By Carl Niehaus
Judge Bashier Vally
What an amazing collection of generalisations has judge Bashier Vally presented to us as reasons for his extraordinary judicial over-reach ruling that President Zuma has to provide the Democratic Alliance (DA) with his reasons for the cabinet reshuffle!
The reasons that judge Vally presented can only be described as his own subjective opinion, informed by highly selective cherry-picking of only those views held by some people in society, that suits him.
Let’s analyse the reasons that he provided sentence by sentence:
⁃ “The announcement caused a great deal of consternation for a significant proportion of the populace”. There is not a single verifiable fact – or quantification – in this whole sentence. On what factual evidence does the learned judge base this finding? His own consternation or unhappiness where he was sitting on his couch watching the cabinet announcement on television? Can he tell us whether it is not equally possible that the majority of the population were actually unperturbed and perfectly happy with the President’s decision? I do not know if that is the case, but by the same token the judge also does not know whether this is the case.
⁃ “It is no exaggeration to say it was received with shock, alarm and dismay by many.” Is the honourable Judge sure that he is not actually exaggerating (what yardstick is he using to come to the conclusion that it is “no exaggeration“)? His own subjective sense of shock? Oh, and I also cannot help but to wonder what he means by “many”?… A hundred, a thousand, a million?… Who actually knows?… And how many people were actually pleased with the decision? There are also “many” people who expressed their happiness with, and support for, the decision… A hundred, a thousand, a million? … Eish, we are truly on subjective quicksand here!
⁃ “One reason for this is that it came on the heels of an extensive public complaint that incessant malversation has imbedded itself in our public life and that the country was mired in the quicksand of corruption.” Wow, the hyperbolic generalisations are even worse than the terrible sentence construction – and that takes some doing! “One reason” for the so-called unquantified outrage is this ‘extensive public complaint’ about “incessant malversation“, so there may be other reasons too, but the learned judge does not find it necessary to share those with us… So I (or anyone else) may find our own reasons, which as far as I am concerned should also include the false news and propaganda produced by the mainstream media, who are owned by White Monopoly Capital, because they are unhappy with the President’s appointments for the position of Minister and Deputy-Minister of Finance, because these threaten their control of the Treasury. Is there any objective or verifiable reason why my understanding of how certain sectors of public opinion is being manipulated, that makes it any more subjective than judge Vally’s reasoning? Oh, and we are “mired in the quicksand of corruption”? Really? Is there a single quantifiable objective fact being presented here, or are we just expected to accept this subjective opinionated generalisation as fact? I dare the honourable judge to find any academic worth his or her salt who will be prepared to do so!
⁃ “The Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of Finance perform important functions, that amongst others, involve the control of the public purse.” Well, nothing surprising here, this is to state the obvious, accept if judge Vally is implying that the two new appointees will not be able to carry out this duty. The question then arises, on what does he base this shadow that he casts over them? These are two senior ANC members with substantial governance experience – the aspersions that the judge raised are purely subjective and entirely unsubstantiated!
⁃ “It is these dismissal decisions (the decisions) that have prompted the applicant, a registered political party, to approach this court on an urgent basis to essentially review the decisions…” Yes, that is true, but what prompted the honourable Judge to have made the extraordinary decision that he made that the President must provide the DA with all the relevant documentation that informed his decisions, and must explain his decision to them? Having dissected and analysed the judge’s own words above, the only reasonable conclusion that one can come to is that he was informed by his own very subjective and biased understanding of the situation.
Yet, somehow judge Vally wants us – as reasonable citizens – to accept that this is actually good enough reason for him to cast aside the constitutional prerogative of the President to constitute cabinet!
I am sorry My Lord you have over-reached yourself and your judicial authority. This is just not going to fly… The only thing it does is to fly strait in the face of what any reasonable citizen should expect from you as a judge.
In my opinion it is time that the JSC tells you to take your jacket and get out of Chambers before you cause even more embarrassment to yourself and the judiciary.
*Carl Niehaus is a former member of the NEC of the ANC and MK veteran.
All Carl’s articles can also be found on his blog, Carl’s Corner: www.carlniehaus.co.za