Zuma: Govt will respect & comply with all court orders

The president yesterday reaffirmed his Cabinet’s commitment to the independence of the judiciary.

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Aurelie Kalenga/EWN.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma has reaffirmed his Cabinet's commitment to the independence of the judiciary, agreeing to comply and respect all court orders.

The president on Thursday chaired a meeting of the executive and the judiciary at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, to discuss working relations between the two arms of state.

The meeting was at the request of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng after concerns about criticism of the judiciary by members of Cabinet.

Mogoeng called the unprecedented meeting after calls were made, which he says made unfair attacks on the court.

He had said that any attack on the judiciary must be specific and clear.

But on Thursday after an eight hour meeting, Zuma said the judiciary and the executive reached common ground.

"Court orders should be respected and complied with."

This resolution comes after the judiciary raised concerns when government disobeyed a court order and allowed Sudanese President Omar al Bashir to leave the country.

'SA'S DEMOCRACY IS HEALTHY'

Mogoeng says it's the responsibility of the judiciary to interpret the Constitution and the law, and that that will never change.

He says there's no Constitutional crisis and that South Africa's democracy is healthy.

Mogoeng called the meeting with the president after African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe was quoted as saying the Constitutional Court judges were part of counter revolutionary forces.

But the Chief Justice says the resolutions taken by the executive and the judiciary will help them move forward, making South Africa a better place.

"I confirm the statement read out by the president as being a true reflection of the undertakings that we collectively made as we move forward."

The two arms of state have committed to, among other things, exercising care and caution in their public statements while criticising one another without being antagonistic.