Cabinet held a special meeting today, 6 July, 2011.
Cabinet met to consider and subsequently approved the draft Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, 2011.
The Bill seeks to amend the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No. 47 of 2001) which provides for the appointment of judges, including the Chief Justice.
President Zuma duly extended the Chief Justice’s term of office for a period of 5 years with effect from 15 August 2011in accordance with section 8(a) of the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act.
Cabinet remains confident about the Presidents legislative and constitutional authority in extending the term of office of the Chief Justice. The Cabinet is also confident that the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act is constitutional.
The Cabinet notes that section 165 (4) of the Constitution obliges organs of state, through legislative and other measures to assist and protect the courts to ensure the independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and their effectiveness.
The Bill applies to the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Appeal and provides that if either has not completed a period of seven years of active service, must continue to perform active service until either completes seven years or attains the age of 75 years whichever occurs first.
The Bill also provides for the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Appeal to be discharged from active service at their request, subject to the approval of the President or through infirmity.
Cabinet also congratulated the South African team, who arrived yesterday from the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Greece, who brought home a total of 71 medals and countless ribbons. Cabinet is proud of our team for its achievement of 38 gold, 20 silver and 13 bronze medals respectively in swimming, track and field, basketball, bocce, soccer, golf and table tennis.
Harold Maloka (Spokesperson in The Presidency)
Cell: 082 379 3454
Issued on behalf on Cabinet by The Presidency