J 1999 4 SA p868 MAHOMED CJ 2 Be suspended for 15 parliamentary working days

J 1999 4 sa p868 mahomed cj 2 be suspended for 15

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appellant. J 1999 (4 ) SA p868 MAHOMED CJ 2. Be suspended for 15 parliamentary working days with effect from A the next sitting day. [9] In substance these recommendations were adopted by the Assembly on 25 November 1997. In addition it resolved that the apology which the respondent was directed to make extended also to the individual Members of the Assembly she had previously named in the B interpellation debate. In a letter dated 15 December 1997 the Secretary of the Assembly wrote to the respondent formally informing her of these decisions and stating that the 'period of suspension would . . . run from 2 to 20 February 1998'. [10] The respondent was aggrieved by these decisions and C launched a formal application in the Cape High Court impugning the relevant resolutions of the ad hoc committee and the Assembly which led to her suspension, on the grounds that the majority of the members of the ad hoc committee and the Assembly were biased against her, that they were mala fide and that she did not receive a fair hearing before the impugned resolutions were adopted. D [11] A Full Bench of the Cape High Court consisting of King DJP and Hlope J upheld this attack and granted an order declaring void the relevant resolutions of the Assembly on 25 November 1997 impacting on the respondent. De Lille and Another v Speaker of the National Assembly 1998 (3) SA 430 (C). 1 E [12] Mr Gauntlett SC , who appeared for the appellant (together with Mr Heunis SC and Mr Ngalwana ), submitted that the evidence on affidavit which was relied on by the Court a quo did not justify the conclusion that the majority of the ad hoc committee or the Assembly were biased against the respondent or that they were mala fide or that they F failed to accord to the respondent a fair hearing before supporting the impugned
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resolutions. This is strenuously disputed by Mr Trengove SC , who appeared for the respondent (with Mr Chaskalson and Mr Tredoux ). In the view I take of this appeal, I shall assume without deciding that Mr Gauntlett is correct in his submission. G [13] That assumption is not sufficient, however, to resolve the appeal in favour of the appellant. Even if the impugned resolutions were adopted bona fide and even if the respondent did receive a fair hearing preceding such adoption, the essential enquiry which needs to be made is whether or not in the circumstances disclosed by the record the Assembly had any lawful authority to take any steps H to suspend the respondent from Parliament. [14] This enquiry must crucially rest on the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996. It is Supreme - not Parliament. It is the ultimate source of all lawful authority in the country. No Parliament, however bona fide or eminent its I membership, no President, however formidable be his reputation or scholarship, and no official, however efficient or well-meaning, can make any law or perform any act which is J 1999 (4 ) SA p869 MAHOMED CJ not sanctioned by the Constitution. Section 2 of the Constitution A expressly provides
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