||Lower Court Judgments||Hearing Date||Judgment Date||Majority Author
||North Gauteng High Court, 3 Sep. 2012||19 Feb. 2013
||23 May 2013||Nkabinde J.||Unanimous|
By Duncan Wild on 23 May 2013.
The High Court found the decision was not administrative action and so not reviewable under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, but was reviewable under the principle of legality. The High Court dismissed the first two grounds on which the decision was challenged, but found that the decision should have and did not differentiate between different categories of office bearer, and so was invalid in respect of the increase applicable to the Magistrates.
The Constitutional Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Nkabinde, agreed that the decision was no reviewable under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, but under the principle of legality. The Constitutional Court rejected the Magistrate’s argument that the decision was procedurally unfair, as the Magistrate’s failed to show their representations were not taken into account by the President, and that the Magistrates Act did not requires the President to hear the Magistrate’s prior to taking a decision.
The Constitutional Court also found that the President’s decision was a rational one as there was no indication the President did not consider the different roles and responsibilities of Magistrates.
The application was therefore dismissed and the High Court order set aside.
Download the judgment here.