5 points from Mashaba's lawsuit against Ramaphosa and Cele

15 July 2021 - 10:30
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says his party will be suing President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele over the damage to properties and widespread looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba says his party will be suing President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele over the damage to properties and widespread looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times

“President Cyril Ramaphosa, police minister Bheki Cele, and the rest of the executive have a positive legal obligation to uphold and maintain law and order.”

These are the words of ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba, who announced that his party will be suing Ramaphosa and Cele over the damage to properties and widespread looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Mashaba said it was the president and government's constitutional duty to ensure that they take proactive and reasonable steps to protect and preserve the rule of law. 

Here are five key takeouts from Mashaba's reasons for a lawsuit. 

Failure to perform a constitutional duty

“A failure or omission to faithfully perform a constitutional duty must carry consequences as real as those experienced by South Africans who have lost their lives and livelihoods because of the executive’s incompetence and wilful inaction.”

Seeking to hold the government accountable

“The legal action we are embarking on will be the first of its kind in democratic SA and will seek to finally hold the ruling government to account for its poor governance.”

Sufficient jurisprudence

“We believe that there is more than sufficient jurisprudence that merits this a strong test case, and assists us in holding the government to account for its wilful failure to ensure proper law enforcement and the protection of lives, livelihoods and property.”

The breakdown of law and order

“While large sections of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng witnessed the destruction of private and public property, the end of businesses and livelihoods, the breakdown of law and order and the sad loss of life, Ramaphosa and his executive remained deadly silent and inactive till the latest moment possible. As South Africans, our pleas for assistance were met with silence until the situation was out of control.”

Failure to take decisive and preventive action

“[Neither] Ramaphosa nor Cele have provided any real reason for their failure to take decisive and preventive action against what is so plainly co-ordinated criminality. SA finds itself in this dire state because Ramaphosa and Cele wilfully failed to mobilise and co-ordinate our law enforcement agencies at an early stage.”


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