Reaffirming South Africa’s Commitment to the Constitution

By Phindi Maduna

On Friday, 8 November 2019, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially opened the main seat of the Mpumalanga division of the High Court in Mbombela. The auspicious event symbolised South Africa’s commitment to the laws enshrined in the Constitution; and demonstrated the government’s commitment to transform the justice landscape.

In his address, the President reiterated that the Constitution is the cornerstone of the country’s democracy and an instrument for development and transformation.

“Today we open a court that will administer justice without fear, favour or prejudice, in an open and accessible process that reflects the ethos of our Constitution” said the President.

The Superior Courts Act of 2013 states that the High Court should have divisions in all 9 provinces in the country. The launch of the Mpumalanga division of the High Court means that all 9 provinces in South Africa now have a High Court. This historic moment fulfils the vision to provide access to justice to all South Africans.

Mbombela is the main seat and Middelburg hosts the local seat. The President was joined by the Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Ronald Lamola, the Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille, the Mpumalanga Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and the Mayor of Ehlanzeni District Municipality, Jester Sidel.

Mayor Mtshweni-Tsipane said it was a momentous day for the province. “The people of Mpumalanga have for decades needed to travel to Gauteng to access services that are obtained from a High Court.”

“We also affirm that the decision of the government to finally ensure that the Mpumalanga province has its own High Court. This will yield immeasurable positive spinoffs for the overall administration of justice in our province.”