Saturday, June 21, 2008

Glenister not giving up

A man with real cahones, that’s all I can say about Hugh Glenister. A good man.

We need more like him to stand up and be counted. Don't hold your breath though.

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Lawyers for Johannesburg businessman Hugh "Bob" Glenister will file papers in the Constitutional Court on Thursday in the next step in his attempt to prevent the Scorpions from being disbanded.

"It is a Constitutional issue. Our question was always that no person in South Africa can simply do something without considering the Constitution," he said.

The Pretoria High Court ruled last month that it did not have the jurisdiction to decide on an application by Glenister to stop the state from disbanding the crime-fighting unit and that only the Constitutional Court had jurisdiction.

Glenister had asked the Pretoria High Court to prevent President Thabo Mbeki and six others from initiating legislation that sought to disband the Directorate of Special Operations, commonly known as the Scorpions. 'It was always a Constitutional question'

Before the case could be heard, legislation was initiated by Cabinet - and the General Law Amendment Bill and the National Prosecuting Amendment Bill, dealing with the disbanding of the unit, were tabled.

Glenister then amended his application asking that Mbeki and the relevant ministers be prohibited from passing the legislation. He contends that the decision to disband the unit was taken to protect prominent members of the African National Congress from investigation and prosecution by the unit.

The court concluded that the principle of separation of powers prevented it from interfering with the executive's power to prepare and initiate legislation, as well as with the right of Parliament to deliberate on proposed legislation brought before it.

"It was always a Constitutional question so the ultimate test will be the Constitutional Court".

Glenister's lawyers could not file their papers on Wednesday as planned as they had been bound incorrectly, said Glenister.

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