OPINION

FW de Klerk extremely concerned over Zuma's remarks

Former president to request clarification over comments on the judiciary

STATEMENT BY F W DE KLERK ON REPORTED REMARKS BY PRESIDENT ZUMA ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

I have read with extreme concern the remarks of President Zuma , that were reported in the Independent Newspapers today, that the Government wants to review the powers of the Constitutional Court.

According to his quoted remarks, President Zuma thinks that decisions of the Constitutional Court should be unanimous and apparently stated that judges were being "influenced by the media." The President is also reported as saying that "if decisions of Parliament could be challenged, there was nothing wrong with questioning the judiciary."

The President's remarks apparently have their origin in a recent discussion of the ANC's National Executive Committee. They follow criticism of our constitutional state by Deputy Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi in September last year.

If President Zuma has been reported correctly, his remarks cut at the root of the Constitution and the agreements that laid the foundations for democracy, the rule of law and national unity in South Africa.

I am accordingly writing to President to seek clarification.

I am doing so because I believe that, although I am now only a private citizen, I have a continuing fiduciary duty to all those South Africans who supported the constitutional negotiations to do whatever I can to uphold and honour the historic agreements that we reached.

Statement issued by FW de Klerk, February 13 2012

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