President reassures opposition

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has reassured opposition parties that he hasn't appointed a new Chief Justice.

He met with the Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Athol Trollip, in Tuynhuys, Cape Town, on Wednesday.

During a photo opportunity, the President and Mr Trollip confirmed they had discussed the recent controversy over the President's announcement that he has nominated Sandile Ngcobo as Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court.

This had led to the Opposition parties criticising the nomination of Ngcobo saying the process was unconstitutional.

Since then, they have failed to meet a deadline to nominate other candidates for the highest judicial post in the country.

Instead, they have embarked on a public campaign for their preferred candidate, Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

The President was clear in what he meant and said the statement had said "nomination" and "it was a slip of the tongue" when he said he "appointed" Justice Ngcobo.

He explained this to Trollip in their discussion and said that he was still applying his mind and will consider input from the Opposition parties.

"I am not appointing; I am nominating; I have explained that I am nominating Sandile Ngcobo as the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, and I have consulted with the current Chief Justice and the leaders of the Opposition parties".