Zuma, Chief Justice & Parliament's presiding officers to meet

The meeting is aimed at strengthening working relations & cooperation between various arms of state.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma will today host a meeting with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and Parliament's presiding officers.

His office says it's aimed at further strengthening working relations and cooperation between the various arms of state.

It comes after senior judges pushed for a meeting in August with the President to discuss criticism of the judiciary by cabinet ministers and politicians.

In August, the executive and the judiciary agreed to show mutual respect by exercising care when making critical public pronouncements.

They also agreed court orders should be respected and complied with.

Now, Zuma is including National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise.

Presidential spokesperson Bongani Majola said, "We hope that the meeting will discuss some of the concerns, for example that the legislature has had on courts, pronouncing on Parliament matters and vice versa."

Majola said the meeting will be held at president's official Cape Town residence, Genadendal.

SA'S DEMOCRACY IS HEALTHY

After the meeting in August, Mogoeng said it was the responsibility of the judiciary to interpret the Constitution and the law, and that will never change.

He said there's no constitutional crisis and that South Africa's democracy is healthy.

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

But the Chief Justice said 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.