Constitution amendments normal: Presidency

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pretoria - There was nothing untoward about referring to wishes to amend any part of the Constitution by any political leader or political party, the Presidency said in a statement.

This follows media reports which questioned President Jacob Zuma’s call to people to give the ruling a ANC majority in this year’s election to allow the party to effect changes in the constitution. Zuma reportedly made the remarks in Mpumalanga where the ANC is unveiling its manifesto and celebrating its 102 years anniversary.

“The Constitution is not static. It is a transformative document. The Constitution has been amended 18 times since the advent of our democracy in 1994,” said the Presidency.  

The latest constitutional amendments were as recent as November 2012 through which Parliament approved substantive amendments to the country’s Judicial System.  These amendments were aimed, in particular, at strengthening the independence of the judiciary and the advancement of the rule of law. 

Among other examples, the Constitution was amended through the Constitution Twelfth Amendment Act in 2005 to abolish cross-border municipalities for the better coordination and strengthening of our municipalities for better service delivery.

“The amendments have been effected through the necessary majority votes prescribed by the Constitution.The Constitution entrenches special majorities for the amendment of different provisions. Amendments must be in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution”. 

The Constitutional Court, as the custodian of the country’s Constitution, is entrusted with the power of judicial review through which it can declare invalid, any amendment which is not in accordance with the Constitution and the law and which is in contravention of the rule of law which is a pillar of our democracy. –




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