ConCourt slams Parliament for tardiness
Publish date: 15 April 2019
Issue Number: 819
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
The Constitutional Court has lambasted Parliament for handling the enactment of legislation that would allow the processing of new land claims with ‘unacceptable’ levels of flippancy. As reported in Legalbrief Today, Parliament failed to comply with a 2016 order of the apex court to finalise the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill within 24 months. The Star reports Justice Nonkosi Mhlantla delivered a scathing judgment dismissing the plea by Speaker Baleka Mbete and NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise to extend the deadline. In a unanimous ruling, Mhlantla said there was no evidence that Parliament did its bit to comply with the 2016 ruling. Exactly 32 months later, the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill is far from being finalised. Mhlantla said it was unacceptable that Parliament had made such little progress. ‘The periods of delay have largely been unaccounted for, both in explanation on the papers and during oral argument,’ she said. ‘Where explanations have been offered, they have been insufficient. Overall, Parliament took no action for almost 11 of the 24 months provided by this court. When Parliament did act, the process was very slow. Parliament’s tardiness is unacceptable.’ According to the report, Mhlantla ordered the commission to report to the Land Claims Court every six months.