be able to offer some clarity as to the Cabinet's intentions for the constitutional review.
The government has continuously denied that the review is intended to undermine the independence of the judiciary but recent comments by President Jacob Zuma, regarding the need to review the powers of the Constitutional Court, agitated those who see the review as an attack on the sovereignty of the constitution.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers in Mthatha, Vavi came out strongly in support of the judiciary and the constitution, but added that democracy was about more than constitutional supremacy and the rule of law. He said the constitution, as the product of a negotiated settlement, did contain some compromises, like the property clause which constrained land reform. But as an "overall package", it remained "one of the most progressive constitutions in the world". Constitutional supremacy was a "necessary departure" from SA's apartheid past, Vavi said.
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