Courts should not encroach on our terrain: Mbete

Courts should not encroach on our terrain: Mbete

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says parliamentarians should solve problems to ensure separation of powers.

Baleka Mbete
Photo: Maryke Vermaak

Mbete has quoted the Constitution at length as she opened the debate on Parliament's R2.2 billion budget.

Mbete says the Constitution spells out the separation of the three arms of state - the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary.

The Speaker believes Parliament is able to solve problems without the involvement of courts.

"With structures such as the Rules Committee, Chief Whips Forum, and the Committee of Chairpersons, we are well placed to meaningfully resolve disagreements and effectively execute our mandate without inviting the courts to encroach on our constitutionally protected terrain," Mbete says.

Her comments come amid constitutional court bids to have President Jacob Zuma removed as head of state by the UDM and EFF.

She says the principle of separation of powers recognises the functional independence of branches of government. 

"The principle of checks and balances focuses on the importance of ensuring that the constitutional order prevents the branches of government from usurping power from one another," Mbete says.

"In this sense, it anticipates and seeks to prevent the intrusion of one branch of government on the terrain of another."

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