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Lawyera are clueless'

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LOBAMBA – Attorney General (AG) Majahe-nkhaba Dlamini yesterday attacked lawyers for their interpretation of the law regarding the vote of no confidence and said they were clueless on the subject.

Breaking his silence over the matter, government’s most senior attorney said the reversal of the vote of no confidence by Members of Parliament on Monday was valid. Three renowned and respected lawyers had disclosed to this publication that the reversal was not legal because there was no provision in the Constitution for such a move.

Advocate Lucas Maziya, in reference to the fact that the reversal was based on the Standing Orders rather than the Constitution, said it was unheard of that Parliament Standing Orders could overrule the Constitution.

Another of the lawyers, Titus Mlangeni, argued that once a vote of no confidence had been passed in the House it cannot be reversed.

However, the AG disagreed with these views and argued that Parliament motions can be reversed.

"There is nothing in the Constitution or Standing Orders that stops the rescinding of a motion. Standing Order 71 states that a motion could be rescinded. The motions are not based on the Constitution but on Standing Orders."

The AG said some of the questions raised on the vote of no confidence were based on lack of understanding and did not make sense at all.

"The lawyers are not interpreting the law correctly. They don’t know what they’re talking about. All I’m saying is that some of these lawyers know nothing. I don’t know where they got the notion that you can’t rescind a motion."

He went on: "Their (lawyers) argument is based on misinterpretation that to reverse (a motion) there should be a section in the Constitution. The rescinding is allowed by Standing Orders."

On the argument that since it took three-fifths majority of the MPs to pass the vote of no confidence on Cabinet, therefore, it would also require a similar number to reverse it, the AG still did not agree.

"Standing Orders don’t state that you need a similar majority to rescind an earlier vote, unless they (lawyers) can produce evidence to that effect."

The AG went on to defend Cabinet’s decision not to take the initial vote of no confidence to court for interpretation.

Lawyers have all along been arguing that no one, not even the AG or the prime minister, had authority to interpret the Constitution other than the court.

The Constitution, in its preamble, also states: "Whereas all the branches of government are the Guardians of the Constitution, it is necessary that the courts be the ultimate Interpreters of the Constitution."

To this, the AG responded: "Government decided not to go to court, but even this route to rescind the vote is valid. Government could have gone to court but decided against it."

None of the lawyers could be reached for responses on the AG’s stance as they did not answer their phones save for Advocate Maziya who suggested he would only comment after reading what Dlamini had to say in this publication.

On October 3, 2012, the House of Assembly passed an unprecedented vote of no confidence on Cabinet following ICT Minister Winnie Maga-gula’s alleged failure to stop the shutdown of SPTC’s Fixedfone and dongle components.

At midnight, Premier Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini called an impromptu press conference to announce that the vote was illegal and Cabinet would continue to stay in office. While MPs initially remained adamant on the vote, things took a twist on Monday when, after an eight-hour debate, they reversed the decision.

The reversal was marred by controversy as some MPs who were opposed to it were denied the chance to make submissions and staged a walkout which, however, did not succeed as the Deputy Premier Themba Masuku went to fetch them, hence they returned and a voting process that led to the reversal was conducted.



- dis country is just a joke im telling u....never in d history of manking have u seen such....hw can the AG be quick to interpret the reversal within days it was passed yet the vote of no confidence took a week without his response.....u knw i always said i was a middle man on this political situation in sd....ngabutseka but the way the authorities are doing things...its making us think anything besides tinkhudla will do....
October 18, 2012, 11:00 am, mlungu

- it is possible to hold differing legal views and/or conclusions hence in our law we have room for dissenting or minority judgment. In addition, we have and appeal process whereby a decision of the a lower court may be reviewed or amended or even set aside by a higher court. in all these instances, i have never heard any of those involved accusing each other for being clueless. i have two questions;1. mbambamba ngubani lo clueless la? 2. since umlangeni has decided to leave the ball and play lomuntu, could he tell us when did he sit and how many times did he sit for the bar examination the only genuine practical legal test that entitles one to be called a lawyer?
October 18, 2012, 11:01 am, Dzingiswako, The Wonderer.

-  He is also clueless,he was elected on favour,not on merit.Tinkhudla have failed us a big time,like our justice system.He must spend time on corruption cases and leave the lawyers alone
October 18, 2012, 11:01 am, harrifa

- The only lawyer who knows nothing about interpretaion of the law is the AG himself....where did he serve his articles anyway? watfola liphakelo na Make wakakhe then he thinks he knows something about interpretation of statutes... this is the most foolish statement to be made by someone in his position. Those are the best lawyers in the land he is referring to...cha impela this country is being taken back to the stone age...
October 18, 2012, 8:01 pm, Anon

October 18, 2012, 8:01 pm, MOSES

- for me i'm not suprised to hear this from AG bekangabuye atsini because he is the country constituion mosi
October 18, 2012, 8:01 pm, Nkonyane -m hikeng 2745

- It would have been a much credible verdict if it would have come from the courts that the reversal is legal as compared to it coming from the AG who has shown beyond any reproach that he is pro the executive.Right now, his pronouncement is not a surprise to some of us.
October 18, 2012, 8:01 pm, elijah dlamini

- i most often than not lament the way out of which public servant express themselves in the domains of the public. for the AG to say lawyers are clueless is unfounded and is just verbal diarrhea form the side of the AG. he owes a great deal of apology to the law society which commands an academically and intellectually filthy rich membership. for me the AG by virtue of this address has smoked a peace pipe with the cabinet. he is now by all means possible joined the " no to the vote of no confidence campaign". i presume he has beem given even the adjustment road map to that. as an AG he is suppose to display high levels of maturity, expierience, composure and integrity and honesty, i wonder if that holds true for our AG in veiw of the fact that it seems he is inexpirienced, ideologically and politically lopsided. he has potrayed a fair share of his orientation. how can a hole AG enshrine a standing order to shrine over the supreme law of the land. for me the AG is responsible for the political dead lock since the AG was so mute when required to show direction. ever since he started on advising on this matter i have not had a fairshare of his proper analysis of the situation. it is worth to acknowledge that the world of laws and statutes is dynamic, one statute can be multi-faceted. lets here all the sides of analysis before we lose the corroding confidence in him. the AG must learn that parliament is one of the most important establishment ever founded on land. i am afraid these system of governance corrupt people of integrity, the mighty "Majahenkhaba" had been know in the corridors of UNISWA and no one knew one day he would read the statutes upside down. its amazing.
October 18, 2012, 8:01 pm, stanley sangweni

- im not suprised at all following what the PM said on the conference after 'the vote of no confidence' was issued. This says a lot about how the country is governed but ke we are in Barney's farm whatever he says goes. im saddened by the King's silence in all the issues happening around
October 18, 2012, 8:01 pm, Happy


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