Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma is to meet with disgruntled judges and other judicial officers in Pretoria on Thursday to try to iron out their differences.
This was after comments by senior government ministers that some court verdicts were biased.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng rejected the allegations, and requested a meeting with Zuma to discuss them.
In July, Zuma said he would do so on return from a trip to Russia.
At the time, it was reported that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko told senior managers of the Independent Police Investigating Directorate (IPID) that there were “interesting” elements in the judiciary who “meet with characters to produce certain judgments”.
He did not mention any specific cases.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe also expressed concern about the judiciary interfering with the executive and the legislature, through “judicial overreach”.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said at the close of the SA Communist Party special national congress in July: “For courts to rule on parliamentary rules that are made by Parliament, that’s really over-reaching.”
He was speaking in his capacity as SACP general secretary at that time.
Zuma’s office said on Wednesday that he would host the meeting of the executive and the judiciary to discuss the working relations between the two arms of State.
The meeting at the Union Building is expected to enhance co-operation between them and underscore the rule of law as a “fundamental tenet to the country’s constitutional order”.