Recently the Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers released a report recommending a number of pay increases. President Thabo Mbeki is recommended to receive a whopping 57% pay increase while Constitutional Court Chief Justice Pius Langa is recommended to receive an even larger 65% increase (which would bring his annual salary to R1.7 million).
Instead of protesting that the increases are a bit much considering the lack of pay rise for other more deserving civil servants (policemen, teachers, state doctors etc) national MPs are up in arms because they did not receive a comparable increase. Under the new recommendation MPs will now receive a salary of R643 800 a year. To put that in perspective the salary of a normal US congressman is only R909 372 ($125 000) and they have a history of turning down pay increases. To put that even more into perspective the average black household brings in an income of about R44 000 a year.
But how about a bit of cheese with this whine?
She said the proposed R643 800 package for MPs would also do little to stem the 84 percent turnover rate experienced among members of parliament.
I’m sorry what? You’re earning 10 times the average salary to rubberstamp whatever legislation the executive brings through parliament and you still don’t think you’re earning enough?
Mentor said MPs, already battling to put their children through school, were being forced to subsidise the state while carrying out their duties.
Who the hell struggles to send their kid to school on a R600 000 a year salary? Perhaps you should take them out of Miss Snooty’s Private School for Rich Kids and put them back into Joe Average Public School like most of the population has to as well.
She said that while a car allowance was provided, many MPs whose families live in other provinces find that they need to buy a second car to commute when they were in Cape Town.
While transport is provided for MPs to travel from parliamentary villages to parliament and back home again, it is operated on a strict time schedule and many MPs without their own car find themselves stranded in the village after 5pm and on weekends.
You know they have this thing in other countries, I think it’s called efficient public transport. Perhaps our MPs could put some effort into bringing that here.Update: MPs reject proposed 5,4% pay rise
Angry MPs across the political spectrum have ditched their ideological differences and called an urgent multiparty meeting to discuss a proposed 5,4 percent salary increase, as opposed to the handsome pay hike for the executive.
15 judges in Gauteng have written a petition to the Judicial Service Commission condemning them for discussing bad decisions made by judges. They claim that doing so will harm transformation of the bench, although that’s not really an excuse you can tell someone after being falsely convicted (or to a family watching a murder suspect who had killed a relative walk free on a technicality). The petition however does have a signatory who is not exactly helping their cause, Judge Nkola Motata
...who faced criticism at the commission for the extent of his work backlog and because he left urgent matters incomplete while he attended a golf tournament. He is now on leave pending resolution of drunk driving charges.
Those kind of mistakes (especially that drunk driving one) are a little too public to be kept under the table.
If there’s one thing I wish the ANC government had not done when it came into power was to persist the system of racial classification, even if they had good intentions in order to redress imbalances in our society. If they did so we wouldn’t have stories like this:Chinese fight to be black
After years of waging a low-key campaign to be recognised as black under South Africa’s laws of redress, local Chinese are squaring up to the government in the High Court.
The Chinese Association of South Africa (Casa) wants to seek a declaratory order for South African Chinese to be treated as coloured and benefit from the Employment Equity Act and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act.
Failing that, they will ask the court to declare the definition of “black” in the two laws unconstitutional because it excludes local Chinese.
The government has been deeply reluctant to clarify whether the Chinese are included in the definition of “black”
- African, coloured and Indian -under the legislation.
I hope they win, as a victory on their part will do quite a bit to weaken the current laws about racial classifcation and economic empowerment.
We want to know what criterion was used to decide to prosecute us and not the others. There are 330 names on that list and that issue will have to be raised with the judge if we go to court.
330 names? There are 490 people in national parliament in total! That means over 2/3 of parliamentarians are implicated.
The interdict preventing the M&G from publishing a story on Maanda Manyatshe has been thankfully dismissed. The story will now be published on Friday. It better be juicy!
Once again the courts have suppressed a news story before publication. The Mail & Guardian were to publish some kind of expose’ on MTN CEO Maanda Manyatshe but he managed to get a court interdict preventing them from doing so.
The judge who approved of the interdict was Judge Mohamed Jajbhay and those of you whose minds can stretch back to the Danish cartoon dust up might recognise him as the same judge who prevented the Sunday Times from publishing those cartoons because they affronted someone’s (who that someone is we’re still not sure of) dignity and thereby setting our press freedom back a few years.
The Choice on the Termination of Pregnancy (CTOP) Amendment Act and the Traditional Health Practitioners (THP) Act were both ruled unconstitutional today. The acts were challenged by anti-abortion group Doctors for Life.
There wasn’t anything blatantly unconstitutional in the acts themselves but they were challenged because the NCOP (the even more powerless sibling to the National Assembly) did not hold public hearings into the acts despite previously scheduling to do so.
Justice Ngcobo rightly stated:
When it comes to establishing legislative timetables, the temptation to cut down on public involvement must be resisted.
The timetable must be subordinated to the rights guaranteed in the Constitution, and not the rights to the timetable.
So due to someone in the NCOP deciding to cut a few corners and ram an act through the proper procedures, it’s now being declared unconstitutional. I hope whichever MP it was they get their pay docked for everyone’s wasted time.
Update: Yet another government ruling rammed through parliament ruled unconstitutional.
You read that headline right. The entire current labour court system may be ruled unconstitutional. It seems that the manner in which judges are appointed to the labour court, specifcally the input of NEDLAC and the fact that unlike other judges labour court judges only receive their assignments for 10 years, intereferes with the independence of the judiciary.
The issue of labour has always been a delicate issue in South Africa. Which is why there should be some concern that every single judgement passed in the labour court is now in question and could be legally challenged throwing the labour courts into complete chaos. While I’m sure that the Justice Dept and the Constitutional Court won’t allow every ruling to be challenged the uncertainty this creates can not be good, for workers and for business.
If this report is true that Cape Judge President Bernard Hlope did not have the permission of the Minister of Justice to receive R90 000 for consulting then he might find himself in a very precarious situation.
That being said I wouldn’t be suprised if the Justice Department merely lost the records they had.
- Okay Zuma going to visit Gadaffi was a bit strange but now it seems the SACP and COSATU visited the day before in order to butter up the Libyan strongman for a donation. The ANC isn’t liking that at all.
- Submissions to the African Peer Review Mechanism indicate the growing dissatisfaction with the electoral party system and political party financing.
- And lastly the Boeremag escapees are still on the run. Have the police searched the local strip joint?
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