Sigcau v The President of the Republic of South Africa and Others

Case No.
Lower Court Judgments Hearing Date Judgment Date Majority Author

North Gauteng High Court, 12 Apr. 2012
21 Feb. 2013
13 Jun. 2013 The Court Unanimous

The case involves a challenge by Justice Mpondombini Sigcau to President’s Minutes published on 3 November 2012, under the by the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act 23 of 2009 (“New Act“), that recognized Zanuzuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau as the King of the amaPondo after an investigation by a commission appointed in terms of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 41 of 2003 (“Old Act“).

The issues involve whether the commission acted fairly, impartially and rationally, whether or not the decision it took was published within the necessary time, and whether the Constitution allows someone other than a traditional structure such as the Royal Family to determine who the King or Queen should be.  The High Court found that the Commission acted in accordance with its mandate, fairly and impartially and that the Constitution did not require only a traditional structure to be able to appoint a King or Queen.

The Constitutional Court in a unanimous judgment by the Court, constituting: Mogoeng CJ, Moseneke DCJ, Froneman J, Jafta J, Mhlantla AJ, Nkabinde J, Skweyiya J, Van der Westhuizen J and Zondo J, found that President had purported to exercise powers not conferred on him under the New Act. In addition, due to material differences between the New and Old Acts, he could be said to have issued the notice under the Old Act. Therefore, the notice recognizing Zanuzuko Tyelovuyo Sigcau was set aside.

Download the judgment here.

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