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NEW NATIONAL PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA v GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHERS 1999.doc

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NEW NATIONAL PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA v GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA AND OTHERS 1999 (3) SA 191 (CC) G 1999 (3) SA p191 Citation 1999 (3) SA 191 (CC) Case No CCT 9/99 Court Constitutional Court Judge Chaskalson P , Langa DP , Ackermann J , Goldstone J , Madala J , MokgoroJ , O'Regan J , Sachs J and Yacoob J Heard March 15, 1999 ; March 16, 1999 JudgmentApril 13, 1999 Counsel JA Le Roux (with him JC Heunis) for the applicant IAM Semenya (with him M Naidoo) for the respondents [zFNz] Flynote : Sleutelwoorde Constitutional law - Human rights - Right to vote in terms of s 19(3) of I Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996 - Right to vote is right to vote in free and fair elections in terms of electoral system prescribed by national legislation - Electoral Act 73 of 1998 providing for limited category of identity documents (ie bar-coded identity documents) to be used for purposes of registration and voting in election - Such J 1999 (3) SA p192 requirement rationally connected to legitimate governmental purpose of enabling A effective exercise of vote - Such not constituting discrimination or unfairness. Constitutional law - Legislation - Validity of - Circumstances to be taken into account when assessing whether legislation infringing right - Court can make B evaluation in light of circumstances pertaining at time provisions enacted or those existing at some later date when constitutionality of provisions challenged - Necessary to determine whether proximate cause of infringement of right statutory provision itself or whether infringement of right precipitated by other cause - Reasonableness of statutory provision ordinarily within C exclusive competence of Parliament - Courts not reviewing provisions of Acts of Parliament on grounds that they are unreasonable - Courts reviewing such Acts only if satisfied that legislation not rationally connected with legitimate government purpose - Reasonableness only relevant to enquiry whether infringement of right justifiable in terms of s 36 of Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996. [zHNz] Headnote : Kopnota D The applicant had applied in a Provincial Division for an order that certain provisions of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 were inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996, inter alia because only bar-coded identity documents could be used for the purposes of voting and registering for the 1999 national and provincial E elections, and that the independence of the Independent
Electoral Commission (the Commission) had not been respected by the Government with the result that the Commission had been unable to exercise its powers and perform its duties under the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996. It was contended by the applicant that by disallowing the use of other identity documents the holders ofthose documents were being effectively disenfranchised. Evidence F before the Court showed that approximately 80 per cent of South Africans had a bar-coded identity document. It was also contended by the applicant that the legislative provision in issue

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Term
Fall
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
Law, Voting system

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